Butch Pau'u continues to dominate

The top linebacker in California, and one of the tops in the West, Butch Pau'u continues to lead the state's second-ranked team Servite High School over Southern California's powerhouse prep programs. Total Blue Sports caught up with Pau'u see how his season has been going so far as Servite shoots towards a state championship.

The nation's 17th ranked linebacker Butch Pau'u is leading his team over some tough Southern California competition. The future BYU linebacker helped lead his defense against a tough St. John Bosco offense last week.

"It's going really well right now and we're 7-1," Pau'u said. "We're also 3-0 in league and this past week we just got past a really good team and they were really fast. We pulled it out the victory in the end after being down in the fourth quarter."

Servite also beat Orange Lutheran High School 21-8, which beat Utah powerhouse Bingham High School 42-7 at the beginning of the season. Ever humble and cordial, Pau'u is blowing it up in the Southland, but one would never hear it from him.

"I'm just playing for the team and for my family and that's all I can really say," he said. "We still have this week and next week and then we go to the playoffs. Right now it looks like we're the number-one seed, so we just need to continue to stay humble and practice hard."

Servite is ranked 20th nationally, second in the state of California, and first in Southern California.

"We just have to keep playing hard so we can continue to win so we can win out the rest of our games and go to CIF," Pau'u said. "The league in the southern section is just so competitive that you can just never know what will happen. I mean, the No. 2 team in the county lost in their weekend against a team that is now 2-3. You just never know what will happen in Southern California, so we just have to continue to work hard and see what happens."

Servite High School's only blemish came from the nation's No. 16 team, Bishop Gorman.

"Our biggest game of the season was against Bishop Gorman High School and they're one of the top teams in the country," Pau'u said. "We lost to them 28-31. We were down 14-0 but we rallied back to 14-14. Then we went up 21-14 and then they rallied back to make it 21-21. Bishop Gorman went up 28-21 until we came back to tie it at 28-28. Then they kicked a last-second field goal to beat us 31-28."

Servite lost to Bishop Gorman because of mistakes and defensive breakdowns.

"They were really well coached and we just made too many mistakes," Pau'u said. "We let them run a wheel right before halftime and they scored on the opening kickoff and got a deep ball where our safety was paying more attention to the run and just got beat deep. It was just the little fundamental things, but we've fixed that and our defense is playing really well right now."

As for BYU's defense, Pau'u has been fairly impressed with their play.

"Our defense is holding its own," Pau'u said about BYU. "I think our defense helped the offense [at the beginning of the season] and for the most part has played really well throughout the season. It's a team thing."

In regards to his own play, Pau'u has not only starred on the defense as a linebacker for Servite, but head coach Troy Thomas has also put Pau'u's abilities to work on the offensive side of the ball and on special teams as well. Once the game starts, Pau'u never leaves the field of play.

"I go both ways the entire game," Pau'u said. "I also do a lot of special teams too, so I rarely get a chance to come off the field. I play linebacker and then on offense I play tight end. It's so tiring!"

On the season, Pau'u currently has turned in some productive numbers from both the linebacker and tight end positions.

"Well, for sacks I think I have around six or seven so far," Pau'u said. "I've also scored four touchdowns on offense at tight end."

Although there have been reports of Pau'u taking visits and trips, Pau'u made it very clear that he is fully committed to Coach Mendenhall and BYU. In fact, he's made it known to other college programs that might try and woo him away that he bleeds blue through and through.

"No, I think everyone has laid off of me because they know that I'm going to BYU," Pau'u said. "Everyone knows that I'm not going to change my mind, so they don't bother trying.

"I got a message from someone on Facebook saying they saw me play and that they really, really hope that I haven't decommitted to go to another school. I told them that I wasn't and that BYU was the school that I have chosen and is the right school for me. I'm not going to change my mind."

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