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Friday, November 28, 2008

EHS grad seeks great ending to college football career

Posted: Friday, Nov 28th, 2008

Bryce Scanlon, 2003 EHS graduate, is a senior and an anchor on the defensive line for the Weber State University football team this fall.

A former Evanston High School standout athlete hopes to put an exclamation mark on a standout college football career in the coming weeks.

Bryce Scanlon is a senior nose tackle for the Weber State University football team in Ogden, Utah. Scanlon and his Weber State teammates will compete in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA).

Scanlon graduated from EHS in 2003. He was an All-State football player and state high school wrestling champion in his senior season for the Red Devils. Bryce is the son of Diana and Dave Majors of Evanston, and Floyd Scanlon, who lives in his native Samoa.

Bryce and his Weber State teammates traveled to San Luis Obispo, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 29, to face Cal Poly in the first round of the NCAA FCS playoffs.

Weber State, 9-3, earned the playoff berth by winning the Big Sky Conference championship. Cal Poly, 8-2, won the Great West Conference title to earn a berth in the 16-team FCS playoff field.

Saturday’s kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Mountain Time.

Weber State likely would have hosted Cal Poly if the Wildcats could have won their regular-season finale last Saturday against Eastern Washington. Weber State fell behind in the first half, and a second-half rally fell short as Eastern Washington claimed a 33-26 victory.

Scanlon’s great game

Scanlon did everything he could to help his team win last Saturday. The 6-2, 295-pounder registered 12 tackles, including four solo stops, with a quarterback sack and three tackles for losses.

“I think it was actually the best game of my career,” Bryce said. “It was Senior Night, and you have to come out and give it your all. You’ve got all your family there, so that makes you play better. That puts pressure on you to show everybody your talent.”

Bryce’s father came all the way from Samoa – about a 13-hour plane trip – to watch him play in Ogden last Saturday. Bryce said his dad has watched him play in person several times this season.

The FCS playoff selections were televised live Sunday, Nov. 23, on ESPNU. The telecast said Weber would be hosting a first-round playoff game, but that proved to be wrong.

“When we got selected on ESPNU, at first they said Cal Poly was coming here,” Bryce said. “I called and told everybody, everyone was excited. We found out an hour later that it was a mistake, so we have to go there (to Cal Poly). My parents are all buying tickets. My family’s all coming to follow us.”

Scanlon said Cal Poly has a strong option attack, and the EHS grad should be busy in the front line trying to shut down the California team.

“If we stop the run, they will have to go through the air, and we have pretty good cornerbacks to lock down,” Bryce said. “We’ve just got to go out there and stop their run, and don’t let them get any big plays.”

Scanlon is seventh on the Weber State squad with 48 total tackles. He has 14 unassisted stops. His 6.5 sacks ranks third on the Wildcats this season.

Transferred from Utah

Scanlon received a full-ride football scholarship to the University of Utah after his stellar prep career at EHS. He spent two years in Salt Lake City, including sitting out as a redshirt in his first season at Utah.

After seeing very limited playing time for the Utes as a redshirt sophomore, he decided to transfer to Weber State.

Bryce has been a mainstay on the Wildcat defensive line in his three seasons in Ogden.

Scanlon knows most of the names on this year’s Utah squad that finished 12-0 and is likely to gain a BCS bowl berth. He knows he could have possibly been a part of that team if he had stayed in Salt Lake. But Bryce is very happy with the way his college career has unfolded.

“I played with pretty much all the (current Utah) seniors, and I know all the kids because we hosted a lot of them on recruiting trips,” Bryce said. “I’m glad to see them doing good. But things were meant for me to be here. I’m glad my team did well, and I’m glad for my buddies over at Utah.”

Bryce got a chance earlier this season to meet his old U of U teammates on the gridiron. Weber State played at Utah Sept. 27, and the Wildcats played tough in a 37-21 loss to the unbeaten Utes. Weber’s other loss was at Hawaii Sept. 6, as the Wildcats watched a 10-point halftime lead disappear.

Scanlon is majoring in Communications, Public Relations and Advertising at Weber State, with a minor in Health Promotion. Bryce said he will graduate next spring.
NFL possibilities

Floyd Scanlon was a standout college football player at the University of Missouri (actually NW Missouri State). Floyd is a cousin to standout NFL linebacker Junior Seau. Bryce said his dad never got a chance to play professionally, as a severe knee injury ended his football career. Bryce said he would like to get a shot at the NFL, but he has a great college education to fall back on if pro football doesn’t work out.

“I’m just going to finish the season out and start training hard, see if I can’t get some pro numbers up here, get all that done and see where that takes me,” he said. “I’ve got good schooling, so if that (NFL) doesn’t work out, whatever happens will have a reason, and we’ll just go with it.”


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