Dawe receives BYU offer

Zac Dawe

On Tuesday, Pleasant Grove High School defensive tackle Zac Dawe took a drive down to BYU's campus with his parents. He met with Coach Mendenhall in his office and received something unexpected. To his excitement, he was given his very first scholarship offer.

As a junior prospect for Pleasant Grove High School, Zac Dawe already possesses good measurable that helped him be a dominant player on the football field last season.

"I'm 6'4" and I weigh around 265 pounds, but for football I can get up to 275," Dawe said. "My squat is 415 and my bench press is 315 at the end of football season. I play defensive end on defense, and then on offense I play left tackle. I enjoy playing both but I really like playing defensive end. Defense feels more natural to me."

"He'll be a senior next year and I think he'll be one of the top linemen coming out of Utah," said Pleasant Grove head coach Les Hamilton. "What makes him so good is he's 6'4", 260 pounds but he's really quick and can move."

While Dawe excels in football, he is also the top wrester in the state of Utah and considered among the best nationally.

"It does help me with my hand fighting from time to time and my aggressiveness playing on the defensive line," Dawe said. "Wrestling has really helped me to size people up. I'm not really afraid to go up against anyone, and I think it really helps me with my leverage and quickness.

"Wrestling has gone really well this year for me. I'm a two-time state placer going into this season. My freshman year I took fourth, as I did last year as a sophomore. Then this year I won the Reno Tournament of Champions and that's when I became an All-American. I gained All-American status in Reno. I also took first at a western regional at UVU in the Rocky Mountain Rumble. I wrestled in the Beast of the East wrestling tournament in Delaware. I took fourth in the tournament and it's the toughest tournament in the nation."

"Right now he's nationally ranked in wrestling," said Coach Hamilton. "He went back East and took fourth place and is a really good wrestler. He'll probably get a couple of Big 10 offers for wrestling as well as football. He'll be the top d-line prospect and o-line prospect in the state."

Last season, Dawe took on a position of leadership for Hamilton's team.

"Football went well for me last year," Dawe said. "I was named a captain as a junior, so that was a big accomplishment for me. I was humbled and grateful to be put into that position to lead my team as a junior. I've had a couple of schools look at me like BYU, Utah and Utah State and a couple of schools out of state."

"He's the first junior captain that I've ever had," said Coach Hamilton. "He didn't miss a down for us last year and has that mental toughness. He makes good decisions and is a good leader both on the field and in the classroom. He's just a great, great kid."

On Tuesday, Dawe and his father Ian and mother Marla met with BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall in his office.

"Coach Mendenhall offered me a scholarship, so that was really awesome!" Dawe said. "This is my first scholarship offer and I'm really excited. I'm very excited about BYU and think it's a great program. All the football programs in Utah are great, but getting an offer from BYU is really exciting to me. I'm a LDS kid and I really like the standards at BYU and Bronco Mendenhall is an amazing coach. I'm just grateful for the opportunity to get a scholarship to go to BYU.

"I was just extremely happy and extremely humbled. I've worked hard my whole life and ever since I was a kid I wanted to play D-I football somewhere. It was a good day to know that I got an offer from BYU. It was just awesome!"

The big news was exciting for Dawe, but was also surprising.

"I wasn't really expecting it and kind of went down to learn more about the campus," Dawe said. "I just went down to learn more about BYU. When I finally got the offer from BYU, I just thought of [how] all those times I got up early around 5:00 in the morning to get ready for wrestling and early-morning football just all paid off. Getting that offer from BYU was just a blessing in my life."

"He's going to get offers from other places," said Coach Hamilton. "Utah is high on him and so is Utah State, but he really likes BYU and so we'll see what happens."

As it turns out, Dawe has a family connection with BYU's current team.

"My older brother Parker just walked-on BYU's football team down there," said Dawe. "He's trying out for deep snapper and maybe o-line. He's about the same size as me and went to Snow College."

The road Parker Dawe took to walk-on at BYU was an unexpected one.

"He came home from his mission and went to Snow College where he got married," said Zac Dawe. "He didn't think he was ever going to play football again. I was lifting with him and he felt that he needed to go play college football, so he got himself ready and went and walked on at BYU. Now he's there as a deep snapper. He'll also try and play o-line too."

As for Zac, he didn't commit to Coach Mendenhall right then and there after receiving his offer.

"Coach Mendenhall said it was up to me and that I need to pray about it. That's what I'm going to do because I need to find the best place for me and my future career. I want to become a radiologist and get a minor in zoology and hopefully go to medical school somewhere. He just told me to pray about it and I was very gracious because he didn't put any pressure on me or try to trick me. He gave me the offer and told me that it was up to me and that I need to pray about it. That's what I'm going to do."

Dawe plans on serving a mission before attending college.

"With the new mission rule, I want to serve a mission right out of high school," he said. "I want to put the Lord first and so I want to leave as soon as possible. Hopefully I can leave the week after I graduate and get out and get the work done."

Because of his spiritual convictions, Dawe holds BYU as one of his top schools.

"BYU is one of my top schools because I am a LDS kid and I have a strong testimony of the gospel," Dawe said. "BYU is one of my top schools along with a couple of others. I'm just going to kind of pray about it and see what school is right for me and kind of wait for an answer. Then I'll just commit. I'm just so grateful and feel very blessed."

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