DiLuigi is Solid as a Rock

One of BYU's most high profile recruits this year is no doubt J.J. DiLuigi from Canyon High School in Canyon Country, California. During the last two seasons, DiLuigi rushed for over 4,000 yards and scored over 80 touchdowns. He capped his high school career with an MVP performance in the first ever CIF Bowl state championship game. TBS caught up with DiLuigi after his official visit to BYU.

"It was amazing," said J.J. DiLuigi of his recruiting trip to BYU. "The snow was awesome. I had never seen snow like that before, so that was a lot of fun for me. My dad and I fell in love with BYU the second we visited Provo back in the summer, and this visit made me fall in love even more."

DiLuigi's parents came on the trip to BYU with him, and they loved it too.

"My dad and I kept telling my mom how amazing BYU was," DiLuigi said. "The second she saw BYU, she fell in love with it just like my dad and I had."

BYU cornerback Brandon Howard was DiLuigi's host during his visit and helped show him around Provo.

"I was excited to see what the nightlife was like at BYU," DiLuigi said. "It was great. The students all have such a good time. Everybody is so friendly and nice. It seems so easy to get along with everybody and have a fun time."

The 5-foot-9, 188-pound running back said the highlight of his trip was the snowmobiliing.

"Snowmobiling was amazing," DiLuigi said. "I hope I get the chance to do that again when I go to BYU. My parents didn't go on the snowmobiles but they came up and hung out in the lodge with all the other parents. It was good for my parents because they were able to bond with the other parents. They will all be together cheering in the crowd for the next few years, so it was fun for them."

DiLuigi said he was also glad to be able to bond with the other recruits.

"These guys are going to be teammates of mine," he said. "We will probably become lifelong friends, so it was fun to get to know all of them. Brannon Brooks, Scotty Ebert, Tyler Beck, Steven Thomas, and Marcus Mathews were all guys that I really connected with. It was funny because Marcus and his dad came up to me and said they saw my highlights on the Internet and were impressed. So that was fun."

Even though DiLuigi committed to BYU months ago, that has not stopped schools from contacting him.

"After my playoff games, coaches from other colleges would come up and ask me how committed I was to BYU," DiLuigi said. "I told them I won't be going anywhere else. I am 100-percent committed to BYU. Schools like Washington and other Pac-10 teams would contact my coach, but he told them that I am solidly committed to BYU."

While on his visit, DiLuigi met with Coach Barry Lamb and Coach Lance Reynolds. Coach Lamb has been DiLuigi's main recruiting contact at BYU.

"Coach Lamb has really taken great care of me," DiLuigi said. "I was able to meet with Coach Reynolds, and he let me know I will definitely be playing running back. They have Fui [Vakapuna] and [Manase] Tonga, who are straight ahead runners, and they lost Curtis Brown who was their agility back. I plan on taking his place. My goal when I get to Provo is work my way into the offense, and rush for a thousand yards. I want to win the Mountain West Conference and go to a big bowl game."

DiLuigi's high school team proved it was one of the best in the nation after defeating USA Today's #1 ranked team in the California state championship game. The feeling of beating and being the best in the land is something DiLuigi wants to experience again at BYU.

"I know what it takes to win," DiLuigi said. "I know how hard you have to work to be the best. I'm competitive. I don't care how big the guy across from me is, I am not going to go down. I will fight for every yard."

DiLuigi attributes his ability to shake would be tacklers to his work on his core balance and his leg strength.

"I have big legs," DiLuigi said. "I squat 475 pounds. I also have a big heart."

BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall will make an in-home visit to the DiLuigi family in two weeks, and J.J. is looking forward to that.

"BYU is an amazing place," DiLuigi said. "The players welcome you with open arms and are not judgmental. I can be Catholic at BYU and all the players are accepting of that. I love that."

Right now, DiLuigi is playing on his high school basketball team. He will also participate in track. He says that helps with his speed and conditioning.

"I will arrive in Provo in August," DiLuigi said. "I will have studied and learned the offense before I get there. I'm going to hit the weights hard and work on my speed."


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