DL Recruit Well-Connected to BYU

While eight of BYU's 11 solid 2006 football commitments come from the state of Utah, the Cougar coaching staff is hoping to add at least two more in-state prospects. One of those recruits is a defensive line recruit with many ties to the BYU program.

The BYU coaching staff has done an excellent job of identifying top quality junior talent early on in the recruiting stage. One of these talented Utah prospects is Granger High School defensive tackle and offensive line utility man, Joseph Faifili.

"Football is going good," said Faifili. "Everything is the same as usual. BYU has been sending some stuff and they're showing me some love. They called me but I kind of missed the call."

BYU was one of the first schools to offer Faifili, and since then 9 other schools have jumped on the Faifili bandwagon. The newest Division I colleges to offer the talented defensive tackle are UNLV and New Mexico.

"New Mexico, UNLV, BYU, U of U, Arizona, ASU, Washington, Colorado and Utah State have all offered me," said Faifili.

Two reasons Faifili has so many offers so early are his size and athleticism. Faifili said his forty time is below a 4.8, and, for a defensive tackle that weighs over 300 pounds, that is quite an accomplishment.

"I'm 6'3", and I think I'm three hundred and something," said Faifili. "I think I've lost some weight though. Hey, do you think I can get in and play running back? My forty is a high 4.7.

"The only way I can play running back is if I go on my mission to Africa and come back skinny," chuckled Faifili. "Maybe I can be a receiver. The last time I ran the forty I was timed a 4.77 and right now I weight around 315."

So far, Faifili has unofficially visited two colleges. One was the U of U and the other was BYU.

"BYU is nice and I really like the academics part mostly," said Faifili. "I think I'll probably go into criminal justice but that will take awhile. Everything is top notch over there. It's nice.

"I went to the UofU and BYU and that's it. I plan on going to Utah State and hopefully a trip to Arizona. They told me that I have to call them for a later [official recruiting] visit, but everything has been really busy for me."

Although he does not have a time frame on when he will commit to the college of his choice, Faifili did say that BYU is in his top three schools. He did not rank his top three, but with all Faifili's ties to BYU, a proximity to home, wanting to serve a LDS mission, his families and his own personal relationships with two coaches on the BYU coaching staff, one would only guess BYU has to be at the top of Faifili's college choices.

"Yeah BYU is in my top three but I can't really decide yet because everything all these schools have to offer is good, so I just need to pray about it and see what's best for me," said Faifili. "'I need to think about it and do what's right.

"Coach Kaufusi is recruiting me. Oh man, dude, I love that guy. He's cool, and usually around coaches I can't really talk to them, but coach Kaufusi—I can talk to him and it's easier for me to talk to him.

"He grew up with my mom and she knows him. I think Anae is my mom's cousin. I'm pretty sure I'm related to him on my mom's side."

Growing up in Kahuku, Faifili knows the BYU tradition on the North Shore runs deep. Many from the area have donned the blue and white, including quite a few of Faifili's relatives.

"It's nice because a lot of people from Kahuku went there and are still playing there," said Faifili. "I've had some family members that played for BYU. One is in the NFL right now, Gabriel Reid. I was just a little boy when he knew me but I knew him growing up. He didn't really know me but I followed him, and he just finished having a talk here for the miss Samoan pageant. All of these guys know my dad and don't really know me. They just know that I played for Kahuku."

Faifili played for Kahuku last year and has since transferred to Granger High School where he will finish up his final season of prep football. It was here at Granger where Faifili became good friends with a linebacker who signed a letter of intent with BYU last February.

"Me and Kyle [Leukenga] are really good friends and he's been filling me in about BYU too," said Faifili. "He said the workouts are really good and they really work you out. When I first came here to Granger he came over to my uncle Pani's house, and he's just been really cool to me the whole time. That's my home boy right, and he's a good guy."

Faifili recently spoke to Kyle Leukenga about Matt Asiata, a talented running back that had committed to play for BYU but wasn't able to get into the university.

"I talked to Kyle almost every day," said Faifili. "I talked to him and he said Matt (Asiata) is going to go to a JC first and then he's going to come a year after. I think its Snow College for one year. I think he's going to go to either Snow College, Weber or Dixie and then he's going to come here [BYU]. I talk to him about everyday and he said he's going to go to a JC and then come to BYU."

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