Anyone that has paid attention to the post-season all-star college football games has likely noticed that the state of Utah has been represented well. From Tevin Carter to Bronson Kaufusi, Gionni Paul, Kyler Fackrell and much, much more to Southern Utah University's James Cowser, LeShaun Sims and Miles Killebrew.
Cowser (East-West Shrine Game) and Killebrew (Senior Bowl) have garnered some of the state's top attention as the NFL Draft process begins, and are expected to add to the Thunderbirds lone draft pick in history (Brad Sorensen, 2012). In fact, NFL.com's Chase Goodbread even listed Killebrew as a potential 1st-round pick, among those participating in the Senior Bowl this weekend.
What do the trio of Cowser, Killebrew and Sims have in common? They were all recruited and/or coached by Demario Warren, who was promoted from SUU's secondaries coach to defensive coordinator in 2014 to head coach in January after Ed Lamb left to take an assistant head coach job at BYU.
In this weeks episode, Warren joins DeseretNews.com writer Carter Williams to discuss his path to coaching, being a part of the process of finding those diamonds in the rough garnering NFL attention, taking over the helm of the Thunderbirds, which won the 2015 Big Sky Conference title and have appeared in the FCS playoffs twice in the last three years.
Warren describes some of the recruiting process, including when SUU nearly lost out on FCS's all-time sack leader Cowser to Weber State because of not initially offering a full scholarship.
"I just remember the whole recruiting process because we offered him something when he was on his (visit to SUU) and he went home and I think at the time Weber State offered him more (scholarship) money," Warren recalls. "Our coaching staff really, really wanted Cowser, so we talked to Lamb and Lamb was like we need to go out there. I think it was Justin Ena and coach (Ryan) Hunt, coach Lamb and some of the other guys went up there (to Davis County) and said 'that was our mistake, we're going to offer you full (scholarship) and we want you to come down to Southern Utah.'"
Meanwhile, Warren also discusses the future of the T-Birds, including an impending quarterback battle between BYU transfer McCoy Hill and Tannon Pedersen, while the team also adds linebacker Zak Browning, the team's leading tackler (115 tackles) in 2012 as a freshman and second-leading tackler (106 tackles) in 2013 that returned off his LDS mission this offseason.
This and more on the Deseret News Sports Podcast!