Temecula Linebacker Has Smarts and Stats

An LDS linebacker out of southern California still has hopes for the D-I scholarship offer he covets. While the picture is not as rosy as he would like, Austin Pulsipher still has several options open thanks in large part to his prowess in the classroom.

It is a tough year for LDS linebackers hoping their church school would recognize their on-field accomplishments. It is no secret that BYU is stacked at the linebacker position for many years to come. As a result, the Cougars have only one scholarship allotted to the position and Bountiful High School's Nate Mocur was the lucky recipient.

Down in Temecula, Calif., 6'3", 225-pound linebacker Austin Pulsipher had hoped that just maybe BYU would recognize and reward him for both his on and off the field accomplishments with a scholarship offer. Even though that has not been the case Pulsipher still believes that BYU is the best college choice for LDS athletes.

"There's no place like it really because BYU is more than just education and football; BYU is BYU," Pulsipher said. "I was just looking up some colleges and there was a listing of the top 10 party schools in the country, and there was another category that listed the ‘Stone cold Sober' schools, and different things like that were listed in four different categories. Out of the four categories, BYU ranked number one in all of the good categories like stone cold sober. Those things are really important for me. The atmosphere at BYU and what everyone believes in up there is really important for me."

Pulsipher has talked with BYU recruiting coordinator Paul Tidwell from time to time. Coach Tidwell has explained to Pulsipher the recruiting situation at BYU. Cougar coaches have asked Pulsipher to enroll on campus and try out as a walk-on.

"I've been talking to the coaches at BYU," Pulsipher said. "Coach Tidwell sent me a letter that said that they only have one scholarship this year for linebacker and that's been taken. He told me to start applying for BYU and come out for the tryouts and see where to goes from there. I'm going to keep talking to them. I sent some film up to BYU and have them look at that to see where I stand."

Whether or not that happens is still up in the air. Because of his academic accomplishments, Pulsipher has been receiving quite a bit of attention from Ivey League schools back east, most notably Yale University. Yale coaches have contacted Pulsipher and have expressed an interest in his services. Although Yale University does not give out scholarships to athletes, the lure of a Yale education in comparison to a BYU education has placed the young Cougar fan into a tough situation.

"I have a 4.5 PGA this semester, and I just took the new SAT but I'm not sure what my score is yet," Pulsipher said. "I felt really confident in my score and should be getting my score back around the 20th of November and we'll see how that goes. Yale and Penn [University of Pennsylvania] have been talking to me and they're really interested in me, and they're going to come out and talk to me about recruiting and maybe taking a trip out to Yale.

"Coming out of Yale with a diploma, you can pretty much do anything you want. I mean, anyone you come in contact with that knows you have a diploma from Yale will hold you in high respect. If no scholarship happens, I have to take into consideration what my future will be. You have the church at BYU and a very good education, and at Yale you don't have the church but an even better education, so that's the dilemma"

So what is the solution?

"Right now, I'm not quite sure," said Pulsipher. "I just want to see how the recruiting trip goes. I talk to Yale and Penn and we'll see how that goes. I've also been talking to UC Davis and Utah State. Those are some pretty good schools especially UC Davis, which is a reputable school in California."

As BYU and the U of U prepare for the final game of the regular season, the Pulsipher family knows all to well what rivalry week means first hand. Austin's father Alan Pulsipher played as an offensive linemen for BYU back in 1983. He blocked for former Philadelphia Eagles return specialist and former BYU running back Vai Sikahema on the scout team. Austin's uncle Dan Pulsipher was the kicker for the UofU during the time when The University of Utah had a string of wins over the Cougars during the 90's. The family has come to an agreement that no one will make any phone calls regardless of the out come of the game. The excitement and enthusiasm for football runs thick in the blood of the Pulsipher family.

"I like smash mouth football," said Austin. "I like going one on one with somebody and know that I can hit them and drive them back. I just love smash mouth football. On offense, I love carrying the football, usually on short downs. It doesn't matter who's at the line; I know I'm getting two or three yards, and that's my style of play.

"I lead the league and I believe also the division in total tackles. I've got a total of 114 tackles with 70 solos and 44 assists. I play outside linebacker on defense but my coaches have also put on offense as a fullback. As a running back I have 193 yards on 32 carries. My primary position on offense is at the tight end position where I have 247 yards on 17 receptions, so I've done pretty well on offense as well on defense this year."

As the Cougars prepare for the Utes, Pulsipher would be at LaVell Edwards Stadium in person to cheer on the Cougars to victory if it were not for the fact he has to prepare for a game of his own.

"This Friday we're playing Cajon High School out of San Bernardino," Pulsipher said. "They're number one in the San Andreas league. We got third place in our league, the Southwestern league, which is one of the most competitive leagues in our division. We had a surprisingly good season with a record of 8-2. Most people didn't think we would do that well this year but it turned out really well."

In the first game of the season, Pulsipher had the chance to compete against a player who has received a BYU scholarship. Temecula Valley went up against Canyon Springs High School where BYU commit Michael Moore played as a running back, defensive end and outside linebacker.

"I've seen on the Internet that Michael Moore had received a full ride scholarship from BYU, so I was really excited to play against him," Pulsipher said. "He plays for Canyon Springs [High School] and they were our first game of the year.

"I've seen his stats and he's fast and he's a pretty big guy. I saw he was playing at an outside linebacker position, or lined up at the defensive end position. Whenever it was a passing play he would cover me, but not all passing plays I run out in a pattern but would stay and block so he would just stay there. Offensively I didn't really get to see much of him, but they have a very good quarterback, he's quick and shifty. I have to give it to [Moore], he's tall and fast. He's got the athletic skills to do it."

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