"I'm just going through school right now and won't be playing football this season," said Manumaleuna Utu. "I just have about one week left of summer school and then I have a two-week period off before the fall semester. Other than focusing on school, I've been working out and getting myself ready."
The goal is to graduate by next winter so he can be up in Provo by next summer.
"I plan on being done by February 2013," he said. "Coach Kaufusi told me they're bringing me in up there at BYU in June. I'll be there for summer workouts and be involved with all of that."
When Manumaleuna Utu first visited BYU, and received his offer, he came in at roughly 6 feet 2 inches and 300 pounds, a size generally reserved for defensive linemen. However, the Southern California hitman, who models his style of play after former USC middle linebacker Ray Maualuga, has his sights set on playing a similar position.
"Right now I'm 280 pounds," he said. "I'm making progress, because remember when I came up there I was 300 pounds? They were looking at me like, ‘Hey, you don't look 300.' When I come back up there I'm going to be coming in at around 230 pounds. I'm thinking Coach Kaufusi wants me to come in and play d-line, but when I come in I want them to give me a chance to play linebacker, and so that's my goal.
"When BYU saw my film, they saw me paying on the d-line. But there was a practice we had and I asked my coach to let me go out for linebacker. I had one practice where I played middle linebacker and, man, after that I was starting at middle linebacker. It's just a fun position."
To further mold himself into a linebacker, Manumaleuna Utu will he'll be working out with an NFL safety.
"I'm going to start running a hill in Carson with an NFL player that plays on the Arizona Cardinals," he said. "His name is Donyae Coleman and he played his rookie year for the Cardinals. We played together in high school and he's trying to get on with the Seahawks. He's back out here now training and getting ready for that, so I'll be running with him and things like that. When I get down there to BYU I will be at 240. I'm going to make that goal before the year is over."