PROVO, Utah – Colleges across Utah announced their football recruiting choices for 2015 Wednesday; Brigham Young University wound up with the biggest recruit of them all--but he has never played football before.
Head coach Bronco Mendenhall sent defensive line coach Steve Kaufusi and his staff to look for hidden talent two years ago, and their search took them to the islands of Tonga, Fiji, Samoa and New Zealand. Motekiai Langi was impossible to miss.
Langi stands 6-feet 7-inches tall and weighs 410 pounds, but when the guys from BYU saw him in action they were impressed by how light on his feet he was and the way he could change direction. Langi is from Tonga, where football isn’t as popular, so he was evaluated during a pickup basketball game.
Langi is now in the Missionary Training Center and plans to serve a 2-year religious mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but before entering the MTC he stopped by to see Mendenhall. Fifteen minutes after meeting Langi, Mendenhall said he offered him a scholarship to play for the Cougars.
Mendenhall said that even with a lack of experience, they expect Langi to be an asset to the team. He even joked that if nothing else Langi could fall sideways after the snap to block the line.
FOX 13 Sports’ Morgan Vance has more on the story, see the video above for Mendenhall’s comments and images of Langi.