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Kyle Van Noy of BYU Reminds Us of Everything That is Right With College Football

January 2, 2013

Kyle Van NoyFor those college football fans that weren’t aware of the stellar defense at BYU, last week’s Poinsettia Bowl may have been a little bit of an eye opener.  At the forefront of that defense is Kyle Van Noy who had a career game in what may have been his last as a Cougar.

What I am sure most people have forgotten is that Van Noy’s career at BYU almost never got started.

Shortly before he was to sign his letter of intent with BYU, Van Noy was pulled over for a DUI.  This appeared to end any chance of playing for the Cougars and their well-documented honor code.  Van Noy submitted his letter of intent anyways, along with an apology letter to the coaches.

Bronco Mendenhall offered to let Van Noy retract his commitment and go play elsewhere immediately, or to wait one year before enrolling at BYU.  To his credit Van Noy decided to wait the year and honor his commitment.

In the modern sports world filled with egos and people looking for instant fame and fortune it was refreshing to see both sides set a higher standard.

Upon enrolling at BYU, Van Noy still had to prove his worth before even being allowed to wear the number he wanted.  Once again he showed his true character and determination, ultimately earning back the coaches’ respect and receiving the number he wanted.

Like many BYU fans, my first real introduction to Kyle Van Noy came at the Ole Miss game last year.  He secured that win by forcing a fumble that was recovered for a touchdown.

While the win-loss record has not been incredible since then, Van Noy and his defense have been one of the best in the nation.  They ended this season as the number three defense in the country.  That includes taking now number one Notre Dame to the wire, and holding perennial runners Georgia Tech 200 yards below their per game average.

To further add to his legacy, Van Noy is also responsible for mentoring his roommate Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah who is poised to be a first round pick in April’s NFL draft.  It is so awesome to see someone with Van Noy’s talent remain humble and gush over the abilities of his teammate and friend.

That is what most impresses me when it comes to Van Noy.  In every interview I have heard or read he is completely humble, quick to credit his teammates, and always putting the team first.

While this type of character is not very common in the modern sports world it is really no surprise seeing it come from Van Noy based on his history.

During the broadcast last night they mentioned how Bronco Mendenhall is in football for the mentoring aspect of it more than just the money and winning.  It is evident that he is succeeding when you see him help a young man go from getting a DUI before he is even old enough to drink, to leading a top defense, and putting himself in position to be drafted into the NFL.

I was thrilled to hear the news this week that Van Noy will be returning for his senior season because he has shown us everything that is right about college football: turning young athletes into men.

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