Brighton High football player to sign with Stanford
May 02, 2017 11:23AM ● Published by Bryan Scott
Sione Lund celebrates with several leis around his neck after the team’'s senior night. (Richelle Hadley Lund/Facebook)
Gallery: Brighton High football player to signs with Standford [5 Images] Click any image to expand.
Brighton fullback Sione Lund is one of the elite players coming out of Utah high schools this season. He’s a four-star recruit according to 247sports.com, one of only five four- or five-star recruits coming from Utah schools.
The 6'1" 237 lb. Lund was a four-year starter at Brighton, rushing for 4,037 yards and 45 rushing touchdowns, which included 1,250 yards and 12 touchdowns his senior year.
On Feb. 1, Lund officially selected Stanford as his college destination on national signing day, though both he and his coach say he knew where he was going years earlier.
When Lund was a freshman, Brighton head football coach Ryan Bullett knew Lund would be highly recruited, so he called him into his office to help him start preparing.
“(Bullett) pulled me into his office during one class and said, ‘I think you have the potential to make it far in football, but I also want you to have the perspective of life after football,’” Lund said. “‘If I were you, I’d try my best to work hard for Stanford and to go there.’ He really gave me that perspective of working hard academically and getting into school there.”
Shortly after their meeting, Lund decided Stanford was the school he would shoot for.
“He made that decision right after his freshman season,” Bullett said. “We said, ‘Pick what school you want to go to. You’re going to get recruited by all these big schools,’ because he started for me as freshman playing in the state championship. He said, ‘Stanford’s my dream school.’”
Bullet gave Lund some guidance on how to get into Stanford after Lund decided Stanford was where he wanted to go.
“‘Well, let’s get your grades going, let’s get you in some AP classes,’ I said. You’ve got to work on your ACT and he did all the right things to get himself prepared and ready to go to Stanford,” Bullett said. “It was all himself motivating. He could have said, ‘You know, I want to go to Michigan or I want to go to Iowa,’ but he goes, ‘My dream school is Stanford,’ and he said that right after his freshman season.”
Lund said working toward going to Stanford was difficult both academically and athletically, but that working hard paid off. Lund is on track to graduate with a 3.8 GPA.
“A lot of people will get the idea that I’m incredibly smart,” Lund said. “I like to think I’m smart but it was more my hard work. Some people were born smart and other people work for it. Working hard became my smartness. It wasn’t my ‘IQ,’ it was my ‘I will,’ is what I like to say.”
Lund said getting into Stanford is tougher than a lot of other schools and that there were times he wanted to give up.
“The academic part was no easy feat, especially the application just to get in there is really tough,” Bullett said. “It’s a whole different process than every other school.”
Lund’s family provided the support he needed while he worked to keep his grades up.
“The role (my family) played was they just supported me throughout the whole thing, and I’m glad they gave me the support they did because who knows where I would be right now.”
Lund was adopted into the Lund home when he was a young teenager, but was only recently officially adopted, changing his last name from Heimuli to Lund.
Lund said one reason he selected Stanford was to be surrounded by a new type of people.
“It was more of an open culture (at Stanford). We live here in Utah and everyone’s the same, but when I went to Stanford it was unique,” Lund said. “Everyone is something because it’s Stanford and that was one of the best things about going there. All the football players are known as football players. They all get the attention but just every single person you meet has something unique about them and they’re incredibly talented in some way.”
Bullett said some athletes don’t want to play in state because they want to experience something new.
“I think sometimes the kids just want to try a different culture than what’s offered here,” Bullett said. “People don’t ever want to talk about that, but that’s what these kids are doing. There’s a lot of kids in the state who just want to go try a different culture.”
Lund is LDS and said Defensive Coordinator Lance Anderson being LDS helped him know he was in the right place when visiting Stanford.
“When I first met Coach Anderson he told me that he was LDS and how they work with missionaries, and that attracted me and of course my family,” said Lund. “It was nice to know that you won’t be an outcast there by being different by what you believe — that’s what Stanford is all about, being different and believing in what you believe in.”
There are a few other reasons Lund selected Stanford.
“(Stanford’s) a big-time facility, a big-time I mean all their sports,” Bullett said. “Their athletic budget is the top in the PAC-12 by a wide margin. The appeal of the campus is gorgeous. It’s big-time football. I think those are the things that drew him there.”
Other teams high on Lund’s list included Michigan, LSU, UCLA and BYU.
“Those are the kinds of schools that stood out to me and just because of the relationships I created with those coaches and of course being close to home.” Lund said. “The normal things teenagers like, ya know. The nice gear and the attention they attract. So those schools were up there for me, but I kind of knew where I wanted to go to school this whole time.”
Lund plans to enroll at Stanford in June and start playing with the football team in the fall.
Though Lund played mostly fullback in high school he plans to play running back at Stanford.
“They have plenty of fullbacks up there right now so they’re putting me at running back,” Lund said. “I’m happy about it.”
Lund said a combination of factors makes Stanford the best place for him.
“I think (Stanford) speaks for itself really both academically and athletically,” Lund said. “There are a ton of other places where I could have gone and got a great education as well, but I just knew Stanford was the best place for me. Just in the offense and how they run things. It just gave me a different feeling. I just knew it’d best for my future to attend Stanford.”