Coming in at around 6-1, 200-pounds, Saint Francis High School (Mountain View, CA) running back Cyrus Habibi-Likio is a member of the 2017 recruiting class who picked up an offer from BYU recently. He was the WCAL Junior Player of the Year and was selected as a CCS and WCAL First Team All-League player in football. However, he does more than just tote the rock.
“I also run track,’ Habibi-Likio said. “I run the 4x100, 4x400, triple jump, and the long jump. I don’t know what my times where for the 4x1 and 4x4 but for the triple jump I think I jumped 46 [feet]. For the long jump it was [in the high 20 foot range]. I didn’t have a mark but it was somewhere around there. It was my first meet.”
With self-reported 4.5 forty speed, Habibi-Likio uses his speed to dodge defenders as a running back.
“I play running back but can play outside linebacker, safety, and slot receiver if needed,’ Habibi-Likio said. “We don’t usually go both ways at my high school, but this year I might be playing more than one position. At BYU they want me as a running back. Last season I think I had around 1,800 yard rushing and around 22 touchdowns. I played with (Lutoviko) Ahoia, who is another Tongan running back, and we split a lot of time in the backfield.”
Recently, BYU’s Director of Recruiting Operations Tevita Ofahengaue offered Habibi-Likio a BYU scholarship.
“When BYU offered me I was so excited,” he said. “I was stoked! I spoke with Coach Tevita (Ofahengaue) and he offered me the scholarship. He explained to me the morals of the school and how they have a new coaching staff. He talked about daily life over there and it was really cool and exciting. I didn’t expect it. It was just kind of out of nowhere. I’ve seen BYU play on TV a few times and it’s a big time school! The talk with Coach Tevita was definitely exciting.”
The offer from the Cougars marks his seventh so far.
“Yeah, BYU is my seventh offer but Columbia offered too but they’re Ivy League so it’s weird how they do things there,” said Habibi-Likio. “I have Columbia, Eastern Washington, Wyoming, Army, Hawaii, Washington State, and BYU.
Habibi-Likio’s last name is an interesting mix of cultures. The word, ‘Habibi’ means “sweetheart” in Arabic and the last name ‘Likio’ is Tongan.
“My mom is Iranian so that’s where the name Habibi comes from,’ Habibi-Likio said. “Likio is Tongan and my dad is from Vava’u, Tonga. My grandmother is a Taufalele from the village of Mu’a in Tongatapu.”
Although his parents come from two different religious cultures, Habibi-Likio is a devout Christian after the manner of his father’s side of the family. He believes his devotion to family, faith, and football is the reason why BYU offered.
“My mom’s side is Muslim but I grew up a Christian on my dad’s side,” Habibi-Likio said. “I’ve always stayed close to my faith and have always intertwined my faith with how I play ball. I step on the field and pray before every game.
“When adversity hits, I always fall back on my faith. I think that’s one of the big things that stood out to the coaches at BYU. I don’t get into trouble and all that. I just stay clean and my faith is very strong. I’m also a big family person. I can tell that at BYU family is big there just by talking to the BYU coach(es).”
Having much in common with BYU, Habibi-Likio is excited about BYU possibly being in his future. He has a plans to take an unofficial visit to Provo, Utah to check things out in person.
“Yeah, I’m excited about my BYU offer,” said Habibi-Likio. “I’m excited to visit there and check things out. I want to head on out there and see the campus and all that. I have family that live out there. I have a cousin [B.J. Taufalele] who plays for Bingham High School, so I have family out there who could support me if I go and play ball out there. I plan on coming out there either after spring or in the summer. I’m excited to visit.”