Levi Te'o Has BYU as Top Choice

Timpview High School's football team is loaded with Division I talent, including Xavier Su'afilo, Craig Bills, Tui Crichton and Bronson Kaufusi, the latter three of which have committed to BYU. The Thunderbirds also have a potential Division I running back that has played in the program since he was a sophomore.

The Te'o brothers Ephraim, David and Brian have produced some of the most successful football players around in their sons Malosi, Manti and Shiloah Te'o. Shiloah has already committed to BYU, and the Cougar staff could learn by Sunday if they have another Te'o in the fold in Malosi, with a possibility of Manti following as well at some later time.

Another Te'o brother, Alema, has also helped develop some of the top talent around by creating the All-Poly Camp - funded primarily out of his own pocket - and bringing in some of the best college coaches from the Division I ranks to help further the talents of those that attend.

So it's no secret that the Te'o family has risen to become one of the more successful football families around, but the success simply doesn't stop there.

When sophomore Levi Te'o (Malosi's brother) first came to Timpview, the coaches took notice. The following year, Levi helped the Timpview High School varsity football team repeat as 4A state championships, and it would be no surprise if the Thunderbirds win their third title in a row next season.

"You know, it's great playing there," said Levi. "I remember when I first got there, I was thinking, ‘Man, it's going to be great playing there because they already have one championship.' I remember when I first had the opportunity to start varsity last season I was very excited. The coaches are always telling us that we have to always compete, and that there is never a time when you can just settle down and take what you have. You have to always become better and better every week and every game. When it's time to get down to business, we get down to business."

Being a successful starting running back on a team that includes athletes the likes of Craig Bills, Tui Crichton, Xavier Su'afilo, Michael Alisa, Bronson Kaufusi and Kevan Bills - a group that has combined to get scholarship offers from programs such as LSU, BYU, USC, Miami, Utah, Tennessee and Colorado, among others - Levi excelled among a team full of top quality Division I talent.

"It's fun, but there were times when I would think, ‘Can I really play with these kids when they're getting offers left and right?' But my parents helped me and motivated me to go to work. Once you start working, it's like nothing because you begin playing with your friends and begin stepping up the level of your game to their game. You begin playing at a higher level instead of playing down."

After racking up 60 points for his offense last season and averaging 7.4 yards per carry, Levi hopes to further his accomplishments for his team next season. His goals are to excel next season with the purpose of excelling at the next level.

"Right after football season, my dad said, ‘Okay, we [have to] get you lifting to build you up in strength and mass. After we do that, we'll work on conditioning where you'll already be big, but you'll also be quick.' Lately I've been lifting and now I'm working out with Velocity and Open Court up in Lehi to work on my quickness and agility to be prepared for this up and coming season.

"My dream is to play at the next level, not just make it to the next level and say, ‘Well, I made it and that's good enough for me.' My dream is to make it to the next level and compete and be good enough to where I can start at the next level. I just don't want to be satisfied by just going to the next level and that's it. I always want to become better at what I do."

By signing with BYU, Levi could follow in the footsteps of his cousin Shiloah and possibly his older brother Malosi, assuming Malosi chooses to come to BYU following the completion of his mission in New York.

"I'm definitely a BYU fan and I love BYU, [but] not because they're in my own backyard," said Levi. "I love BYU because - sure they may have great facilities and all that - but the main reason why I love BYU is because of what they stand for. The Spirit that they have and the standards that they hold there is why I love BYU. I know there are other schools that are great, but I love BYU because of what they stand for. They not only try to make you a great athlete, but they also focus on trying to make you a great person in their program.

"That's what's different about BYU and why I love it. There may be other schools that have great football programs, but what brings BYU up top is not only do they have talented kids that are always perfecting what they do on the field, but they're always trying to do more with the Spirit. They are a band of brothers and that's one thing I like about BYU."

Currently, Levi is receiving recruiting interest from WAC, MWC and Big 12 universities. He has letters from BYU, UNLV, Boise State, Air Force, Colorado and Hawaii.

With his older brother Malosi coming home from his mission soon, BYU could have another Te'o in the Cougar fold. It has always been a dream of both Malosi and Levi to play college football together if the situation permits.

"Malosi has a big impact on me," said Levi. "But at the same time, it's not like if I don't play with Malosi I'm not going to make it. But wherever he goes is probably the place I want to go and try and be successful. I know with him, I would be successful because he's always pushing me even when there were times when I wanted to stop.

"He would always tell me, ‘No, let's go and pick it up. Let's not stop.' I would love to go and play with Malosi, and it's always been a dream of mine to go and play for BYU. At the same time, I have the mindset that even though BYU is my number one school, I have to go to a school that provides an opportunity for me. I want to go and play at the next level, and any school that gives me that chance and helps me to further my education, I'll play for."

To help reach his goal of achieving a Division I scholarship, Levi has set the bar high for next season. Considering the accomplishments he's already achieved and the football bloodlines that run through the Te'o family, it should come as no surprise if Levi achieves every single one of his goals.

"My goals for next season are to try and rush for around 2,000 yards," said Levi. "I just want to be one of the best running backs in the state. I also want to help my team win another state championship."

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