21TRK Photoday Photography by BYU Photo © BYU PHOTO 2018 All Rights Reserved photo@byu.edu (801) 422-7322

Former Highland High School standout Jacob Boren survived walk-on tryouts at BYU in the summer of 2019.

His reward? Workout gear and absolutely no guarantees.

Boren has had an impact on special teams during the Cougars 2021 season and has been getting a few reps in the defensive backfield as well. Facing the run-and-shoot offense this week at Washington State could provide even more opportunities for the speedy sophomore.

But the fact is, Boren started at the very bottom.

If a high school football recruit doesn’t merit a scholarship offer, they might be lucky enough to earn “preferred walk-ons” status, which means the coaches know you by name and will hold a place for you on the roster.

Boren was not a preferred walk-on. In fact, once the 5-foot-8, 165-pound running back/defensive back completed his high school career and chose to serve a church mission, he figured his football playing days were over.

After serving in Pennsylvania, Boren enrolled at BYU in August of 2019 and planned to study construction management. His life changed one day when he saw a flyer for football tryouts posted on campus. He filled out the paperwork but only his parents knew his plans.

Read more