Latu Looking to Play Locally

In recent years, Hunter High School in West Valley City, Utah has been a steady source of D-I caliber talent. BYU tackle Ray Feinga is a Hunter grad, as is Snow running back Matt Asiata. This season, the Wolverine pipeline is pumping out a big, strong two-way lineman.

"It's really between BYU and Utah right now," said Pauli Latu. "I committed to Utah right after attending their camp when they were my only offer, but BYU has come after me hard and I like BYU a lot. Right now it's between those two schools, but that could change."

Latu received his first offer shortly after attending Utah's summer camp on a whim and without any prior knowledge of what was going to happen. Said Latu: "I just went there with some teammates not really knowing what was going on. It was a full contact day camp and I went against some other guys from Kahuku high over in Hawaii and I knocked them down pretty good and I guess the Utah coaches were impressed by that."

If Latu's performance in regular drills did not impress Ute coaches, the 32 reps he put up on the 185 bar certainly did. "I'm pretty strong," said the 6'1", 285-pound offensive/defensive lineman. "I can bench 400 pounds and I feel that I can beat most offensive linemen by my strength and my speed. I'm quick off the snap of the ball, but I'm strong too which helps me be balanced in how I defend."

As mentioned, Utah coaches offered Latu a scholarship soon after his camp performance. "They just came up to me and offered me, which was really cool since they were the first and it was sort of unexpected," recalled Latu. "I committed to them right there being excited and all, but as time has gone on I've received other offers and I'll consider all the offers I have."

Among Latu's offers are BYU, Boise State, Oregon, Utah State and UNLV. Latu has official visits scheduled to Utah in late Novemeber and then to BYU, Oregon and UNLV a short time after that. "I just want to take all of my trips and then consider what is my best option," said Latu. "I'm committed to Utah right now, but if the right school convinces me, then I'll commit to them. I haven't signed anything yet, so I'll consider my options at the end of the season."

Latu's season is going well playing offensive guard and defensive tackle for the Hunter Wolverines who just defeated Clearfield to make the 5A Utah prep quarterfinals where they will be matched up against Skyline. Latu had three tackles for a loss, a sack and a fumble recovery against Clearfield.

As mentioned, Latu is looking to play locally next year so BYU and Utah as his first choices. "I love BYU," said Latu. "I've been a huge BYU fan since I was about six or seven years old. I have a lot of family who have played there and I'm good friends with Ray Feinga who plays there now. Playing for BYU has always been a dream of mine and it will be hard to not accept their offer of a scholarship."

Said Latu about Utah: "Utah has been great to me. I didn't grow up a Utah fan, but I like Coach [Gary] Anderson a lot and appreciate that they offered me first. I love the environment at Utah as I like the environment at BYU. Both schools would be great to play for and attend and I'll have a tough time deciding."


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