BYU may be close to offering Cali linebacker

There is a new middle linebacker recruit from California that has recently shown up on the Cougar radar. BYU is showing some interest in the 2014 prospect, who is also receiving interest from a number of other schools.

BYU has been showing interest in St. John Bosco High School's Chandler Leniu.

"I'm 6'1", 230 [pounds] and I have really good hips and move well for my size," said Leniu. "I'm really good from sideline to sideline and have a really good pass drop. I'm fast to the ball and have a really good nose for it."

A number of schools are looking at Leniu.

"I'm getting attention from Boise State, Utah, Arizona, Arizona State, Wisconsin, BYU, Washington and some other colleges," Leniu said. "There's a few that are showing me some interest because I've done well over the past few seasons."

As a freshman at Lakewood High School in 2010, Leniu was named the defensive MVP, but that was only the beginning.

For his sophomore year, Leniu started on the varsity team and was named an all-state first-team defensive player, all-Moore League first-team defensive player, Dream Team second defensive player, defensive MVP, and was featured in Tom Lemming's top sophomores.

It would seem hard to improve on that list of accolades, but that's exactly what Leniu did as a junior year after transferring to St. John Bosco High School. He was named all-CIF first-team, Trinity League MVP, Dream Team defensive MVP, St. John Bosco defensive MVP, all-Southern section rival first-team defense, top junior selection by Tom Lemming, and a Maxprep 2012 California Division I all-state high school first-team defense selection.

"For my solo tackles I had around 102," said Leniu. "For my total tackles I had around 142 with one interception. I also had three forced fumbles with one recovered. I also had two and a half sacks."

Leniu is also doing well academically.

"Yeah, I'm doing good in the classroom and have around a 3.1 or a 3.2 GPA," Leniu said. "I'll be taking the ACT in May of this year."

And what about in the weight room?

"My bench is 315 and my squat is 420 and my clean is 285," he said.

Not bad for a junior middle linebacker, which is why he's on the radar of so many college programs.

"The schools that are close to offering me are Arizona, Washington, BYU and Boise State," he said. "Those are the schools that I could be offered by here soon."

BYU coaches were recently in Southern California and visited with Leniu.

"They just came down last week to size me up," said Leniu. "I got called into my coach's office during lunch time to talk to Coach Robert Anae. He gave me his card and told me to call them whenever I needed to ask questions and stuff.

"He's a really good coach and he was just telling me about the school and about everything they do. He was explaining to me about the program and what's expected there. Plus, I'm Mormon so I already know what's expected there because of the values that are taught in our church."

Leniu said he is thinking about serving a mission after high school.

"I go to church a lot and there are some return missionaries that come and talk to us, so I talk to them a lot about their missions and going. I'm having a feeling about going but I'm still deciding."

Being LDS, Leniu's thoughts on BYU are positive and he would like to get out to the campus at some point in time.

"I think BYU is a really good school and they have a lot of great athletes over there," said Leniu. "They have a really good program and everything is very well organized. BYU expects higher standards of their athletes and so that's good. I haven't been out to BYU's campus but I want to go out there sometime."

Leniu said that BYU began recruiting him in January, and he is waiting for a possible offer.

"That would be nice to get an offer from BYU," he said. "I would love to get an offer from them soon and would think it's a blessing because I'm Mormon. I think it would be a good thing for me and my family. I think they might be getting close to offering me along with Arizona, Washington and Boise State."

What does he think about Arizona, Washington and Boise State?

"I think they're pretty good programs and did pretty much the same thing that BYU did," Leniu said. "I was called into my coach's office and they talked to me and gave me their card. They talked about their programs and coming up to their camp sometime. They said they liked what I did on the field and told me to keep it up and keep doing well in school."

Meanwhile, he plans on visiting another school next week.

"I'm supposed to go to the USC Junior Day on Sunday, so they're going to talk to me about possibly coming over there," Leniu said. "I'll be going up there after church."

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