BYU emails offer to top OL recruit Taitusi Lutui

BYU today emailed a football scholarship offer to highly recruited offensive lineman <b>Taitusi Lutui</b>, considered one of the top junior college prospects in the country.

Lutui is currently taking summer session classes at Snow Community College in Ephraim, Utah, and does not have a phone or ready access to one -- hence the unusual offer via email from Cougar coaches.

His brother Sam, a graduate assistant/offensive line coach at Southern Utah University, today confirmed the offer from Cougar coaches.

"BYU offered Deuce (Taitusi) a scholarship today. They emailed him and made him an offer trying to get him to commit. Some other schools have offered, but they haven't put it down on paper yet."

Lutui originally signed with Utah out of high school, but was not academically eligible. He opted to attend Mesa Community College in Arizona during his freshman year. He is also being aggressively recruited by South Carolina, Nebraska, Arizona State, Washington and a number of other colleges.

At 6' 6", 375-pounds with a 5.1 forty, Lutui has excellent athleticism for a player his size. His brother Sam, an experienced talent evaluator of offensive lineman, said his younger-but-bigger brother can do things no other linemen can do.

Comparing younger brother Taitusi to Utah's Jordan Gross, the 8th player drafted drafted overall in the first round in the NFL, Sam observed: "Gross is 6' 4" and 300 pounds and was timed a 5.06 in the forty with a 30 inch vertical leap. That's pretty impressive, but Deuce is 6' 6", 375-pounds and runs the forty in 5.1 with a 26 inch vertical."

He said his brother is very focused and is working hard in the off-season to improve his performance.

"If Deuce can get his weight down to 350 pounds, I know he'll be in the sub-5 forty range," added Sam. "A 4.8 forty at 350 pounds and 6' 6" would be incredible. Add to the fact he can probably bench press around 450 pounds and squat around 600. If he loses some weight, that will add to his vertical as well."

Sam said Lutui has received verbal offers from Washington, Nebraska, South Carolina, USC, Arizona State and Arizona.

"Out of high school, Deuce was Arizona State's top priority recruit," said Sam. "But he signed at Utah as a Prop-48 because he never took the ACT."

He continued that Lutui is on course to graduate next April.

Fellow Snow College teammates recounted to Sam an incident that occurred during spring practice when Lutui was pulling around the end.

"As he was coming around, he hit the defensive end so hard his feet came up and kicked Deuce right up under his chin."

His coaches say Lutui has outstanding footwork and mobility and is extremely athletic for a man his size.

Sam, his brother, added: "He and my brother-in-law where playing basketball. Both where just dunking the ball when I said, 'Hey, why are you guys playing on a 7-foot rim?'"

Glaring at his brother and accepting another silent challenge, Taitusi raised the basketball rim to 10 feet. Then, with only a pair of slippers on, he did a two-handed slam dunk.

"I thought he was going to pull the backboard down," Sam recalled.

With the solid depth and young talent BYU currently has on its offensive line, a scholarship offer speaks volumes of their confidence in his football abilities. He will have three years to play two with a redshirt year available.

Though small in numbers, BYU arguably landed one of the country's top offensive line classes in 2003 based on a per capita ratio.

Factor in some highly recruited freshman linemen, some returning and other leaving for two-year LDS Church missions, and BYU is seemingly loaded for years to come.

BYU's impressive freshman offensive line class includes:

* Junior Kato, a 6' 3", 290-pound Prep Star Magazine All-American and one of the top lineman in the West. Kato recently returned from a LDS mission.

* Eddie Keele, a 6' 5", 300-pound top West Coast recruit out of Othello High in Washington state. Keele was an offensive line starter in spring ball this year.

* Ofa Mohetau, at 6' 3", 330-pounds, was the #1 offensive guard recruit in the country and consensus All American selection. Mohetau will play one year at BYU before leaving on a LDS mission.

* Jason Speredon, at 6' 5" and 270 pounds, received the West Coast's best offensive line prospect award on the NIKE Camp tour of 2002. He was an All-State Utah lineman and Student Sports All-American. Speredon is leaving on a LDS mission this year before enrolling at BYU.

* Jake Kuresa, a 6' 4", 330-pound redshirt freshman, was a Top 100 national recruit and a Student Sports Magazine All-American as a junior and senior.

* Dallas Reynolds, at 6' 4", 310-pounds, was a Utah All-State and All-American Student Sports Magazine selection. He was rated the #8 offensive linemen in the West region by recruiting expert Greg Biggins of Student Sports and TheInsiders. Reynolds will leave for a LDS mission before enrolling at BYU.

* R.J. Willing, a 6' 4", 290-pound lineman considered the best offensive recruit from Hawaii in 2003.

* Mike Dudzinski, a 6' 7", 330-pound lineman recently returned from a LDS mission. The Utah All-State selection signed with the University of Utah out of high school, but was ruled ineligible because of a 9th grade class discrepancy. Utah filed a "waiver request" with the NCAA earlier this year that was denied. The Dudzinski family contacted Cougar coaches and BYU's compliance office filed a separate "waiver request" for Dudzinski which was approved last month by the NCAA. Dudzinski will enroll and plans to play this fall in Provo.

Copyright © 2003

Total Blue Sports Top Stories