Van Noy Enjoys BYU Camp

It was a star-studded camp at BYU on Friday with many top LDS prospects from across the country putting their abilities on display in front of BYU coaches.

Coming out from Reno, California is McQueen High School star Kyle Van Noy, who not only enjoyed the camp but also got the chance to meet many top LDS athletes being recruited by the Cougar coaching staff.

"It was cool and I had a great experience at BYU," said Van Noy on Friday after the camp. "I got the chance to meet Jake Heaps from Skyline High School in Washington. He threw to me today and that kid is good. He's a special player for how young he is. I mean, he threw a perfect ball right on target, so it was really nice having a good quarterback throw to you. So, I got the chance to play wide receiver and run a couple of routes. It was fun."

Van Noy, who was told by the Cougar coaching staff that he has the option of playing which position he would like, also got a chance on the defensive side of the ball.

"I also got a chance to play outside linebacker and play some defense against some tight ends," said Van Noy. "I went against a kid named Richard [Wilson] who just got offered by Miami, which is cool. He's a pretty special kid too. I had to guard him and he got me once. I didn't think he was very good until I had to guard him. His routes are pretty good."

Amidst the noise and excitement of the camp activities, Van Noy had the chance to talk briefly with Coach Mendenhall.

"He wasn't trying to tell me that I should go to BYU," said Van Noy. "He just talked to me like a normal coach. He gave me some guidance on making a decision, which was cool."

Van Noy has been to Nevada's and UNLV's campuses already, but the experience he had at BYU was unique.

"All the coaches at BYU are like family, you know," said Van Noy. "They all value the same type of things and it's not just about football. They place an emphasis on the person and living a good life. That's the big difference, whereas the coaches [elsewhere] just care about football. The coaches at BYU focus on life and football."

The integration of principles that are based on faith, service and personal development is an aspect of BYU's program that has caught Van Noy's attention.

"Coach Mendenhall is an inspiring person," said Van Noy. "[How] he's changed that program around in the way he has is unbelievable. They said what he did was not possible, but he just proved everybody wrong. That's a slap in the face right there. They shouldn't be judging and they were and got slapped in the face for it."

Van Noy said he feels that if someone plays football at BYU, they play for more than just a uniform color or school. Rather, they play for the values, principles and people affiliated with the university.

"I mean, where I live everybody is a hater," Van Noy said. "I mean, you have haters everywhere, but at BYU you don't just play for yourself. You play for something greater. You also play for your brothers, and that's one of their mottos. You play for your band of brothers because they are brothers. Their motto this year is ‘A Quest for Perfection,' so they're getting ready to go."

While on campus, Van Noy was able to speak with BYU outside linebacker Vic So'oto to get a feel from a player's perspective of what BYU is like.

"[So'oto] told me that Coach Lamb is a great coach and he gives everybody a chance even if they're a freshman," said Van Noy.

So'oto, whom Van Noy said was a ‘really cool guy,' was like Coach Mendenhall in that he focused on more than just pigskin.

"The funny thing is he didn't really talk about football," said Van Noy.

So'oto and Van Noy's conversation, which was initially about So'oto's timing in the forty on Friday, quickly turned to everyday life.

"He totally just blew that stuff off and just became a regular person," said Van Noy. "Nobody really talked about football and that was kind of the last thing on their minds, but when you step onto the field, then it's first. It's kind of a unique perspective, but it's how it should be. If you want to go somewhere else you need to put football first, but that's not right. You should be putting your faith, your family and academics first. If you don't get those things straight, then you're not going to be a good person and you won't make it that far."

The recruiting process can certainly be difficult for student athletes, and while Van Noy admits that has been true for him, he said he had a few experiences that helped put his mind at ease.

"It's been very stressful at first, but after today [Coach Mendenhall] kind of relaxed me," said Van Noy. "He gave me a list of what their goals were, and the type of things that were first in his life, and I gave him mine."

Coach Mendenhall then told Van Noy that at BYU he could find all of the things he said he was looking for. He also talked about how what makes BYU unique.

In addition to Vic So'oto and Coach Mendenhall, Van Noy got to speak to a former Cougar.

"I also spoke to Rob Morris, who was a middle linebacker for the NFL Colts," said Van Noy. "I talked to him and he knew what [the recruiting process] was like. He said that you should have fun with it and keep your options open. He said just have fun with it, but when it's time to make a decision, you just go with it."

Van Noy has scholarship offers from BYU, Arizona State, Arizona, Cal, Stanford, Nevada, UNLV, Boise State, San Diego State and Colorado. He said he's narrowed down those 10 offers to his four favorites.

"I've compared and contrasted the schools, and that has really narrowed it down for me," Van Noy said.

Van Noy said he looked into if the school is close to his family, how the academics fit in with what he wants to do, how good the football program is, and what the religious environment is like.

So how does BYU stand up to his personal evaluation process?

"Pretty high," Van Noy said. "I would say one or two."

And what do his parents thing about BYU?

"Well, I'm just going to ask you, what do you think?" Van Noy said with a slight laugh. "They basically love BYU and Coach Mendenhall. I actually called him a bishop. It's like being in a bishop's office, it really is. If you ever get the chance to sit down in his office, it's like being in a bishop's or a stake president's office. Yeah, he was laughing too. When I was in his office I was calling him bishop the whole time, but when we were leaving I called him coach. He was like ‘Oh, I'm a coach now that you're stepping out of my office.' It was pretty funny."

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