Atkinson Commits

Jordan Atkinson from Diablo Valley Community College as been busy these days, taking finals and making sure he's eligible to transfer midyear. During his finals Atkinson took time out to commit to Cougar coaches this past Monday, thus ensuring he'll follow his father and grandfather by making his mark on the Cougar football program.

It's a very busy time for most midyear junior college transfers as they finish up finals and make sure they're eligible to transfer midyear to a Division I program. Such is the case with Jordan Atkinson, as he's been busy taking finals and subsequently turning off his phone since yours truly last spoke with him.

"It's a crazy time for me and I'm real busy these days," said Atkinson. "I have to make sure everything is good to go before I transfer to BYU, so I've been real busy with finals and whatnot."

Atkinson was able to return TBS's call Wednesday night, when he confirmed that he committed to sign with BYU this past Monday. For Atkinson, it's now his chance to make his mark on the BYU football program much like his father and grandfather did before him.

Atkinson's grandfather Chick Atkinson used to be BYU's head coach, while his father Dave Atkinson set interception records when he played defense for the Cougars in the early 70s. So were grandpa and dad pushing hard for Jordan to sign with BYU?

"They didn't have to," said Atkinson. "They knew that I knew where they wanted me to play, so they really didn't have to say anything. They didn't pressure me and they really didn't have to. I'd go to BYU even if they didn't go there. I love BYU and what they have to offer."

Atkinson is a 6-foot-3-inch, 240-pound linebacker that will most likely be logging time at the Will linebacker position while at BYU, though there is a chance he'll be playing inside at the Mike linebacker position. While Atkinson prefers playing on the outside, he's open to what the coaches need.

"I'm probably going to play Will, but if they want me at Mike, that's where I'll play," said Atkinson. "Most of the talk has been with Coach Lamb about playing outside, so we'll just see what happens."

Atkinson, like most junior college transfers, will look to contribute immediately. Fortunately, he will have the advantage of undergoing both a spring and fall practice session to determine how much he'll contribute to next year's team.

"It's all coming together fast and I'll be down there at BYU in a few weeks, probably three weeks or so," said Atkinson. "I'm excited, to be sure, and I'm going to do my best to contribute to the team immediately."

Atkinson joins a position group that struggled at times this past year. He believes that his strength and aggressive style will go a long way to help out at the linebacker position come the 2009 season.

"I'm very good in space and I move very well for my size," said Atkinson. "I'm good laterally. I'm best at rushing the quarterback and my size allows me to take on a lot of blocks. I can play both inside or outside linebacker."

Atkinson first spoke with defensive coordinator Jaime Hill when he first committed before Coach Hill then passed the phone around to Coach Barry Lamb and then finally to head coach Bronco Mendenhall.

"Coach Mendenhall just told me that he was really excited to have me be part of the program," related Atkinson. "Coach Mendenhall is a great man and it will be an honor to play for him. It will be an honor to play where my dad played and where my grandpa coached."

Atkinson will join with his younger brother Josh Atkinson, who is currently attending BYU with an academic scholarship. Josh plans to walk on to the team, where he'll compete at either linebacker or running back.

Of all the things that attracted Atkinson to BYU, it was the feeling he got while being around the team and its players more than anything that sealed the deal for him.

"The players are just great with how they are," said Atkinson. "I immediately felt like I belonged there when I was on my visit and it just felt like where I needed to be. Everyone made me feel like part of the team and it's the togetherness of the team probably more than anything why I chose to commit to BYU."

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