Filiaga Recruited Hard by BYU

Rated among the nation's 25 best middle linebackers by, L.T. Filiaga has many options but is very impressed with BYU. Total Blue Sports caught up with Filiaga, whose Bingham Miners team just won in the first round of the state playoffs.

By the half the game was pretty much over with. Bingham had handed the Northridge Knights a first-round state playoff loss. L.T. Filiaga played on both sides of the ball and had a very productive day as both a linebacker and fullback.

"I thought we played well against Northridge," Filiaga said. "I'm just excited to see many of my teammates play the way they did to help us get the win."

Many players such as wide receiver Mike Edmunds, who made great catches in the end zone despite the attempts by Utah safety commit Chris Washington to double team him, were key to the victory. Even the younger members of Bingham's team, such as sophomore running back Harvey Langi, had a field day. Langi busted a 60-yard touchdown run off guard early in the game. Meanwhile, Langi's cousin Inoke Taufalele, also a sophomore, is a player that BYU fans may hear more about in the future.

But let's get back to Filiaga. Although he has six scholarship offers, he only has two current official trips set up.

"Recruiting-wise, I have two trips set up in the month of January," Filiaga said. "One is BYU and the other is Utah. I believe my trip to Utah is the last week of January, but I know BYU's is the second week of January. After the season I'll plan my last three trips somewhere, but when that time comes I'll talk about that with my parents."

Currently, Filiaga has offers from BYU, Utah, Arizona, Stanford and Washington. He is also receiving new interest from UCLA, LSU and Arizona State.

"UCLA is showing a lot of interest in me as a fullback," said Filiaga. "They're talking to me about being in the backfield, along with LSU, but there is no official offer yet. Those two schools are the two new programs that have become interested in me during the recruiting process."

After the football season, Filiaga will devote more time and attention to the recruiting process.

"I think I'll make a commitment right after I take my trips," said Filiaga. "I'll for sure narrow down my top five for trips probably after the end of this month when the football season is done."

Filiaga said he is doing well in the classroom and that he could be eligible for qualifying for Stanford. There is a pretty good chance that the Cardinals may be one of the other three schools he trips to.

"Stanford is looking good for me academic-wise," said Filiaga. "My parents would like to see me go out of state to experience new things and new places, but they're really leaving it up to me to make the decision."

However, going out of state may not be what Filiaga is most comfortable with, which is why BYU and Utah are two schools that are tops on his list.

"You know, this is home for me and I was born and raised here in Utah," Filiaga said. "Sometimes it's good to go someplace else and learn new things and be independent, but I think you can experience those things by serving a mission. I'm for sure going to serve a mission for my Heavenly Father, and that's just another way of learning new experiences and being independent. I'm also a real momma's boy, and I love my mom and my dad and I would get homesick really fast."

Further increasing Filiaga's chances of staying in the state of Utah is the fact that BYU and Utah are recruiting him hard.

"BYU is recruiting me the hardest," said Filiaga with a smile. "Coach Doman is the best. Both he and Coach Tidwell always check up on me like they are my second dads. They don't get too much into my personal life, but the way they recruit me, they don't put too much pressure on me. They always let me know that they are there for me, and the personal support I get from them is amazing. I don't get that from any other college, but after BYU, I would say Utah is after them [as far as how hard they are recruiting me].

"Yeah, BYU is the one that is recruiting me the hardest, and oh, it makes me feel good. I went and watched BYU play UNLV. It was kind of a rough game and we all have our down days, but I got the chance to see Iona [Pritchard] get some time as a true freshman. It just boosted my confidence and made BYU more of a choice for me. I like the way they handle themselves. Even though they lost to TCU they still carry themselves as they would if they had won."

During this season, four true freshmen have received playing time at linebacker for the Cougars. With the linebackers being the main feature in the 3-4-4 defense, the Cougar defensive coaching staff is looking for more talented players to help shore up the position for the future.

"You know, just to see Iona playing as a linebacker as a true freshman was great," Filiaga said. "I was able to play with him in high school when he played here at Bingham. I don't try to compare myself to him, but I know how he plays and I know how I play, and I feel I can be someone that can help BYU if they need my help. I don't want to sound like I'm someone who can make BYU better or come across like that, but I would like to have the opportunity to be able to contribute and help in any way I can before my later years."

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