Filiaga's Getting It Done

Bingham High School linebacker L.T. Filiaga has received three new scholarship offers, bringing his total to six. He is now focused on preparing for summer camps and his senior season, after which he plans on choosing which school he will attend.

Last year L.T. Filiaga dominated opponents from the middle of the Bingham Miner defense, but what was more astounding was it was only his first year playing in the middle of the defense, as he had previously played outside linebacker.

Fast forward to the end of his junior year, and Filiaga now holds six scholarship offers from Division I colleges. BYU, Utah and Stanford had already extended offers to him, and Washington, Arizona and UNLV have offered him within the past two weeks.

So what does Filiaga think of his new offers?

"Well, it's kind of funny because I've never even talked with any of the coaches from Washington before," Filiaga said. "I guess Coach Peck sent out my highlight tape to them and they liked it so much they offered me. I haven't had the chance to talk to them yet. It's kind of funny.

"I have talked with Coach Uperesa from UNLV, and he's been writing to me for a while.

"My scholarship offer from Arizona is kind of funny too. [Arizona assistant coach] Mike Tuiasosopo came down to our school to recruit and saw my highlight tape and said he would show it to their head coach. [Soon after] they called up and said they wanted to offer me a full-ride scholarship to play for them. The recruiting process has been pretty cool but it has kind of come up on me really fast."

According to Filiaga, he is also good to go with the NCAA Clearinghouse.

"I got a 19 on the ACT, so according to my GPA I don't have to worry about it any more," said Filiaga. "I did pass it and I'm good with it. I'm not exactly sure what my accumulative GPA is, but it's up there. My GPA for this last semester was a 3.85."

During the month of May, Filiaga worked out diligently with his father Tui Filiaga. Being able to bench press 315 pounds five times, Filiaga hasn't maxed out but feels his strength as a player entering his senior year is where it needs to be. Now he is concentrating more on speed and conditioning prior to the summer camps.

"Junior Day for BYU is coming up pretty soon, and also the BYU training camp that's held at BYU is also coming up," said Filiaga, "so right now I'm just going through a maintenance process to keep my strength up, but also to rest my body so I can be prepared for those two camps."

"During June and July I don't think I'll be training but doing more conditioning. I think my strength training is pretty much over with right now and it's just a matter of keeping it up. The next step is working on my speed, endurance and conditioning before my senior season. I'm really grateful for my dad because he really knows what he's doing in the weight room. I really trust him with my weight training and I know for myself that what he does works."

Recently, L.T. and his father made their way to BYU. For Tui, the trip was a joyous occasion.

"My dad used to work at BYU under strength and conditioning coach [Jay] Omer," Filaga said. "We went down there for the All-American interview for the state of Utah, and afterwards I guess Coach Mendenhall wanted to see both me and my dad alone. So after everything was done we made our way over to the football facilities where Coach Mendenhall was.

"My dad also wanted to take a tour of where he used to work again. Some of the [BYU Cougars] were working out and I was really surprised to see how many of the players remembered my dad. When Coach Omer and my dad were on the side, I was told by some of the players that my dad was the hardest coach to get by but it really helped them out. It was really cool that they remembered my dad and respect him and honor him like that."

Following the weight room visit, the Filiagas made their way up to Coach Mendenhall's office for a quick visit.

"Ever since Coach Mendenhall has offered me, him and my dad haven't had the opportunity to speak," said Filiaga. "Coach Mendenhall wanted to see my dad and also me and to see what is happening with me in my life right now. We were able to talk over the BYU program and my dad really liked it. He had a great feeling about BYU, so it was a great experience for both me and my dad to be able to go back to where he used work at BYU."

While on campus, L.T. noticed something different about BYU that he hasn't experienced at any other college he's visited.

"Whenever I go to BYU I always get a great feeling walking onto that campus," he said. "Obviously there is a great spirit there, but when I leave the campus the feeling doesn't stay with me very long. I still remember the feeling every time I speak to Coach Doman or Coach Tidwell, but I really like the feeling I get whenever I visit BYU. It's really different than any other colleges that I've visited."

Filiaga is looking forward to the opportunity to go back to BYU to attend a Nike Camp that will be held on June 14.

"What I plan on doing is being there for the training camp," said Filiaga. "If I can go to the BYU junior day, I'll go. We'll be there to attend the Nike Camp for sure."

Along with attending the Nike Camp, Filiaga will also strut his stuff in front of college coaches at the All-Poly Camp on June 16.

When the camps are all said and done, Filiaga just wants to focus on the upcoming season and push the recruiting process to the back of his mind until his senior season is over.

"I won't make a decision until I've had a chance to make a visit to my top five schools after my senior season," said Filiaga. "I was thinking around the end of December. The feeling of where I may want to go may come to me before then or after, but I just want to wait until after everything is done and I can concentrate on recruiting. I would like to have the opportunity to make a visit to the schools that I'm investigating. As of right now, I'm not really concerned with making a verbal commitment or even really worried about the recruiting process. I don't want to get too carried away with it.

"I just want to stay focused on my goals and prepare myself for my senior year and play all-out. I just want to stay focused and work hard. It is a humbling experience to have coaches call me and recognize my hard work and accomplishments on the field. It's very humbling and it's a compliment, but I need to stay focused and keep my priorities straight before anything else."

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