|Jan Jorgensen carries the ball as a Dino against Ogden High in 2002.|
What do you do when the team you grew up hating offers you a full scholarship and is also close to home?
Well if you are Jan Jorgensen, you change your allegiances and take the opportunity that comes your way.
Jorgensen played football at Carbon High from 1998-2002. He was also on the baseball team and won the 3A wrestling championship as a senior. A multi-talented athlete, he has followed in his father and brother's foot steps. His father is Jeff Jorgensen who currently is the athletic director at Carbon High. His brother JD played at the University of Utah.
Jorgensen signed with Kentucky right out of high school, but decided to go on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of latter day Saints. He served his two year mission in Boise, Idaho. While he was there he began to have second thoughts about attending Kentucky. He wondered if the atmosphere there was what was best for him.
While on his mission he began to check out the three colleges closer to home. Despite his personal dislike for BYU he really couldn't find anything wrong with their program. And, he found out, they would give him a full scholarship. So after his mission he headed off to Provo.
Jorgensen red-shirted his true freshman year and he is playing this year with four years of eligibility left. He is playing as a starting defensive lineman and his stats list him as 6-3 and 260 lbs.
Even in his first year of play, he has left his mark. Against UNLV he recovered a fumble and rumbled 48 yards before being caught from behind a yard short of the end zone. BYU went on to score. He also had a sack in the game against Air Force right in front of where all the BYU parents and family were seated.
BYU is undefeated in conference play at 5-0. They broke into the top 25 of the AP poll for the first time since 2001 just recently. When asked if he was surprised to be a starter already for BYU, Jorgensen was philisophical.
"Not really," he said. "It's an honor and a privilege to be a starter, but I want to be the best at what I do. What I wanted to do and what my goal was, was to start for BYU."
He also is glad he has avoided any major injuries so far. "I have been lucky with only a few minor injuries that have slowed me down, but nothing that has kept me out of play," he observed." You can't really avoid that in a game like football."
The highlight of his season has been the TCU game. TCU was ranked 15th at the time they lost to BYU. Jorgensen said it was fun to go down to their turf and dominate them.
"We got to the locker room afterwards and pounded each other on the back and sang the fight song. It was unreal!"
BYU will play for the out right Mountain West title on Thursday night against Wyoming.