Paul Lasike Reflects on Dual Career

He came as a walk-on to try his hand at rugby. What he ended up becoming was a two-sport athlete in both rugby and football, earning a scholarship, and becoming a football team captain and playing a major role in Bronco Mendenhall’s program. Now that Paul Lasike’s football career is nearly over, he reflects back on some memorable times as a Cougar.

Paul Lasike is a bruising runner whose style of play on the football field was first polished on the rugby field. While the native of New Zealand might be playing his last regular season game as a Cougar for BYU, he still has a whole season of rugby left to play.

“Yeah, I have one more semester of my schooling,” said Lasike. “Then I have one more semester of rugby for my senior year.”

In fact, all those that have crossed over from rugby to Bronco Mendenhall’s program will be going back and playing rugby for BYU Rugby head coach David Smyth this season.

“Of all the guys on the football team we’ll still be going back to rugby,” Lasike said. “You know, guys like Josh [Whippy], Zane [Mendenhall], and Joe [Pikula]. All the guys will be going back.”

Still having one more year of rugby to play hasn’t dampened his spirits when it comes to the winding down scene of football. Lasike knows his football time is coming to a close and it’s hit him sort hard emotionally despite not having played the sport all his life.

“It has [hit me],” said a somber Lasike. “Like when it was senior day last week, you know, I kind of look at it differently. I kind of look at it differently, because I’m so grateful for the opportunity, because, like I said, I was only supposed to come (to BYU) for rugby. Being able to play three years of football has been a great and enjoyable experience. I’m at a point where I’m just happy to kind of sit in the stands and just chill and watch the [rugby] boys. I’m really at that point where I’m just like grateful for the experience and looking forward to supporting the team next year, you know?”

In reflecting upon his short but very successful football career, Lasike recalls a more memorable time. It was when he was just getting started in football while juggling rugby at the same time.

“Yeah, there was a time where I was kind of doing both in March when rugby and football were both going,” Lasike said. “It was kind of like my own March Madness where I was doing both rugby and football. I was doing football in the morning and then rugby in the afternoon, so those were some of the more memorable moments and, man, I’m just glad I went through it.”

He even recalls the funny times of being yelled at on the football field as he was trying to transition his style of play from that of rugby to that of football. That process made for some comical yet trying times for him in the early years of learning the game.

“Oh all the time,” said Lasike with a smile. “I mean like not following my blockers, or kind of like not blocking at all because in rugby you’re not allowed to block. All of those things kind of built up my whole experience and I’m grateful for it.”

Playing both sports rugby and football was hectic time in Lasike’s life, but it taught him a valuable lesson; one that he’ll take with him and apply in his life long after he leaves BYU.

“When I was doing rugby and football at the same time I really had to learn how to prioritize my time, so one thing that I learned was being able to balance multiple aspects of my life and try and put things into perspective and prioritize the most important things. Those are some things that I’m going to try and implement my whole life is prioritizing and time management in my family life and my life.”

When it comes to reflecting upon a more memorable game, Lasike recalls two games that stand out to him.

“I would say last year’s Notre Dame game where it was freezing,” Lasike said. “That’s was part of the reason why it was memorable, but it was also one of my best games too. Yeah, that was one of my best games, and then the Texas games too. All of them were really fun.”

Cougar Cam: Paul Lasike

BYU running back Paul Lasike talks about the mixed feelings he’s had knowing this will be his last regular season game. He talks about a wide range of topics such as the Cal defense, staying focused despite Thanksgiving, Christian Stewart, being a primary rusher, and much more.

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