BYU looking at another Servite athlete

First, Coach Kaufusi visited Servite High School and met with head coach Troy Thomas. Then, on Monday, Coach Tidwell dropped by and also paid a visit. Aside from Butch Pau'u, BYU is also interested in a dual-purpose athlete that has gone way under the radar after he suffered an injury last season.

Last season, junior Jherremya Leuta-Douyere played on both sides of the ball for Anaheim powerhouse Servite High School.

"I can play fullback or running back," said the 6-foot-1-inch, 225-pound Leuta-Douyere. "On defense they put me in as a rush defensive end/outside linebacker sort of position. I think I'm a big back and hard to bring down. I just try to go out there to do what I can to get a first down. I'm pretty fast for my size.

"I bench around 340 pounds right now and squat around 405. We do a lot of lifting at Servite. We spend a lot of time in the weight room. My vertical is around 32 and my forty is around 4.6, I think."

Recently, Coach Kaufusi was able to speak with Leuta-Douyere about BYU.

"Coach Kaufusi basically told me about BYU and told me what kind of players they're looking for," said Leuta-Douyere. "He said that he already knew what I could do on the football field, but that he just wanted to get to know me and see how I would fit in at BYU."

A member of the Catholic faith, Leuta-Douyere said he likes the unique aspects about BYU.

"I think I would fit into the school really well," he said. "I know you don't have to be Mormon to go there and it's a school with a good environment for all faiths. If I'm going to college, I'm looking to go for academic reasons and not just for football. Football is just a way to get to college, and there's no reason to go to college just to party. That's the good thing about BYU is they place school first and leave all the other distractions behind.

"I also think I would fit in well at BYU because I'm very humble and I just want to focus on football and academics. I have a 3.9 GPA and I'm just thinking BYU would be good choice."

His close friend and Servite teammate Butch Pau'u agrees.

"We'd love to play at BYU," Pau'u said. "He comes from a great family and likes the fact that there are a lot of Polies over there, so he would fit in perfectly."

Although he plays out of position as a rush defensive end, Leuta-Douyere feels he could be slated to play linebacker at the next level. If he had his pick of positions, however, he thinks the fullback position is probably suited best for his talents.

"I'm kind of looking at playing fullback at the college level right now," said Leuta-Douyere. "I'm just a hard-nosed football player and I like having the ball in my hands. I like scoring touchdowns and hitting guys as a fullback when I block."

When playing on the offensive side of the ball as a fullback, he often faces Pau'u in practice. Leuta-Douyere says that when they go head-to-head, it becomes a clash of the titans, and there's usually only one result and it's not pretty.

"When I'm running across the middle, it's either he's going to win or I'm going to win," Leuta-Douyere said. "We really challenge each other a lot of the field, but when Butch gets a hold of you, look out. He's really good and probably the best linebacker there is in Southern California."

Leuta-Douyere plans on coming out to BYU's summer camp this year in June with Pau'u.

"If I can't come out there with [Pau'u], then I'm going to come up with my head coach, Coach Thomas," said Leuta-Douyere. "We would just come up and meet the coaches and check things out on the campus."

According to Leuta-Douyere, BYU has taken a big interest in him.

"I would say BYU has taken an interest in me and they've done their homework on me," he said. "I'm trying to go to a place where I can be in a good environment and feel comfortable being away from home. I know BYU has a lot of Polynesians there that play football, and I think if me and Butch went there it would be a great thing because we're really close."

According to Pau'u, should Leuta-Douyere choose BYU, he could indeed end up on the offensive side of the ball.

"[Steve Kaufusi] was able to talk to Jherremya," said Pau'u. "They really like him and they think he could be another Harvey Unga at BYU."

"I've seen some highlights of Harvey, and he was a good running back," Leuta-Douyere said. "I've never met him in person though."

Aside from BYU, other colleges that have shown a lot of interest in him are Colorado, Oregon State and Nebraska.

"Colorado has a really good interest in me right now and I get emails from them," he said. "I've also spoken with coaches from Oregon State and I get a lot of letters from Nebraska.

"I don't really know very much about Colorado," he continued. "Their running back coach [Eric Bieniemy] coached one of our coaches on our high school staff right now. Colorado said that I reminded them of him, so that's why they're really interested right now.

"Oregon State is probably one big school that I'm looking at. It's somewhere different and they're a rival of Oregon. I would like to go to a school that's kind of an underdog. I don't know if they're looking at me as a linebacker or for running back."

Leuta-Douyere has flown way under the recruiting radar, thanks in large part to an injury he suffered last year around mid-season.

"I was rushing in on the quarterback and as I was running one of their offensive tackles cheap shot me," he said. "I tore my meniscus. I decided to have it repaired, which took longer. I could have had some of it cut off and then been back in three days. Repairing it meant I would be good for the rest of my life instead of having problems with it in a couple of years.

"I think a lot of the reason why I'm so under the radar is because of my decision. I probably could have came back earlier and played the rest of the season and gotten some more looks, but I think God has a plan for and it happened for a reason."

Total Blue Sports will follow up with Leuta-Douyere to see if he was able to speak with Coach Tidwell during Monday's visit.

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