How and why did the family of passionate Utah Utes fans, whose son Zach Wilson became BYU’s quarterback, shift their allegiance from red to blue?

Lisa Wilson, a lifelong University of Utah football enthusiast, experienced a range of emotions upon hearing the news. When she returned to her Draper home last December, she received unexpected information from her husband Mike, a former defensive tackle for Utah’s football teams in the 1990s. Mike had just spoken with BYU head coach Kalani Sitake, who expressed interest in recruiting their son, Zach Wilson, a standout senior quarterback at Corner Canyon High School.

Initially annoyed, then angry, and eventually somewhat apprehensive, Lisa had firmly rejected the idea of Zach considering BYU. Despite numerous offers from other schools, Zach had committed to Boise State months earlier. Lisa recalled, “I said ‘no way, no way. Nope, not a chance. We are not going down there. That’s not an option.'”

However, Lisa had a change of heart after Sitake explained the situation. BYU’s previous offensive coordinator had not reached out to the Wilsons due to another commitment, which left Zach unrecruited by BYU until then. Reluctantly, Lisa agreed to visit BYU, and the family was surprised by the warm reception they received. Lisa described their visit to Provo, where they were treated exceptionally well, meeting coaches, players, professors, and administrators. This experience challenged their preconceptions about BYU, as Lisa noted, “these people aren’t anything like we’ve been led to believe. They’re great people.”

Sitake apologized for the oversight in not recruiting Zach earlier and acknowledged his talent and achievements. The turning point for Lisa came when BYU showcased a video of fans worldwide expressing their love for the school. Seeing this support from fans globally resonated deeply with Lisa, who felt strongly that Zach could be a positive role model for young fans everywhere.

“That minute was a real emotional time for me. That did it for me,” Lisa said, reflecting on her realization during the visit to BYU.