Brigham Young University football coach Bronco Mendenhall took a risk when he offered 6-foot-7, 410-pound nose guard recruit Motekiai Langi a full ride. Heck, Mendenhall offered the scholarship after meeting with the high schooler for just 15 minutes.
Langi is a recruit from Liahona, Tonga and the only football experience he has is a couple of camps he participated in, in his home country. But when you’re the coach at a school like BYU, these are the types of risks you need to take if you want to compete with the likes Ohio State and Alabama.
“Maybe we’ll just have him lay sideways right off the snap and just block the whole thing out,” Mendenhall said, according to Business Insider. “There’s got to be someway he can do something.”
The story gets even better! Langi has some experience playing a sport that involves an oval shaped ball. The future Cougar plays rugby!
“It’s not a fat 410. It’s a solid — lean isn’t the right word — it is a solid-looking, healthy giant man,” Mendenhall said. “When I shook his hand, his hand went almost up to my elbow, and I was like, ‘How can this not being something?'”
Here’s the catch… Langi won’t attend the school until 2017. The future college defensive lineman is currently on a church mission in Arizona.
Considering Langi has never played organized football, it’ll be interesting to see if he makes an impact when he arrives at the school in a couple of years. One benefit BYU could offer Langi, would be a spot on their rugby team as well. It is not uncommon for ruggers to play on both teams, and could come at a huge benefit for both Langi and the BYU Athletics program. And if it doesn’t work out, Langi can play rugby full time.
According to the BYU head football coach, when assistant coach Steve Kaufusi first discovered the future Cougar, Langi was playing a game of pickup basketball with his friends. Mendenhall says Kaufusi described him as “a giant body who’s light on his feet and can change direction.”
Could you imagine a 6-foot-7, 410-pound prop on the BYU rugby team? That would be something!
Check out the only known film on the BYU commit. Enjoy!
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