Where There's a Will, There's a Way

Some athletes are born with a silver spoon in the mouth. They receive sound coaching from their youth and arrive at the varsity level a polished performer. Other kids, like Alain Tekurio, have all the physical gifts but get a late start in sports. They know they can excel if only given the chance to prove themselves.

Alain Tekurio came to Garden Grove, California from Tahiti by way of Hawaii. He is an LDS defensive tackle who hopes to play football at the college level despite not seeing the field much during his freshman season at Santa Ana Community College. He hopes that his good work ethic will help overcome his lack of playing time.

"The thing is the coaches didn't use me as much as I would have liked to have been used," said Tekurio. "I wasn't out on the field as much as I should have been. It may be because I came into the program late, but many of the guys on my team were saying, ‘Man, why aren't you out there?' I was like, ‘I don't know man.' Every practice I'm known as a hard worker. I do whatever I can on the field and I bust my tail during practice.

"That's kind of what I'm known for so when I wasn't on the field, my teammates were wondering why I wasn't on the field more because of how hard I practiced. When I did get my chance to play during the game, I tried my best to show my teammates and my coaches what I could do, but I didn't get a lot of playing time really. I don't really have a lot of stats right now."

Tekurio may not have his JC stats, but in high school he put up decent numbers. As a 6-foot-4, 295-pound tight end, he had 16 catches for 196 yards and one touchdown. On the defensive side of the ball he played linebacker and had 49 tackles, two sacks and one interception.

Tekurio put on a few pounds since high school. He is still 6-foot-4, but now he weighs 310 pounds. He also moved from linebacker up to defensive tackle.

"I played last season and I did really well," said Tekurio. "I came in late at the beginning of the season because I had some difficulties within my family, so I came in right after the fall practice of the season and the first week of our first game was when I started. I've only been playing football for a few years now. I told the coaches that I'm pretty athletic for my 300-pound-plus size. I have good feet and they put me in the middle so I can be a run stopper and fill up the holes.

Tekurio does have the size and strength to play at the next level, at least on paper. He will have to continue developing if he hopes that his coaches allow him more playing time in order to reach his goals of going D-I.

"My max in my bench is 425 that I did last month," said Tekurio. "I don't do many squats. I just do what I can and haven't really maxed out because I've always just had big legs. I've always been really strong in my legs so I've never really worked them out. I just walk around, and that's usually my squats.

Tekurio does not have a favorite school. He just wants to play at the Division I level.

"Honestly, I wouldn't mind going anywhere," said Tekurio. "I would just love the chance to go to college and play football. If I had my choice on where I could go I would like to go to a Pac-10 school like UCLA or USC here in Southern California. Just because they're close to home and I'm out here in Orange County and it wouldn't be to far for me and my family, but honestly anywhere that gives me the opportunity to play I would consider it a blessing and would love to play."

Recently, Tekurio met a few BYU football players while playing the drums for the luau in honor of Wally Molifua. Because of his size, Vic So'oto Sr. also noticed Tekurio and struck up a conversation with the big Tahitian drummer and inquired about him playing football.

"I know a couple of people that play for BYU," said Tekurio. "I met a few of them for the Wally [Molifua] dedication we did and they said BYU is a really good place to go to school and play football."

There has been talk of Tekurio possibly walking-on at BYU, but prior to playing football, he would like to serve a full-time LDS mission.

"I do have plans on serving a mission," Tekurio said. "I'm going to surprise my dad with this and he wanted me to go a year ago, but I didn't. When I didn't go he was kind of bummed but he told me it was okay and that he still loved me. I want to surprise him now.

"I believe strongly in serving a mission and if it weren't for the fact that I want to go serve, I would go to college and try to play football next year with full force and try to get my education, but I'll have to put that on hold and go on my mission next year."

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