“I’m really happy that BYU has offered me,” said Taniela Pututau. “It’s actually a really big thing for me. BYU has been my dream school since I was a little kid growing up. Since the day I was offered, it’s really changed my perspective on where I want to go.
“When I was talking with Coach Mendenhall he really told me that faith at BYU is very important and it’s the place for me, and that’s really important to me/ I want to go to a school that has my values and doesn’t go against anything, so I can get stronger in my faith as well as in my sport.”
Sitting alongside Taniela and his family as Taniela was offered was older brother Fua Pututau, who was proud to see his little brother receive the offer from Bronco Mendenhall.
“Yeah I’m excited for him and we’ve found out a lot about BYU,” said Fua Pututau. “It’s a really good school and it goes with our religion. He’s now racked up three offers now in his sophomore year. I’m proud of him because he’s got the grades to get the offer.
“It was one of the best because the other offers I got were over the phone or by an email. This was done by a head coach and I like that a lot.”
At 6’3” and weighing in at around 185-pounds, Taniela Pututau has a lot of physical attributes to work with.
“So right now I’m playing wide out as well as slot receiver,” said Taniela Pututau. “I’ve also played on the defense. I’m 6’3”, 185-pounds and I’m a sophomore this year and will be a junior next season, so I still have a lot of learning and growing to do. My brother Fua is a junior right now and will be a senior next year.”
Taniela’s brother Fua is a little bigger and could either gain some size and play on the defensive line or stay around where he’s at now at (230-pounds) and play outside linebacker. The question of where Fua will play at BYU is still in question if he chooses to go there.
“I’m 2016 and my brother Taniela is 2017 and I’m 6’3”, 230-pounds,” said Fua Pututau. “I’ve been talking to Coach (Steve) Kaufusi and Coach (Kelly) Poppinga and they’ve both been talking to me, so I don’t know what position I’ll play yet.”
When Taniela stepped into Coach Mendenhall’s office he wasn’t expecting a scholarship offer from BYU, given the fact he’s still in his sophomore year.
“I wasn’t expecting it at all,” Taniela Pututau said. “We went down to BYU to tour the facilities and the campus, so I wasn’t really thinking anything was going to happen. I went down there with my parents, my brother Fua, and my little brother who’s nine years old. We got invited to Coach Mendenhall’s office and that’s when everything happened.”
The surprise offer excited both Taniela and his parents.
“They were really happy that I got the offer,” said Taniela Pututau. “They’ve always wanted one of us to go to BYU so that will probably be me. My older brother Howard, who is on his mission right now, signed with the University of Utah. My parents have always wanted one of us to go to BYU and someone else to go out of state so I might be the Cougar.”
Fua Pututau’s offer is based on conditions of whether he can raise his core GPA. If he can then he’ll be back in Coach Mendenhall’s office to receive his official scholarship offer.
“Well, my offer is being held right now because my grades aren’t high enough to be accepted by BYU,” said Fua Pututau. “Right now it’s only a verbal offer until I get my grades up. If I do that I should be good. My grades, I just have to get them up. I think my GPA is around 2.6 but you need to be higher to get accepted. Coach Mendenhall talked about that with me, so I have some work to do.
“It’s kind of a wakeup call for me because my little brother’s grades are straight. It’s kind of a spark for me. BYU has offered me, but I just need to get my classroom stuff straightened out and I should be good.”
When Fua Pututau gets it done in the classroom an official scholarship offer from Coach Mendenhall would be a humbling experience.
“A BYU offer would mean that I’m really grateful,” said Fua Pututau. “It’s been like a childhood dream school for me. I’ve liked BYU since I was a little kid, so it would probably be really cool to get that actual offer from them. I’ve got some work to do to get that.”
The Pututau brothers will serve LDS missions following high school. Both have been verbally offered by Coach Mendenhall. Taniela Pututau will receive his official scholarship his junior year, and his older brother Fua will receive his based upon his grade status.
“I’m really pumped about it,” said Taniela Pututau. “I’m pumped for my decision going into my junior season and look forward to it.”
“Yeah, I’m excited about it,” said Fua Pututau. “Coach Mendenhall just told me that he really wants me there. Once I get my grades up I’ll be able to come back and do it again, but this time it will be with an official offer.”