Ian has been the most productive defensive lineman in camp so far. So sharp, in terms of position mastery, trying really hard, loves to play. He's really, really been impressive. – Coach Bronco Mendenhall

PROVO — Ian Dulan started his BYU career in 2006 as a 17-year-old freshman defensive lineman. After playing for three seasons, he decided to serve a mission.

The 6-foot-1, 270-pounder from Hilo, Hawaii, returned last July, just weeks before the start of fall camp. Not fully ready to play, Dulan redshirted last season.

"The mind's always there and 100 percent, but the body's not," he said after Thursday's practice. "In the beginning it took a little while to get back, but I think I'm 100 percent body, soul and spirit. I'm all good. The coaches wanted me to take that and get stronger, faster and smarter in the game. That's what I did."

Coach Bronco Mendenhall said Dulan has made the most of his opportunity during spring drills.

"Ian has been the most productive defensive lineman in camp so far," he said. "So sharp, in terms of position mastery, trying really hard, loves to play. He's really, really been impressive."

Since last July, Dulan has been preparing for his one final season of eligibility.

"I've been coming in to lift every morning at 6 o'clock," Dulan said. "I've gotten a lot stronger than I was before I left on my mission. I've been doing extra work in the film room, in the weight room and on the field."

Dulan said he gained a lot from spending two years in the mission field, serving in the Illinois, Peoria Mission.

"I felt like I've grown a lot and matured a lot, physically, spiritually and socially in some aspects," he explained. "I'm loving it, coming back from my mission. Those two years were great memorable years for me. There were a lot of tough times, but good memories, good companions, fun times as well.."

Defensive line coach Steve Kaufusi said Dulan has come a long way since joining the program as a 17-year-old.

View Comments

"He sees life in a different light, definitely. He played on the scout team last year and he's doing great this spring."

Asked what he wants to accomplish in his senior campaign, Dulan said, "Be motivated and dedicated to the game. And go undefeated. Getting back into the groove is slow but sure. I can't wait until the fall and the season."

NOTES: Legendary coach LaVell Edwards, former Cougar player and coach Brian Mitchell (who is now the defensive coordinator at East Carolina) and former BYU linebacker David Nixon were among those who attended Thursday's practice … Quarterback Riley Nelson completed 9-of-10 passes for 86 yards, one touchdown and one interception … Wide receiver Cody Hoffman had three receptions for 36 yards and a touchdown … Asked about much of the ground being frozen on the outdoor practice field, Mendenhall joked that the Cougars could schedule a team like Wisconsin. Then, Mendenhall added, "There's a good chance that could happen."

email: jeffc@desnews.com

Join the Conversation
Looking for comments?
Find comments in their new home! Click the buttons at the top or within the article to view them — or use the button below for quick access.