TBS Talks with Stanley Havili

Cottonwood High School is home to a special running back that was already turning heads as a junior. TBS got Stanley Havili's first take on his recruiting situation as he enters what is likely to be a fierce battle for his services.

Stanley Havili has already received a scholarship offer from BYU coaches. Other colleges are now beginning to follow BYU's lead. A look at his physical stats give an idea why schools are showing interest.

"Right now I'm about 6'0" and around 210. My forty right now is around 4.5," said Havili. "My [bench] max is around 275. I haven't maxed in my squat but I rep at 435 five times. I run the shuttle in 4.19.

"Yeah they [BYU] have, they offered me when I went down for a football game. I think it was during the San Diego State game. Yeah, I think it was that game but I can't remember. BYU has offered and Utah said they like me a lot and Colorado is really interested."

So how does it feel to have an offer from BYU?

"It's just cool to know that there is someone out there that likes how I play football," said Havili. "BYU has always been my favorite. BYU is my dad's school."

Growing up, Havili was always a BYU fan first, but with the University of Utah's recent success his blood is a little less blue than it once was.

"[My blood] is kind of blue and kind of red," said Havili. "It was more blue when I was younger."

During the 2004 season, Havili was Cottonwood High School's primary offensive weapon, and helped lead his team to the 5A state semi-finals.

"We finished up at 10 and 4 and lost in the State Championship game," Havili recalled. "When we played Fremont in the quarter final game, and man I was having a good game. I had like 28 touches for 240 something yards. I had a kick off return in the game, and then we stopped them and got the ball back. We started taking the ball down the field and then me and this kid were in the open field and I juked him while this kid came from the side and dove at my ankles. I heard a pop but I still played in the semi-finals and the championship game but I wasn't the same. I'm 100% now though."

A disappoint loss in the semi-finals was not enough to tarnish an outstanding season for Havili. In a single season, he put up numbers that would many players would be pleased with over an entire high school career.

"I rushed for about 1900 yards last year," Havili recounted. "I had 23 rushing touchdowns and 3 receiving touchdowns and 4 kick off returns for touchdowns, so I had 30 touchdowns last year. At the start of the season I caught the ball a lot. I can't remember how many receptions I had but I had around 400 yards receiving. I started since I was a junior at Cottonwood. I didn't play my sophomore year because I wasn't eligible [for Varsity] because I transferred from East High School."

Havili received some accolades for his junior year performance.

"I just got First Team All-State and I got Region 3 MVP," Havili said.

Along with Havili, the state of Utah fielded some other outstanding rushers that BYU had recruited and offered. One of those was Harvey Unga out of Timpview High School in Provo.

"Harvey Unga is cool man," Havili said. "I like Harvey; he's really humble. Harvey is talented and he hits on the field. He's down and dirty, he's a hitter. He doesn't mess around on the field man. He doesn't look like he fast and his legs don't seem to move that fast, but man he's fast."

The other running back BYU recruited was Hunter High School's Matt Asiata.

"Over all, Matt Asiata was the best running back in the state coming out of Utah," acknowledged Havili. "He's better than Marquis Wilson, better than Tony Bergstrom and everyone who was ranked. He is the best one and the real McCoy man. I hope he goes to BYU instead of Dixie."

As the younger brother of former BYU recruit Sione Havili who is now at Texas Tech, Stanley talks to his brother who gives him pointers about what he needs to do to prepare for the recruiting process, and on what he needs to do to be successful if he chooses to be apart of the new Texas Tech offense that will be put into place at BYU.

"Yeah I talk to him a lot. He wants me to go where I know I can play and to know that the Texas Tech offense is coming down to BYU. Because [Texas Tech coaches] switched him over to defense, he wanted me to know that I need to get my speed up in this offense they run at BYU. The running backs are typically the smaller quicker ones in the offense they run," Havili said.

Stanley Havili's ties to BYU go beyond the fact that he is a Latter-day Saint. He is also very close to a current BYU running back Fahu Tahi.

"I asked him how he likes the new offense and stuff," Stanley said of Tahi. "He's my older brother [Sione's] best friend so I talk to him a lot and he used to come over all the time when I was younger. I'm really close to Fahu."

The tie between Tahi and Havili goes beyond friendship, you don't have to go back too far on the family tree to find common relatives. Tahi's wife, the former Salote Kinikini, is first cousins with Havili's mother. With friendship and family ties, Stanley and Fahu often engage in friendly jostling and often tease one another.

"My mom is first cousins with Salote," said Havili. "Salote's dad is my grandpa's younger brother, so my mom and Salote are first cousins because my mom is a Kinikini. I'm related to Fahu through marriage and I gotta say Fahu is the man, but I want to dog on Fahu so put in the article that Fahu is ugly. Tell him if I come to BYU I‘m going to buy him some Rogaine."

During last season, Tahi spoke to Havili prior to the Cottonwood vs. Granger game for more friendly ribbing.

"Fahu told me that Granger, his old high school, was going to kill me," said Havili. "Man, I ran all over them. I had 14 carries for 220 yards and every time they kicked the ball off I ran it back on them to the 50 yard line. I ran it back on them every time in that game, and Fahu was at the game.

"I'm speed training right now. I run a consistent 4.58 right now but I need to get that down to a 4.4. This guy to come down and speed trains the team so all the guys on the team. We are going to take state next year. I know that, I know that. We almost took state this year and we were all juniors. We were 5A this year but now they're moving us down to 4A."

Havili intends to sign and play for a year before leaving to serve a full-time LDS mission.

"That's my main goal in life," Havili declared. "I want to go on a mission."


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