People sometimes ask Marveta Allen why she would allow her son Brian Logan play football at Brigham Young University. “Because that’s where God wants him,” Allen replies.
At just 5′6″ tall Brian was overlooked by Division 1 colleges coming out of Washington High School in Fremont, California.
He decided to attend Foothill Junior College and try to take his game to the next level.
With his work ethic, athletic ability, and performance on the field, Logan was named as an all-conference player as a freshman at Foothill.
During his sophomore year, he received that coveted scholarship offer from San Diego State. But a coaching change after the 2008 season for the Aztecs left Brian and his family wondering if a new coaching staff would honor the offer.
They were to be disappointed. “I remember the day we found out [the new coaching staff wasn't going to offer Brian the scholarship]; it was Martin Luther King Day, “ says Marveta. “I told Brian that San Diego State is not where God wants you to go. And literally an hour later, coach (Jamie) Hill called and wanted to come see him.
“Coach Hill told Brian that if you [commit to BYU], you’re going to get calls from other schools. He was right; the very next day Utah State called and offered him a scholarship.”
Later during a trip to the Provo campus, Marveta and Brian had the opportunity to meet privately with BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall.
“Bronco broke down everything for us, what was expected of a player and a student at BYU. I don’t know if other coaches do that, but it made me feel good that Brian would be in good hands. That was the icing on the cake.”
Allen was also impressed with the school’s honor code. “When Brian told me that the school has an honor code, that you couldn’t smoke or drink or have sex, I said that’s the place for you!” Marveta chuckles. “I had the biggest smile on my face when I found that out.”
Marveta raised Brian as a single mom, although she says she had a lot of help from relatives. Brian’s biological father was also in his life as he was growing up.
Marveta was committed to raising her son in an atmosphere where he could learn good values. “He went to a private Christian school when he was young,” says Allen. “I’ve always been in a church and he came with me; that’s where he got his foundation.”
Still some may consider it quite a challenge for a non-Mormon, African-American to fit in at BYU. For Marveta and Brian, any reservations they had were resolved by studying what the Church and its members believed and practiced prior to Brian arriving on campus.
“What I have taught him is that you have to respect other people’s religion,” explains Allen. “I respect the Mormon religion. I like that everything revolves around the family and that its members go out as missionaries. They do a lot of things that I wish a lot of other Christian churches would do.”
Still, Brian found himself wanting for friendship for his first few weeks in Provo. “He was lonely. I encouraged him to buy a PlayStation 3 because he was bored, ” says Marveta. “Later he started to hang out with some of his teammates and started to make some friends.”
Brian also experienced some up and downs on the field of play. Despite his lack of height, Logan was named as the starting field corner for the Cougars.
He quickly became target for opposing offenses, who were looking to take advantage of him. He also withstood criticism from fans and the media as he adjusted his game to the next level. “I never worried about that. He had to get adjusted in the beginning. He’s just a powerhouse and he refuses to get beat,” says Marveta about Brian’s difficulties at the start of the 2009 season.
Utilizing his strength, sure tackling, solid coverage skills and his 36-inch vertical leap, Logan progressed and improved as the season wore on. He ended the year second in the nation in pass break-ups, totaled 44 tackles and hauled in three interceptions. He also won over many BYU fans in the process.
Fans’ appreciation for his efforts were evidenced by the LaVell Edwards Stadium crowd chanting his name as he came off the field with an injury in the final home game against Utah.
The showing of affection for his son by fans was not lost on his mother. “I have it on tape when he got hurt and the crowd was chanting his name. Just to see that was really nice. I just said ‘Wow’ when that happened,” says Marveta, who proudly plays that video to visitors in her home.
‘Everyone at my church watches BYU. I’m sure that they will continue to watch even after Brian leaves BYU. I know I will too. I’m a fan!”
She says she’s also a fan of her son and the attitude he has displayed through everything. Particularly how he handled being disciplined by the BYU coaches during the Utah State game last year. Brian was made to sit the bench for most of the game for violation of team rules.
Instead of sulking or taking it personally, Brian made it a point to be front and center encouraging and congratulating his teammates throughout the game. “That was the proudest moment, the way he got out there and cheered on his teammates. That was a Kodak moment for me.”
One thing that many Cougar fans do not know about Brian is that he played the entire 2009 season with a hernia in his groin. Allen says that it was an injury that he sustained during his sophomore season at Foothill and was not properly diagnosed until after the end of his junior year at BYU. He underwent surgery to fix the problem this past January.
Now fully healthy, and with a year of experience at BYU under his belt, Logan is prepared for a new role in 2010 – that of being a leader on a Cougar team looking for its fifth-consecutive, 10-plus win season.
“He says that he is having the time of his life,” says Allen. “The welcome he has received has played a big part of him being successful. I ask him all the time, can you imagine if you were at San Diego State? We believe God closed the door at San Diego State and opened the door at BYU, and it was as clear as water where he should be.”