Heimuli-Lund Recieves Dream Scholarship Offer

Last week, the BYU coaching staff extended a scholarship offer to a young Brighton High School linebacker prodigy. Sione Heimuli-Lund drove down to Provo last week with his family and sat in the office of Coach Bronco Mendenhall, where he received a surprise from his dream school.

A member of the 2017 recruiting class, Sione Heimuli-Lund has already made an impact at the varsity level at Brighton High School (UT) during the 2013 prep season.

"I'm 6-0, 218-pounds and I play linebacker mostly," said Heimuli-Lund. "What I do well is I make plays, and I've been making plays pretty much all of my [life]. For me [football] just comes naturally. I've played outside linebacker and running back [for Brighton]. I think this year I might play some fullback too."

As a two-way player in his first year of high school and only 15 years old, Heimuli-Lund did very well competing at the varsity level.

"I had about 70 tackles, two interceptions, and three sacks on defense," Heimuli-Lund said. "On offense I had around 400 yards rushing and eight touchdowns. It was hard to get into that backfield with Osa [Masina] back there. It was tough getting in at running back, but I hope to play more next season."

Running the football and shoring up the middle of Brighton's defense isn't the only athletic endeavor Heimuli-Lund has engaged in as youngster.

"I used to wrestle, I play lacrosse, and I used to play basketball and I play football," Heimuli-Lund said. "I'll be signing up for wrestling again this year, so I'll be wrestling, playing lacrosse [in addition to playing] football."

As he wraps up his freshman year at Brighton, Heimuli-Lund believes his future lies with football and on the defensive side of the ball.

"I like defense," said Heimuli-Lund. "I'm pretty young and I'm only 15 years old and I'm still going to grow, so I think my future is on the defensive side of the ball at the next level."

The BYU coaching staff also believes so as well. Last week, Sione received a coveted BYU scholarship offer from Bronco Mendenhall while he and his family sat in Coach Mendenhall's office.

"It was awesome [to receive the offer]! They contacted another player [Isaiah Kaufusi], because they couldn't contact me, and told him to tell me to come down to Provo," Heimuli-Lund said. "My family and I went down and met up with Bronco (Mendenhall) and Coach (Kelly) Poppinga and we were just talking. I was listening to Bronco and he asked me to read a piece of paper about what BYU stands for. With my parents sitting there [alongside me], he offered me a scholarship to go to BYU."

It's rare news to hear that a prospect who's only a freshman received a verbal offer from Coach Mendenhall and BYU. There have only been a handful of prospects to have ever received such an honor.

"It feels great and I never knew or thought this would happen," said Heimuli-Lund. "I came to high school just wanted to go out and compete with the older guys. To get an offer from BYU really just makes me happy. I never knew this would happen. I just want to work hard and be the best."

"I'm just so grateful [to be] receiving this and it really is a blessing. It came as a total surprise to me and I was like, ‘Wow, this is incredible' because BYU is a dream school for me. Bronco was like, ‘Yeah, we're really offering you and you deserve it.' Receiving the offer from BYU just makes me want to become a better person."

When Heimuli-Lund learned he was indeed receiving a scholarship offer from BYU, he questioned the worthiness of the offer being extended to him. Coach Mendenhall quickly squashed any doubts that may have arisen in his mind.

"At first I was like, ‘Wow! I'm young!'" said Heimuli-Lund with a laugh in his voice. "Then I thought, ‘Do I really deserve this?' Bronco made me read off a few of the characteristics he had on the piece of paper, things like hard work, character, and things like that. Bronco then told me that I met all of those [characteristics]. I was like, ‘Wow, coming from Bronco that means a lot.' It was just an unbelievable experience I had."

Heimuli-Lund comes from a Tongan family who are members of the LDS faith. Both of his parents attended BYU and he grew up following BYU football from a young age. This is partly the reason why BYU is his dream school.

"Both of my parents went there and my older brother is currently attending BYU," said Heimuli-Lund. "I have another brother currently serving a mission right now. He'll be attending BYU after his mission and he'll play lacrosse when he goes there. I've always been in love with the program since I was a little kid. I just grew up loving BYU. The standards they hold their players to are unique [at] the college level. I just love how it's a place that doesn't just make you a better player, but it's a place that makes you a better person in life. I love that. When you play at BYU you represent more than just football."

Like his older brothers and other family members who served LDS missions, Sione Heimuli-Lund will walk a similar path.

"Yes, serving a mission is definitely in the picture for me," Heimuli-Lund said. "My whole family has served one, so serving a mission is something I plan on doing after I graduate from high school."

Heimuli-Lund now holds two scholarship offers, one from BYU and the other from Utah. He still has three years of prep football to play and is just going to enjoy the recruiting process for the time being.

"I'm just going to enjoy the process," Heimuli-Lund said. "I was talking to Osa [Masina] and he said for me to just enjoy it. He said this is going to be a fun time in my life so to enjoy it. I just plan on going to camps, taking visits, enjoying [those] visits, and then make my decision when I have to."

He plans on attending BYU's summer camp this year as well as the All-Poly Camp to better improve his skills.

"I'm going to go to BYU's summer camp this year," said Heimuli-Lund. "I'm going to go to the padded camp. I want to go show my stuff and learn some more. There's always room for improvement so that's why I want to go."

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