Jared Frey always wanted to be a running back. His size did not allow it.
That size, however, helped him become a standout lineman and helped him reach his dream of playing college football. Thursday, Frey will sign a national letter of intent to attend Northern Colorado.
Frey, 6-foot-6 and 283 pounds, will be a preferred walk-on with a chance for a future scholarship for the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA) program in Greeley, Colo.
Frey could have had a scholarship from the Bears, who were 5-6 last season and 4-4 in the Big Sky Conference.
"I waited too long," he said. "I was waiting for an offer around home. NIU [Northern Illinois University] was my dream school. I went to a camp there, but they were only taking one offensive lineman."
Last summer, Frey attended upwards of 20 camps throughout the country, where he was seen by many major college scouts.
Later, he received "six to eight" walk-on offers, with Iowa and Southeast Missouri State among them. Illinois was also in the mix at one time, but when the coaching staff changed, the interest in Frey died down.
"Northern Colorado was the only scholarship offer," Frey said. "I decided that it's the best fit for me. I'm ecstatic. It's everything I wanted and more."
Frey began playing organized football in fifth grade. He was always a lineman, and he was not allowed to play defense in youth football because of its weight restriction rule.
"I wished I wasn't so big and could run the ball," he said. "I always wanted to be a running back. I even asked [Dixon coach Dave Smith] if I could run the ball on the last play of my senior year. But he just said I was crazy."
Frey, who plans to major in business, is confident he will receive a scholarship in the near future. He said Bears head coach Earnest Collins told him he would not be surprised if he received scholarship money early.
High school: Dixon
Future college: Northern Colorado (Football Championship Subdivision, formerly I-AA)
Signing day: Thursday at Dixon High School