Pututau talks Colorado, top five

Relationships are important to Taniela Pututau. The three-star 2017 Cottonwood (Salt Lake City) product has developed a bond with Colorado defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt, landing the Buffaloes in the top five heading toward official visits.

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“One of the reasons I chose Colorado as well is coach [Jim] Leavitt. He recruited my older brother. Unfortunately [Fua Pututau] signed to the University of Utah, but my older brother told me coach Leavitt was one of his favorites,” the 6-foot-3, 210-pound Taniela Pututau told BuffStampede.com.

“I met coach Leavitt at the beginning of my sophomore year, he’s kept a relationship with me ever since and he’s a good guy. One of those coaches I can trust.”

The Buffs have been watching Pututau’s development and CU’s Cottonwood connection in 2016 signee Pookie Maka doesn’t hurt the cause. Other schools envision Pututau creating offensive mismatches at tight end or receiver, with CU going against the grain, focused on outside linebacker.

“[Leavitt] wants me to come to Colorado and play outside backer. Right now I’m a wide receiver and tight end. I’m an athlete, play everywhere on our team. He wants me to beef up and play outside backer,” Pututau continued.

“One of our linebackers last year, he signed to Colorado, his name is Pookie Maka. [Leavitt] wants me to come up there and play with Pookie, play the opposite side of him. That’s something I’m looking into, it’s a reason I wanted Colorado in my top five. I know it’s a good program and they’re on the come up.”

Weight will likely be a deciding factor on whether Pututau ends up on offense or defense. Most of the three-star’s experience is on the offensive side of the ball.

“If I stay the same weight I think I’m going to move to tight end or slot receiver. I kind of want to play defense more aggressively. I like defense, overall better. Offense is fun, that’s what I’ve played most of the time,” Pututau said.

Pututau put in work this summer on the camp circuit. He’s been to Boulder twice, leaving impressed by the realness of the rise.

“I camped with Stanford. I went up to Seattle, Washington and the Opening Regionals. I camped with Utah and BYU like three times this summer ... Utah State. I haven’t been up to Oregon State,” Pututau said on his summer.

Pututau plans to take all five officials before making a final decision. He also intends on a Mission following high school graduation.

“Officials I’ll probably take my top five I put out. I’ll probably decide after I take the visits and my final decision will be before Signing Day,” Pututau said.

For the Buffs to reel in the three-star they’ll battle family connections at Utah and a BYU program that’s been down since day one.

“I’ve always wanted to go to an in-state school. BYU growing up, they’ve kept relationships with me early on. I met them when I was a freshman,” Pututau continued.

“Utah, it’s kind of a family thing with my two older brothers over there. I grew up more of a BYU fan as a kid, but my brothers all ended up signing at Utah. I’m trying to keep the pressure off, base it on my opinion not where everyone wants me to go. It’ll be interesting.”

Pututau has spoken with Colorado head coach Mike MacIntyre twice, with the Buffs’ pitch resonating with the Utah prospect.

“[MacIntyre is] a good guy. He told me the program is coming up, they’re on the rise. Pac-12 contender pretty soon, I look forward to it,” Pututau said.

“Coach Leavitt, every time, reminds me that they’ll have an offer waiting for me when I get back.”