Alletto Is Ready to Compete Again for BYU

While in high school, Nick Alletto was nominated to the Colorado All-State First Team. Now home from serving a fulltime LDS mission, Alletto is ready to get to work.

Along with 6-foot-3-inch, 285 pound Gatorade National Player of the Year Jeff Byers, who eventually signed with USC, Nick Alletto was one of the top linemen in the state of Colorado back in 2003, when he played at 5-A Ponderosa High School. The 6-foot-5-inch, 290 pound Alletto was recruited by Colorado and Arizona State among others, but committed to the Cougars of BYU.

Now home after teaching lessons is Spanish and knocking on doors down in Argentina for the past two years, Alletto is ready to shake off the aftereffects of missionary life and from being away from the game for the past few years.

"I was down in Bahia Blanca in Argentina," said Alletto. "It was really great and I loved it and had a lot of great experiences. I met a lot of great people and I'm grateful for the chance to have gone out and teach the gospel to people down in Argentina."

"Right now I'm just working hard and trying to get bigger and stronger and put on some weight. I lost like 40 pounds while I was out on my mission."

Over the years there have been comments and reports from less informed college coaches and media pundits concerning the advantages that LDS football players have in serving two years away from the game. Usually these reports surface when BYU is experiencing success on the field, with no mention of the mission advantage when they aren't.

"I think right now the hardest thing for me is getting my size back," Alletto said. "Towards the end of my mission I ran two or three miles a day in the morning with my companions. I had some good companions with me that wanted to run. Along with my weight, the biggest thing I've seen is my strength that I need to back as well."

Austin Collie was also called to serve among the people of Argentina, and although the two never saw each other while out in the field they did meet up while in the Missionary Training Center.

"We were in the MTC together and in the same district," Alletto said. "He then went to the Buenos Aires mission right above mine. I think the closest I was to him was probably around five to six hours away."

Going from knocking on doors to now knocking heads is a switch these return missionaries have to learn to turn on quickly. Alletto feels he is adjusting to this, along with his new position, rather well.

"We have a really good defense and I just love playing football," said Alletto. "It's a little tough to be honest with you, but I feel pretty good. At first it was a difficult jump for me when I came from high school to college, but because of that I kind of know what to expect. I think my first year here I was more mentally prepared for what was going on than now being back from my mission. I've always played right tackle my whole life and now they put me in at left tackle and I feel more comfortable playing the tackle position than before I left. I think my body forgot how to play being away on my mission, and so now I can start all over with a clean slate."

Similar to what Austin Collie mentioned in a previous Total Blue Sports article, Alletto also sees the positive differences in the program under Coach Mendenhall's new leadership.

"Oh, it's great and it's such a big difference," Alletto said. "The change is such a big difference than when Coach Crowton was here to now that Coach Mendenhall has taken over. He's a great coach and I think the program will continue to grow and develop under his leadership."

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