Tale of Two Teams

The first four games of J.J. DiLuigi's season are remarkably similar to those of the school he committed to play for. Both BYU and Canyon High School lost two close games to strong opponents, and both schools won two games in convincing fashion. The 3-star running back recruit hopes that Canyon also follows BYU in terms of the future success that he expect the Cougars to enjoy.

"We're 2-2 right now," said J.J. DiLuigi of Canyon's record. "We've played two of the toughest teams in our division in Saint Bonaventure and Notre Dame, and we lost close games to both of them. In each of those games, if we just made one or two more plays we would have won them both, but that's the way it goes."

In addition to living through his own woes, DiLuigi is monitoring BYU's early struggles very closely. Interestingly, BYU's early season mirrors that of Canyon High.

"I've watched just about every BYU game, and it's so tough how close we [BYU] were to being 5-0 — especially that Boston College game," said DiLuigi. "They just make one of those kicks and we win. BYU should be ranked, but they just beat TCU which was a huge win, so they're looking good."

Although his team is off to a .500 start, DiLuigi's is piling up above average stats. In his last game, DiLuigi ran the ball 32 times for 279 yards and 4 touchdowns against a very good Chaminade team. DiLuigi is Canyon's primary running back and go-to guy on offense.

"I play basically the same position I'll play at BYU," explained the Canyon Country, California product. "I line up in the backfield mostly, but they split me out a lot on passing plays and pitch it out to me a lot. It's the same stuff I'll be doing at BYU."

DiLuigi's public declaration of his firm commitment to BYU has not stemmed stopped the stream of letters from other schools. Those schools might as well save the postage because DiLuigi promptly deposits all such correspondence in the trash. DiLuigi cites a real connection with the BYU coaching staff as a primary reason for his commit.

"They keep in touch a lot," said DiLuigi about BYU's coaching staff. "I get a lot of emails and text messages from them. It's mostly from Coach Lamb. I also correspond with Coach Mendenhall, which is great. BYU is the school I'm signing with. There's not even any doubt that it's the school I'll sign with in my mind. I'm going to BYU."

DiLuigi rivals even the most fanatic of fans in how closely he follows his future team. Unlike many fans, however, he never got down on the Cougars and where they were heading.

"I watched every second of the TCU game and it was a huge win," said DiLuigi. "It showed that this team doesn't quit, and that they're going to finish strong. TCU was a dang good team, but we beat them pretty good, which was nice to see. It was an amazing game and I'm excited to follow them for the rest of this year and be part of what Coach Mendenhall is building for the future."

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