BYU: More Than Perceived

Sure, it can be somewhat of a culture shock for a non-LDS African American from a different part of the country to come to BYU, but for first-year cornerbacks Brian Logan and Corby Eason, their experience at BYU has surpassed all expectations.

When Brian Logan was finishing up his second year at Foothill College located near the Bay Area, the coaches of BYU came calling. And naturally, he had reservations about moving to Utah - where he might not exactly fit in - for two or so years.

"You know, when I first came out here I wasn't really sure about it," said Logan with a smile. "I didn't really know much about Provo, Utah, but just had heard things like how different it's going to be, so I wasn't really sure what I was getting myself into."

Fortunately, coming to Provo has been a good experience for Logan.

"It's that much more, it's that much more than what I thought it would be out here," said Logan. "My experience out here has exceeded all expectations. Coming out here from the Bay Area, at first I thought there wasn't going to be anything to do, that it was going to be a slower pace of life where we [would] just be in our dorms all day long. Coming from the Bay Area, where there's always something to do, I had that perception."

Logan learned quickly that there would be an abundance of social activities at BYU, but that those activities would be of a different nature than what is found in the social settings of California.

"When I came out here I learned really quickly that my perceptions were wrong," said Logan. "The focus is a lot different out here, and so a lot of those activities revolve mostly around your teammates. We do things as a team, and the fact that people are so accepting and nice to you out here, it's just amazing.

"You know, I just love how we do things together and we're always hanging out. We're all really close and we're always doing things together and are truly like brothers. That's kind of how it is out here. It's amazing how accepting people are of you out here no matter where you're from. I'm really loving it out here."

Teammate Corby Eason echoed Logan's sentiments. In fact, he even called some of his former teammates to tell them about his BYU experience.

"I talk to my other friends back home about how it is out here," said Eason. "I even called my best friend Jarmon Fortson, number-80, who plays starting wide receiver for Florida State. He dropped the game-winning pass in the end zone against Miami, and I even told him how it is out here. I talked to him about how the people treat us out here. They treat us great. Back home from my high school, Carver High School, we have a lot of guys representing us from back home at USC, Oklahoma State, Memphis, Florida State, and every year our high school produces around four or five Division I athletes. I called up all my old high school teammates and even some of my junior college teammates and we just shared our experiences."

Coming from Columbus, Georgia to Provo, Utah, Corby Eason is a first-year transfer out of Erie Community College. And like Logan, Eason has also experienced the accepting spirit of BYU and the surrounding community.

"It's been great and this has been one of the best places I've ever been," said Eason, who is a non-LDS African American just like Logan. "Actually, I love it here better than I do at home. I mean, the community is so friendly out here. I'm from the South and things are kind of different down there, but out here they don't care and like you as is. It's like family out here."

Another eye-opening experience for Logan and Eason has been their interaction with the Cougar fans. Although their first game against Oklahoma was at a neutral site, the crowd was overwhelmingly in support of the Sooners. However, upon arriving at Provo's airport at about 1:45 in the morning, the Cougar football team was greeted by many cheering fans showing their support and gratitude for the victory. Both players have no idea what's in store for them once they run out of the LaVell Edwards Stadium tunnel before 65,000 screaming Cougar fans.

"The fans are great," said Logan. "Its just, wow! I love our fans here at BYU and think they are the greatest. It's been an unbelievable experience here and I get goose bumps just talking about it. It has been great and I have no complaints or anything bad to say about anything about this university, the people or the community. I just love it here. I just love it."

"I mean, my first day when I came in and everyone was like, ‘How are you doing? How you doing?'" said Eason. "I was shocked. Most of the time people will just stare at the freshmen and don't say anything to them, but everybody is friendly out here like family. It's like I've been out here for four years. It's been a great experience out here and all the fans love you and everyday when I walk with my BYU gear on people ask me if I'm on the football team. When I tell them yeah they say, ‘Thank you and congratulations and I hope you do well.' Everyone is just friendly out here and I love it. I love it out here. I even told my parents to come out here, and they told me as soon as they get some vacation time they're coming."

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