Pau'u blowing it up

One of the top linebackers in the state of California is attending BYU's summer camp. Butch Pau'u of Servite High School in Anaheim had a very productive first day of touring the campus, and showed campers why he's become of the best middle linebackers in California.

"It went really well," Butch Pau'u said about BYU's camp on Monday. "We got up around 7:00 [Monday] and got ready. We went up and toured the Hall of Legends and then we had practice at 10:00, and that went really well. Coach Steve Kaufusi took Jherremya [Leuta-Douyere] out a little early and we toured the campus. We had so much fun. We had a tour guide and he showed us around."

Pau'u was shocked to learn that BYU was nationally ranked in many academic departments.

"I didn't know that BYU was nationally ranked in certain academic areas," Pau'u said. "They're one of the best in business and law and many other areas. I knew they were always nationally ranked in football, but I didn't know BYU was nationally ranked in many academic departments."

Pau'u and Leuta-Douyere also saw BYU's new state of the art broadcasting facilities, considered some of the best in the country.

"We did [see the broadcasting building] but we didn't get a chance to go inside," Pau'u said. "It's really, really big and really, really beautiful."

Now, back to the practice field. The linebackers and running backs were paired up and faced off in some one-on-one competition under the watchful eye of BYU coaches. Standing nearby, Pau'u watched a specific running back bull his way through scholarship hopefuls.

"On the very first play, one of the running backs went up against one of our linebackers," Pau'u said. "When the running back came at him, he head-butted him!"

Pau'u would have none of that.

"When it was his turn to go, I jumped in and went up against him," Pau'u said. "I was a little anxious, and that running back tried to do the same thing to me, so I reversed pancaked him."

Hopping back up, Pau'u went to the back of the line as the running back picked himself off the turf. When it was time for Pau'u to go again, he looked across from him and saw the same running back in a three-point stance. Determination was written all over his face.

"The second time I came up, I did the exact same thing to him," Pau'u said. "I don't know who he was, but he was a running back from Utah. It was the start of a good day for me.

"I kind of felt bad about it afterwards," Pau'u said. "I reached down to pick him up but he just pushed my hand away. I thought, 'Oh gosh!' It was so much fun though."

For Pau'u, the highlight of Monday's experience was the fireside many of the camp prospects attended following the camp.

"It was just amazing," Pau'u said. "They had a fireside later that night and it was just amazing. There was a running back that just returned home from his mission around three weeks ago and he spoke. They had the starting outside linebacker [Kyle Van Noy] also speak at the fireside. He spoke about free agency and about making right decisions in life. Then Coach Mendenhall spoke and finished off the night. It was just beautiful and Coach Mendenhall is so amazing."

Thinking Coach Mendenhall was always a tough, stern and hardnosed football coach, Pau'u actually saw the other side of BYU's Captain Moroni.

"Honestly, it seems like he's so much different from … I mean, I was expecting some guy that was sort of psycho," Pau'u said. "I mean, I heard he's sort of psycho when he trains the football team, but I wasn't expecting what I saw from him that night. He was soft-spoken, humble and just a great inspirational speaker. It was really awesome to see that.

"I was talking to some of the coaches and they were like, 'Hey Butch, when are you going to commit? Bronco is waiting for you to commit.' I was like, 'Aw, I don't know.' You know, there are guys that say they're going to wait but then go to a summer camp and end up committing. I might be one of those guys."

While Pau'u is here in Utah, his mother is back home praying her son will in fact commit to BYU.

"I probably might [commit] because back home my mom is praying in California," Pau'u said. "She's praying that I commit sooner than later. She just wants me to get rid of all this talk about, 'Is Butch going to Washington? Is Butch going to Nebraska or anywhere else?' She just wants me to go to BYU."

Before leaving BYU, Pau'u will talk to his father, who is attending BYU with him, and then talk to his mother about possibly committing.

Stay tuned Cougar fans.

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