Angilau Reunites with Old Friends at BYU

When David Angilau committed to play for BYU, he did not know that the decision would bring him back together with several childhood friends. Last weekend, the defensive lineman from Niwot High School in Longmont, Colorado took his official visit to BYU and discovered that playing football with old friends was just one of many reasons to come to BYU.

Colorado defensive linemen David Angilau flew into Salt Lake City last Friday and joined up with California defensive linemen Christian Tupou and tight end Devin Mahina for their official recruiting trip to BYU.

"I got in on Friday morning," Angilau said. "I flew in and met up with Kaufusi and Christian Tupou and Devin Mahina. We went to a little island BBQ grill called Moti in West Valley. We all just ate over there and just talked about what was going on and what we were going to do."

Angilau was able to visit with his future position coach Steve Kaufusi who showed both he and Tupou how they would fit and what rolls they would play on his future D-line.

"I think Coach Kaufusi is a cool coach," said Angilau. "He sat down with us and showed us D-linemen a couple of the plays and formations and stuff. He just showed us how we'll fit in on the D-line, how we're going to fit in and what positions we'll most likely play. He just scratched the surface with us and showed us the basics.

"He showed me where I would play. It's not really defensive end in but more on the inside. He showed Christian Tupou the same thing and me and him would probably be playing the same position. I hope he comes out to BYU. Me and Christian were hanging out together, and he's pretty cool."

Like Tupou, Angilau enjoyed visiting with all the Polynesian players and recruits that night.

"It was really fun hanging with all the Poly's at night," said Angilau. "We all just kicked it and got to know each other. We all knew the same people and just came together. It was a lot of fun."

Prior to moving in with his uncle in Colorado, Angilau lived in the Bay area where he went to the same high school as Mosese Foketi, and went to the same Tongan ward as Manase and Matangi Tonga. At BYU, Angilau was able to reunite with his childhood friends.

"Me and Manase and Matangi Tonga all went to the same ward together back in the Bay area before I came out here to Colorado," said Angilau. "Also me and Mosese went to the same high school. It was really cool but kind of weird at the same time. I never thought I would ever be playing football with all of them. I never thought we would all end up at the same school because looking back it didn't look like that would happen. Everybody was kind of going their own separate ways. Back then Manase was going to go to Utah before his mission, and I was just sitting watching Mo [Foketi] play and wasn't even playing ball at that time when that was going on. Mo was an animal and was tearing people up. He was around 235 and was lighting people up, but now he's about 50 pounds heavier. It was just fun to hang out with all my old friends, it was cool. Everybody is just cool and Christian was cool and he knew some of my cousins over there in Sacramento."

"I know Christian had some fun especially the last night we were all hanging out together. I kept telling him and tried to talk him into coming here. I was told him, ‘Come on man, we're all going to be here together and lets do this.' I was saying that to Christian and he was saying, ‘I know man, I know.' But he wants to go to his other trips and check out all of his options and stuff to see what he has to pick the right choice for him. I told him, ‘The best choice is the Y man.' I could tell he liked kicking it with us though.

"Some people describe BYU as being boring and stuff. That's usually comes from people who have never been there. When I went down there it was really cool. I just liked hanging out with all the football players and all the Polynesians and stuff. After all those meetings and diner we all just kind of kicked it and that was a lot fun."

Angilau joined many of the recruits at a jam packed Smith Fieldhouse to watch the Men's volleyball team beat UCLA in three straight games.

"Oh dang, that was a cool game," said Angilau. "BYU's has a really good team. Those Brazilian guys and Cuban guys are dang good man. A lot of people go to those games and that place was packed and they take it seriously out there. It's going to be crazy to see what happens for the football games. I can't wait."

BYU inside linebacker Markell Staffieri was Angilau's host. During the volleyball game, Staffieri's wife Anna, who is quarterback John Beck's younger sister, joined him and Angilau to watch the game.

"My host was Markell and he's cool and took us around," said Angilau. "He took us to go play pool and ping pong and stuff, it was cool. It was a cool trip because the people were cool, the food was cool and just everything was cool. We ate everything like stakes, BBQ, Hawaiian food and Italian food. It was just cool."

On campus Coach Kaufusi was busy showing recruits around the sports facilities. Angilau joined his position coach on a tour of the indoor practice facilities, weight room, and student center.

"Coach Kaufusi showed me around," Angilau said. "He showed me all of the facilities, and all that stuff was top of the line. He took us through and showed us the swimming pool with the underwater treadmill. Man, I've never seen that thing before. There was a whole bunch of stuff. The weight room had these electronic bench things that they said there were only seven of them in the world and BYU had three of them. There was a lot of nice stuff and it was all cool. The indoor practice facility was cool because at any time when it gets cold out side you can just go inside to practice."

The 2005 Colorado defensive player of the year also got a chance to meet one on one with his future head coach.

"All of us recruits got to talk to Coach Mendenhall," said Angilau. "He took us all aside and talked to us all one on one. He told me to stay on top of my grades and to make sure that I come. I'm keeping on top of all my grades and stuff. I gotta make sure I do this. He asked me how I liked the trip and how my stay was over here and stuff like that."

For Angilau, the best part of the trip was heading out with some of the other recruits on the now famous BYU snowmobiles.

"Oh, that was the highlight right there," chuckled Angilau. "It was cool to go out there and crash a little bit. Christian fell off at the end when we were going into the parking lot. He was trying to go really fast and just fell off the side and got stuck. None of us even knew. We were all messing around in the parking lot and didn't even know he got stuck. He was there for like 20 minutes just stuck in the snow, so it was pretty funny when that happened. Everybody thought my crash was the best though. I was going really fast, I'm not sure how fast I was going but I was going fast, and I hit the hand break for the back to try and spin out. The thing spun out and I flew off of the side of the snowmobile and flew over the side of the trail. It was a lot of fun. It was me, Christian Tupou, Manaaki Vaitai, Marcus Mathews and Star Lotulelei. I heard that Brannon Brooks ran into a tree. Trees are like a hundred feet away from the trail, and so you gotta go pretty far off the trail to hit a tree."

Although his high school team did not do as well as he had hoped for during this past season, Angilau received some top honor for his accomplishments as a defensive tackle at Niwot High School.

"On the season my team came up short," said Angilau. "We didn't make the playoffs and missed it by one game, so that was a bit of a disappointment right there. I got about the same amount of tackles as last season but with fewer sacks. I had around 58 tackles and seven sacks this year. I was defensive MVP for my team this year, and I got second team all-state. I got first team all-conference, first team all-region and first team all-area."

Following graduation, Angilau will head back home to where he will visit with his family. He also hopes to be able to hang out with a few of his future BYU teammates over the summer.

"When I graduate I'm going to go back home to the Bay area and visit with my family a little bit before I come up to BYU," Angilau said. "I think Manase and Matangi will be back home so I'll be able to hang out with them a little bit. I think I'll be able to get in a little workout over there. I think I'll hang out over there a little bit and then come up on the day we're supposed to report to BYU."

Having just turned 17, Angilau plans on competing for playing time for two years until he turns 19.

"After two years I'll be 19 and then I'm thinking I'll probably go on my mission," Angilau said. "I just turned 17 this past November so I'll be 17 when next season comes around and then I'll be 18 the season after that. I was just thinking I'll try and play for two years then possibly go on a mission after that."

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