Before Saturday’s football game against Virginia more than half of BYU’s football team found themselves behind bars at the Utah State Prison. BYU’s football coach Bronco Mendenhall and many players offered words of inspiration and hope to roughly 125 inmates in the Con-Quest program.
Con-Quest is an inpatient substance abuse treatment designed to facilitate a successful reentry into society by teaching responsible living. For inmates it was a great opportunity to connect with the outside world and receive much needed encouragement. This is the fifth year BYU has held a Friday fireside at the prison.
According to Deseret News Bronco Mendenhall likes taking his team there because of what he feels they get out of it.
Anything that I could possibly do in the role of BYU’s football coach to possibly make one day here a little bit better — it’s worth it.
Inmates asked questions and received advice from players. Few questions arose about the upcoming football game. A number of inmates asked for advice for drug and painkiller addiction in reference to Max Hall who was arrested for drug possession and shoplifting in Arizona.
Former offensive lineman Tim Duran spoke about his addiction to prescription pain pills and trying cocaine before he came to Provo. Sophomore defensive back Kai Nacua and Sophomore wide receiver Jake Ziolkowski both spoke about family members who had passed away. “Hardships strengthen your relationships with God,” said Ziolkowski.