In 2001, Luke Staley was the Jimmer Fredette of Provo.
He was a consensus All American and Doak Walker winner (best college football running back). He also led BYU to a 12-0 start that year and a national ranking along with his partner-in-crime Brandon Doman.
Fandom morale was high and the name “Luke” moved from the 60th most popular Utah baby name in 2001 to the 29th most popular Utah baby name in 2002 — a jump I attribute to the popularity of No. 6.
Today, after enduring 21 surgeries on assorted body parts, Staley calls his days at BYU the best times in his life and the worst times. The best because of the friendships he found there and the success the team experienced on the football field and the worst because of the chronic arthritis he silently endures.
The 33-year-old pharmaceutical salesman for Daiichi Sankyo Inc. (DSI) is now married to a former University of Utah (gasp!) cheerleader named Heather, and they’re the proud parents to two rambunctious boys, Tate (age 10) and Crew (age 7) who are currently starring in the Draper, Utah Pee Wee football, basketball and baseball leagues. Staley says that while Tate leans Utah red, Crew is true BYU blue.
“Tate likes to please his mother. If he had to make a choice, he’d probably pick Utah to make his mom happy,” Staley said with a smile.
Staley says that while his passion for college football has waned since leaving BYU for the Detriot Lions in 2001 — he has found new passions coaching his sons’ sports teams, spending way too much money on eating out (his favorite places are Pago “on 9th and 9th,” The Cooper Onion and Mazza) and developing his craft as a serious photographer.
“This might seem like a boring life to some people, but to me, this is just how I want life to be,” Staley said.
Here are 19 examples of Staley’s work in and around the Beehive state.