From the islands of Hawaii, Ian Dulan was a relatively unknown defensive lineman who did not receive a lot of recruiting attention. However, after the first few days of practice, the Hawaii state shot put champion is showing that BYU’s coaching staff has a knack for finding talented players who were overlooked by other schools.
Dulan was rated a two-star prospect from Kamehameha High School in Oahu, Hawaii. When BYU extended a scholarship offer to what was then a 6-foot-1, 245-pound defensive tackle, many questioned the decision of extending such an offer.
As the season went on, many within Dulan’s recruiting class received more attention and were offered by major programs. They were also awarded with local and statewide honors for their on-field performances.
Dulan simply went about his business quietly, without much recognition. Life out of the spotlight quickly changed for Dulan after BYU’s fall practice began. He showed an ability to make plays against the talented Cougar offensive line, and, thereby, attracted attention from coaches, players and onlookers.
“I’m doing good I guess,” Dulan said. “I’m just trying not to get to home sick and just trying to keep up with all these Division I guys. Right now, I’m just giving it all I’ve got. It’s tough up here because the elevation is a lot different than back in Hawaii. I feel like I’m going to die every day, but I’m just trying to work my way up though.”
Despite coming from sea level, Dulan has been able to weather the past few days of Bronco Mendenhall’s rigorous drills. He takes pride that at the end of the day he is able to complete every event.
“I’m trying really hard to move up the depth charts,” Dulan said. “Right now I’m working hard to make the traveling squad. I’m on the third string practice squad with Jordan [Richardson] and Romney [Fuga].”
Lining up against the big BYU offensive linemen, Dulan learned that he no longer has the physical advantage he once enjoyed at Kamehameha.
“Being here is way tougher than in high school,” Dulan said. “Everything is elevated here. It’s tougher, quicker, and faster and everyone is smarter with greater technique. It has really shown me that I need to work on my technique more than just use speed and strength to beat people like I used to. Right now, I’m working a lot on my pass rush and just hanging in there with these guys. I just want to go ‘animal’ every time.”
Going “animal” is a perfect way to describe Dulan’s game. He is quick off the line and has a motor that simply does not quit. His tenacious style of play and never-give-up attitude will endear him to the heart of Coach Mendenhall.
In watching and evaluating the incoming players as they perform together, Dulan appears to be just as talented as the high profile defensive line newcomers.
“I try to just keep in there and give it all I’ve got,” said a humble Dulan. “I try to have heart when I play and I just hope for the better.”
Dulan shows that “heart” whenever his squad was called upon to face the offense. He has the unenviable task of taking on Travis Bright. The big 6-foot-5, 315-pound offensive lineman, whose nickname is “The Hulk,” is pushing Dulan to his limits and beyond.
“That number 74 guy [Bright], he’s really good,” Dulan said. “He’s really strong and fast for his size. I think that by playing with these top Division I, Mountain West Conference linemen that it will help me to get better. I’m having a lot of fun here and it’s different than being at home. I’m learning every day and just trying to get better to move up the depth charts. If I continue to work hard I know the Lord will provide.”
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