Thor Pili: Top Utah DL recruit for 2004?

Thor is the mythical Viking God of Thunder. Thor (as in Heyerdahl of "Kon Tiki" fame) proved in 1947 that perhaps the first migration of sturdy ancient mariner-warriors, now called Polynesians, came from South America. Thor is the name of a hulking Polynesian defensive line recruit from Utah that top football programs around the country, including BYU, are now clamoring to land.

Meet Thor Pili, a 6' 5", 235-pound defensive end from Orem, Utah, who runs a 4.7 forty and is being recruited by BYU, Utah, Nebraska, Oregon, Stanford, Oregon, Boise State and Vanderbilt, among others.

Utah, Vanderbilt and BYU are the first to offer scholarships so far, he said.

"Utah has offered me already. He (coach Meyers) just wanted me to know they are really interested in me. He said I was their top recruit in Utah. He said I can play on either offense or defense. He said I can play whatever I want."

Pili added that "Utah, BYU, Nebraska, Oregon, Stanford, Boise State, pretty much everyone in the PAC-10 has sent me letters, except for Oregon State."

Heading into his senior year at Timpanogos High School, Pili has impressed coaches nationally with his impressive stats last season.

"I had 105 tackles, 15 sacks, two interceptions from the defensive end position, 16 hurries, 17 knock downs, and I returned one of those interceptions for a touchdown."

This fall, he will join another BYU recruit, Isley Filiaga, on Timpanogos' defensive line, in terrorizing opposing offenses.

Last year, Pili played both offense and defense for Timpanogos, starring as a defensive end and tight end.

"I like defensive end better because I like to hit," he said.

Despite the impressive stats Pili put up on the defensive side of the ball, he also performed well on offense.

"I caught 17 passes for 300 yards and had five touchdowns."

He is dedicating the off-season to preparation for his final year, focusing on getting bigger and stronger.

"I bench 315 and squat eight plates right now. I don't know what my vertical is, but I can dunk a basketball."

"BYU called me. I talked to Coach Lamb and just got a call from (BYU assistant Steve) Kaufusi, but I wasn't home. He talked to my dad. The day after that I got a letter and they offered me a scholarship," said Pili.

Although the Pili family name is firmly entrenched and associated with the Cougar football program, Pili said he is keeping his options open for now.

"I grew up around BYU. My dad played for BYU and my uncle, Ifo Pili, plays for them right now. But I'm going to keep my options open."

Evidence of that is "I'm going to the Nebraska, Stanford, Utah and Oregon camps, I think."

How will the final decision on where young Thor, a strappling Samoan football warrior, will play college ball be made?

"It's not really up to me. It's really up to my parents. I talk to my dad and he doesn't know right now. When the time comes, we will sit down as a family and decide together," Pili said.

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