Wally So'oto Is a SoCal Super Sophomore

Wally So'oto, the younger brother of BYU tight end Vic So'oto, is already making a name for himself early in his prep career. As a linebacker, So'oto was the only sophomore in all of California to be named a First Team All-Underclassman.

BYU fans know that top California LDS recruits such as Sione Fua [Stanford], Romney Fuga [BYU] and Matangi Tonga [BYU] were honored as First Team All-Underclassmen as juniors in high school, so Wally So'oto selection to the list is quite the accomplishment for the Carlsbad High School sophomore.

"I feel really good about it," said So'oto. "I just don't want to be all cocky about it. I just want to work hard and prove it on the field to everybody. The guy who selected me said he liked the way I play. He said I was outstanding and was different than the other sophomores."

At 6-foot and 265 pounds, So'oto started on both offense and defense. His success as a linebacker garnered him the First Team All-Underclassmen honors, but his performance as a fullback shouldn't go unnoticed.

"I played linebacker on defense and played fullback on offense," said So;oto. "I did good as a fullback and scored a lot of touchdowns. Every game I averaged a touchdown so I did good there. I think I had around 20 touchdowns; I had a lot.

"On defense I had five or six sacks. I like defense better because I can control things more on defense. I can read the plays faster on defense than I can on offense. I like playing linebacker but I might move to the defensive line to nose guard, but it really depends on what happens next year."

So'oto said he currently runs a 4.9 forty, which is pretty impressive at his age size. Currently, So'oto is working on lowering his weight in order to stay at the linebacker position and raising his forty time to be an even bigger force on the field next year.

"I'm working out a lot with after school football, and I'm trying to cut some weight because I want to get down to 240. We start speed training this weekend and on Saturday I'm going to train with this guy."

With his big brother Vic currently at BYU, Wally has another experienced mentor to draw from and frequently asks his big brother for advice on how to improve his game.

"Yeah, he told me to do more sprints rather than long distance running," Wally said. "He told me it's all about sprints so that's what I've been doing lately."

He also asks him questions about what it is like to be a Cougar at BYU, and what it is like to play football at the D-1 level.

"I ask him a lot of questions and he said he feels a lot stronger and he's trying to keep his speed," said Wally. "He said its way different school wise and the people are different. He said you have to live up to being a Cougar and that's some good advice I got from my brother."

Possessing a combination of size, speed and being an aggressive player, there had been talk that Vic So'oto might move to the defensive side of the ball. Wally So'oto confirms what Coach Mendenhall stated during the press conference on LOI day.

"He said the coaches wanted him to move to be a defensive player because the tight end position is going to be really stacked for a couple of years, but they said he would have started if he went to D-end but then he wanted to move to safety," said Wally. "So now he's not going to play defense at all. He's going to stay as a tight end. I'm happy for him because I was reading on the website and it says he's the strongest tight end out there right now so he'll have a good chance of starting next year."

So with an older brother at BYU is Wally now a BYU fan?

"I've always been a Cougar fan," chuckled So'oto. "But my main goal is to go to USC. It's in California and they've been on top for awhile and I like their coaching staff. I don't know, they've been pretty stacked for a long time."

BYU fans know that Pete Carroll will not allow LDS kids to serve a full time church mission. Pete Carroll was up front with Utah running back Stanley Havili who changed his mind about serving a mission in order to receive a scholarship offer from the Trojan coaching staff. The position of the USC coaching staff about not letting LDS kids serve missions is something Wally So'oto is very aware of.

"I really want to serve a mission, and I want to put that first," said So'oto. "I know what USC says about that though, so I guess it's a mission."

So'oto received a questionnaire and a camp invitation letter stating from BYU staff.

"I got a letter from BYU," So'oto said. "They told me they were interested and to keep up my grades. My grades are mediocre and I'm working on that. I'm working harder on my grades than I am running and all that right now. I know it's important because if you don't do well in the classroom you can't play football on the field. Nothing matters more than that."


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