Fakailoatonga still eyeing Cougars

The Cougars already have a 6-foot-4-inch wide receiver commit for 2013 in Moroni Laulu-Pututau, who could end up playing tight end once he puts on his Cougar uniform. BYU could also add another 6-foot-4-inch pass-catcher in Cottonwood's Siale Fakailoatonga.

Unlike Moroni Laulu-Pututau, Siale Fakailoatonga (I sure hope these two play on the field together just for the simple reason of listening to announcers trying to pronounce their names) has yet to commit to the Cougar program.

Nevertheless, Fakailoatonga says things are going well with BYU and their recruitment of him.

"BYU is doing good and I talked to them a few weeks ago," Fakailoatonga said. "Coach DuPaix came in and talked to me for a little bit. He told me he wanted me there and to play for them. I spoke to him and he's a really great guy with a lot of positive energy."

The 2013 recruit currently has two offers – BYU and Utah – but isn't ready to commit yet.

"I think I just want to wait a little while longer," Fakailoatonga said. "I want to wait until a little into the next season before I make a final decision. I haven't picked up any other offers other then the two that I have, but I do plan on attending some camps this summer."

A junior this season, Fakailoatonga was invited to participate in the Army All-American Combine in Texas this January.

"I'm going with Cooper [Bateman], and then after that we'll just stay for the game. I don't have a whole lot of plans for this summer right now … I have some time to figure out what I'm going to do though."

Cottonwood High School quarterback Cooper Bateman is a four-star, top-100 quarterback prospect. He has a handful of offers, including one from BYU. However, much like many recruits often do, Cooper holds his cards close to his vest – but did mention that Stanford was his dream school at one point in time.

"I don't know what is going on with Cooper," Fakailoatonga said. "He doesn't really talk about this kind of stuff around us, so it's hard to tell what he's thinking."

Although a big target for Bateman, Fakailoatonga felt his season was just an average performance.

"It wasn't what I wanted it to be but I thought it went pretty good," said Fakailoatonga, who also played defensive end last season. "I have no idea how many tackles I had, but I did have six sacks this year."

His receiving numbers weren't quite what he had envisioned.

"On offense I don't know how many receptions I had, but I did have two touchdowns," he said. "I played wide receiver again this year. I had a few mistakes during the games and wasn't playing to my full ability. That's something that I'll have to fix for next year."

If he chooses to attend BYU, Fakailoatonga will likely play something other than receiver or defensive end.

"BYU is looking at me to come in and play tight end," he said. "That's something that I really like and think is great because tight end is where I want to play, so for BYU to look at me to play tight end is great for me. They have a really good tight end tradition at BYU."

Fakailoatonga watched BYU's first season as an independent unfold. The Cougars finished the regular season with a 9-3 record. While he feels the Cougars were relatively successful this season, they should have won more games.

"I thought they did pretty good and think some of the games they played this year they should have won," he said. "Overall I thought they had a pretty good season. They just made some mistakes and could have beat a few more of the bigger teams they played this year. There's always next year though."

Sideline note

BYU was looking at Cottonwood offensive lineman Niva Kinikini, but his recruitment seems to have cooled a bit since his sophomore year.

"I talked to them earlier in my sophomore year," Kinikini said. "I spoke to Coach Doman back then but haven't really spoken to them very much. Right now Stanford and Utah are talking to me. Stanford came down to talk to me about a month ago.

"I went down there for a few unofficial visits and attended the Oregon vs. Stanford game and went to one of their camps this past summer. They said they liked me but wanted to see my film from this past season. Stanford hasn't offered me yet and Utah is pretty much telling me the same thing. Once they evaluate my film, I guess we'll see what happens."

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