Texas lineman still holds interest

Offensive guard Hiva Lutui from Trinity High School in Euless, Texas has yet to receive a scholarship offer from the Cougars of BYU despite the fact that BYU was the first college to recruit him. Since that initial recruitment, Lutui has gotten more interest and offers rolling in, but there is still one college he hopes will pull the trigger.

Total Blue Sports first brought to light a talented Trinity High School offensive lineman prospect by the name of Hiva Lutui a year ago, and he has since been ranked as the nation's 12th-best offensive guard by Scout. He's also grown a little since last summer as well, and is now right in the thick of recruiting.

"I'm getting bigger," Lutui said. "I'm 6'2" and a half and 279 right now. Before when the last time you talked with me I was 260 pounds. Everything is going good right now. I'm just dealing with a lot of the recruiting stuff that's going on right now. It's been pretty crazy."

In fact, the recruiting pressures have been turned up a little. Last Monday and Tuesday a total of five schools had coaches on the Trinity High School campus to watch Lutui and his teammates work out.

"Yesterday at practice, there were quite a few college coaches there watching," he said. "There was Kansas, Iowa State, Louisiana Tech, Michigan and another team that I couldn't quite see. Then Miami was down here on Monday as well."

To date, Lutui claims five offers.

"I've been offered by UCLA, Texas A&M, TCU, Michigan and Utah," Lutui said. "BYU said they want to offer me, but they want me to come down for a visit first. I was talking to Coach DuPaix and they want to see me one more time before they do, so that's kind of like the deal."

Although he doesn't have an official offer from BYU, Lutui hopes that the Cougar staff will make that official soon.

"I had BYU as my top school for a while, but it's just been kind of staling on me, you know what I mean? But, yeah, I'm still interested in BYU. Me and Ilaiu [Moeakiola] really considered BYU. It's just we haven't received the offers yet. But, it's all good."

At one time, former BYU wide receiver coach Patrick Higgins was heavily recruiting Lutui and Moeakiola. Lutui made a trip up to BYU to visit with the coaches in the hope that they would extend him an offer at the time. However, his visit occurred during the transition period when former coaches were moving on and new coaches were moving in. Needless to say, the visit didn't go as smoothly as planned.

"I went up there before," he said. "Coach Higgins was the wide receivers coach and he was recruiting us hard over here. I went up to BYU last summer and they had a whole new coaching staff, so things got a little mixed up when I was up there."

New recruiting coordinator and running backs coach Joe DuPaix is now in charge of recruiting Texas. Since his hire at BYU, he's had some catching up to do. Coach DuPaix has ramped up his effort now the transition situation has settled in.

"I think they just want to talk to me because there was that whole new deal with the coaching staff," said Lutui. "The recruiting situation with me got all jumbled up, and I think they're trying to catch back up with me, so they want me to come back up."

With Coach DuPaix, Lutui feels the Cougars have made up some ground since the "staling period." He feels BYU is back to where they were prior to Coach Higgins leaving for Purdue.

"Yeah, it's just like before now," he said. "I'm really interested in BYU. I still have them in my top six, but there are other schools that have offered me, so I have to consider them right now."

According to Lutui, BYU is still looking at some of his teammates.

"BYU is still recruiting Iliau as well," Lutui said. "Man, he's doing good and he was named all-district over here and newcomer of the year. So they're recruiting me, Iliau and Lahi Kautai, our quarterback."

Moeakiola plays safety, while Kautai is the younger brother of BYU linebacker commit Teu Kautai.

Like before, Lutui has plans to once again make the trip up to Provo, Utah to visit the coaching staff. He said he will hopefully make it to BYU's Junior Day.

While there, he hopes the Cougars will extend an offer.

"I hope so," he said with slight laugh in his voice. "That would be really nice because I'm really interested in BYU."

The reason why BYU is still on his list is because of the type of life expectations the university holds its students to. Lutui, a deeply religious member of the Methodist faith, often attends Bible camps in the summer and feels that the environment at BYU suits him best.

"I told Coach DuPaix that one of the things that I like about BYU that's different than other schools is how clean the campus was and how friendly the people are," Lutui said. "Everyone there is easy to get along with. I've made some unofficial visits to some of the other schools and it was kind of crazy. Some of the kids were going crazy and there were parties and all that."

Lutui's qualifications for the school he chooses haven't changed over the past year. In fact, his position on what he wants has only solidified due to some experiences he's had on unofficial visits to some of the colleges that have shown interest in him.

"I'm really looking at a college with great academics," he said. "I think academics are very important because football might not always be there. I mean, to make it into the league is a one-in-a-million chance. I just want to go to a school where I can get a good education in case I don't make it into the league. That way I can get a good job and raise my family.

"Another thing that I'm looking for is to play within my first two years. I don't want to be on the sidelines the whole time and would like to play.

"I just want to be at a good school and not at one of those schools where they always get into trouble. I want to go to a school where there's a good campus, and that's why I really like BYU – just how clean they are, and I really like their dress code and their honor code.

"To me, if kids can't follow those rules, then they can't follow rules in life. So I like that part about BYU a lot because if you can't follow those simple rules, imagine how hard it would be live without rules. It's just something that helps teach kids to be true to themselves and to their values."


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