So how did Chris Sciarretta end up walking on the University of Utah football team and converting to the Mormon church?
"That's a good question," he said with a laugh.
When the story is pieced together, the key elements include loyal friends, a Mormon girlfriend and her friendly family, a concerned mother and a dream to play college football.
But even if Sciarretta never plays a down in Rice-Eccles Stadium, coming to Utah has already changed his life.
"If I hadn't come to the U., I don't know if I would have joined the church and gained a testimony. Being out here made it happen for me," the scout team linebacker said. "It's pretty amazing."
Sciarretta describes his upbringing like this: "I come from a big Italian family. They're loud, they drink, they yell. So looking back of course I never heard about the church because my family didn't quite fit the bill to be Mormon."