Motes Family

Cole Motes, center, with parents Rick and Rachel Motes, and his siblings Heath, right, Marley, and Wyatt (on the phone).

THATCHER — Back in seventh grade, Cole Motes and his classmates created a time capsule they planned to open at the end of their senior year. Motes’ contribution included a letter stating his goal to play college football or baseball.

Consider that mission accomplished with his commitment to play football for Utah State.

However, before football comes faith, and Motes will serve a two-year mission in Mexico for his church, something most colleges don’t have the patience to respect. Fortunately for Motes, Utah State was more than happy to work with the 6-foot, 5-inch athlete and honor the scholarship.

Mother Rachel Motes said, “I’m super excited for him. He’s worked really hard for a lot of years to get to this point, and I’m excited to see him go. Utah State seems like a great fit for him. They really care about their kids, the town is amazing, and they’re super behind their football players.”

It’s going to take a bit of commitment to catch a few games, but the Motes family will be there to support their latest grad.

“We’re already planning on it. We’re going to make it work,” Rachel said.

Father Rick Motes said, “It’s surreal. In that letter, he said he wanted to play football or basketball for a Division I school. And it happened. It’s crazy. There were several other schools that were in serious contact with him, but when they found out he was going on a mission, they decided they don’t do that. So, he had to choose, but he stuck to his guns to go on a mission, and Utah State came around and it turned out to be a perfect fit. Great place, great program, great coaches.”

When asked how Utah State became the perfect choice, Cole said, “The mission was a big part for sure, but my parents and I went on a visit, and it had a nice feel to it. It reminded me a lot of home here in the Gila Valley. It’s way bigger, but it’s open and gave me a good feeling, and that I just fit in.

“I love the coaches. I met and talked to each of them. They really want me and make me feel like I can contribute. They still wanted me even after going on a mission, and would still have the option of me playing right when I come back.”

Cole heads to Tijuana on July 2 and works his way down Baja California, Mexico, from there. After his mission, he’ll have a short period of time to relax at home before reporting to Utah and suiting up.

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