Watch Out for the X-Man

A sophomore defensive lineman/tight end helped lead Timpview High School to a 4A state championship last season. At 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, Xavier Suafilo will literally be a big part of the Thunderbird's future success. By the time he is a senior he could be one of the top prospects in the state of Utah. talks a little football with Timpview's sophomore sensation.

"I'm about 6-5, 250 pounds," said the Xavier Suafilo. "I do lift weights but probably not as much as I should. Right now my max bench is 250, and I don't know what my squat max is because I just do a lot of reps. I did get invited to go to a NIKE Combine in May and I'm training right now for that.

"I'm working out with a personal trainer. His name is Dave Shroshine and he is down at a place called Amp down by Timpview High School. He's basically an all around trainer and works with Fine Unga and Setema Gali."

The young Suafilo played both ways. On offense, he was a blocking tight end. On defense, he manned two positions on the defensive line.

"On offense I played tight end and started at that position," said Suafilo. "I did a lot of blocking. They maybe threw me the ball four times and I caught two of them and the other two were incomplete passes. I was excited to get the role as a tight end because I got the opportunity to play and start. For my size, I can run pretty well and play that position, and I was a pretty good blocker.

"On defense I played both defensive end and defensive tackle and that was a lot of fun. I think I actually enjoyed D-tackle more than DE. I had several sacks and tackles behind the line of scrimmage. The type of defense we ran I could either stand up or blitz from the side, and I could get to either side of the field really quick whereas if you play defensive end you're on one side and it's hard to get to the other side of the field as quickly. I hope I'm going to play D-tackle next year also."

Next year Suafilo will be a junior and Timpview head coach Louis Wong will more than likely move him to offensive tackle due to the graduation of Houston Reynolds and Eathyn Manumaleuna.

"I'm probably going to be moved to offensive tackle," said Suafilo. "Coach Wong has talked to me about that quite a bit. He said with all the seniors leaving there are a lot of holes that need to be filled."

Although he is still a young player and therefore not eligible to be recruited at this time, that has not stopped Suafilo from receiving camp letters from colleges both in and out of state.

"I've received some letters," Suafilo said. "They're mostly from out of state. I actually received quite a few from Colorado getting interested with updates and all about Colorado and stuff. I've also had Texas Tech send me stuff too. They said they really like my blocking abilities and they came down to watch our championship game. They came down to watch one of our seniors and they noticed how well I was doing. I received one letter from BYU and I'm on Utah's watch list. BYU's basically talked about the quality of life and didn't say anything about football. I've had the chance to talk to the coaches personally. I play with a few of their sons like the Reynolds kid, Anae and the Kaufusi kid, so I've been around them and have talked to their dads."

When following football at the college level, Suafilo has always favored the Miami Hurricanes of Florida.

"I've always followed my Hurricanes, but they're kind of terrible lately," said Suafilo. "The more I talk to Colorado, the more I really like them. Coach Hawkins who came from Boise State, I think he's really going to turn that program around, but we always watch BYU and I thought they did really and had a great year well this past season."

However when the time comes, Suafilo will take a more practical look at his options to determine which college is the best fit for him both as a person and player.

"I do plan on serving a mission, and one of the things that I'm going to look for is how I'm going to fit in with the team—if I'm going to have the opportunity to play a lot or I've I'm just going to be on the team," Suafilo said. "Also, because I want to serve a mission, I want to go to a college that will let me serve a mission and will hold a scholarship for me when I return. I always want to have good grades and so I want to go to a place that can help me with that and get my degree."

Some of his former teammates who are now playing at BYU have already been whispering the word "Cougars" in his ear.

"Oh man they talk to me about that all the time, especially Houston Reynolds," chuckled Suafilo. "He always plugs it into me to think about BYU. They had a mini signing day at our school and Houston [Reynolds] and Famika Anae said to me, ‘This could be you one day' and are always giving me hints. They're always telling me to cheer for the "Y" and they would like to see me go there. I think I would fun at BYU and it's a good school. Those guys are good guys and Houston has always been a mentor to me.

"Houston played a big part in helping me this past season. I respect him a lot and a lot of times it's just joking and teasing, but one of these days he's going to get serious when he comes and talks to me about it. I would be happy if BYU offered me a scholarship. I think I would be happy if any school offered me a full ride scholarship to go play for them, but especially if BYU offered me because that's where you go to get the good girls of your dreams."

Although Suafilo would rather play defense, he has received counsell from former NFL players that O-line is where he would probably project the best at in college and in the NFL if he is given the opportunity.

"Right now I really want to play defense," said Suafilo. "I think realistically, I'll probably be moved to play offensive line at the next level. I've gotten some info from some coaches and former NFL players that if I play O-line that will be my ticket to the NFL."

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