Pau'u making waves

Pau'u making waves

Since receiving his first offer from the Cougars of BYU, Butch Pau'u has been very busy. He's been to a few combines and received two additional offers – with a few more possibly on the way – all the while still dominating on the tennis court. Pau'u is also getting his calendar set for a busy summer and will be out at BYU with some family and friends.

If there is anyone that you might label a typical All-American kid, it would be Butch Pau'u. The unassuming, hard-hitting linebacker from Servite High School in Southern California is just your typical young man who likes to play tennis.

"I'm just continuing to do tennis like before and lifting weights," Pau'u said. "I'll come home after a tennis match and then … practice some more with my dad and my sister."


In football news, Pau'u recently spoke to Coach Kaufusi, who is hard at work on the recruiting trail. Currently, Kaufusi is down in Southern California scouting out prospects from various schools such as Servite, Mater Dei, Orange Lutheran and others in the Trinity Southern League.

"I really like Steve Kaufusi," Pau'u said. "He's actually my uncle on my mom's side of the family. He walked in and I was like, 'Hey, what's up uncle?' It's just a family thing. He's working hard out here on the recruiting trail I guess."

Last Wednesday, Coach Kaufusi dropped by Servite High School to talk with head coach Troy Thomas.

"I was able to talk to [Kaufusi]," said Pau'u. "We just talked for a little bit about BYU's upcoming camp. I told him I was going to bring up a few players from Servite just to get them recognized, and hopefully BYU will take a look at them. I'm going to bring my little brother too and my cousin Mana from Servite. I want to bring them up to the camp and talk to all the coaches and work out with them."

Soon, another Cougar assistant coach will be visiting Servite as well.

"Coach Tidwell is coming down and that's just awesome," said Pau'u. "I get to finally see him in person and get to talk to him. He's supposed to come down to our school next week I think. I'm not really sure. I've only talked to him once. He seems like a really cool guy. He sent me a letter and it had his phone number on it. At the end of the letter it said, 'P.S. I lose to my daughters in tennis too.' I just thought that was hilarious."

Although Pau'u already has a scholarship offer from BYU on the table, and doesn't need to prove himself in the eyes of the Cougar coaching staff, he will still make the trip up to Provo to be a part of BYU's summer camp regardless.

"Yeah, I really plan on going to it," Pau'u said. "I want to go over there and experience BYU. I mean, I went there once and it was extremely fun, so to go up there again and just to go back and do it again would be awesome.

"Another reason why I want to go back up to BYU is because I want to bring my younger brother Neil up there. My brother is 6'3", 190, and he's only a sophomore next year too. He'll be the second-string quarterback next year. He's a little taller than I am, but that's okay. I'm still his older brother, so I guess I've got that on him.

"I want to bring my cousin Mana up there with me too. He plays linebacker and is also really good. I want to bring him up there so the coaches can take a look at him as well."

Next season, there could potentially be two Pau'u cousins in Butch and Mana manning the middle of the Servite defense.

"[Mana] and another kid will actually be battling for the starting position this year," Butch said. "We lost our starter from last year at strong-side linebacker, and so I hope he battles his butt off sometime this spring so he can get that starting position and have a year of experience under him.

"He's only a sophomore right now and will be a junior next year. If he gets the position, it would be awesome playing next to him."

In addition to being high school teammates, the two cousins could also potentially play together in college.

"I would love to play with [Mana] at BYU," said Pau'u, who is considered one of the top 30 California prospects. "He would love to go to BYU and comes from a really great family. He was in Uona Kaveinga's ward when he was back home."

Sounds like Pau'u has taken on the recruiting role for the Cougars at Servite High School.

"Yup, I'll bring all my Servite friends up there," he said with a laugh.

Along with coming to BYU's summer camp, Pau'u also wants to attend BYU's Junior Day on June 3.

"I guess they're having a little workout session, so I would like to go over there and go all-out with them."

Under Coach Mendenhall, the Cougar coaching staff was the first to offer Pau'u a full-ride scholarship. Since then, a few more croutons have been tossed into the scholarship-offer salad. Other colleges that have thrown their hat into the ring are Washington and Iowa State, and others might soon follow.

"Coach Thomas said that Nebraska might offer in the summer, which is really nice," said Pau'u. "There are other teams looking at me really hard like Duke, Colorado, Stanford, Missouri, Texas A&M, UCLA, USC and Oregon. Other than that, it's just a bunch of letters."

On April 18, Pau'u was on UCLA's campus to meet recruiting guru Tom Lemming for a photo shoot of the top Orange County football prospects.

"We went to go watch UCLA scrimmage, which was really nice. I talked to their o-line coach, their defensive line coach and a Servite grad who is also coaching there now. They said they really want me to come up their camp. They said they're really interested in me and want me to come up to their camp and perform."

Attending the BYU summer activities is a top priority for Pau'u. He might attend other camps, but isn't quite sure at this point if that will happen or not.

"We want to go up to some other camps like the UCLA camp," Pau'u said. "I'm trying to go out to the schools that have offered, but we really don't know if we're going to or not. I mean, right now we're for sure going to go up to BYU and take up a bunch of players and so I can get on the campus, but right now other than that it's up for grabs and I really don't know."

Pau'u also attended the invitation-only East L.A. Nike Combine back on March 11. Prospects ran through drills, scrimmaged, and were tested in the SPARQ ratings.

"I was named the MVP for the linebackers," Pau'u said. "It was a Nike Camp combine that was held at USC. All the top linebackers from Southern California came in. There were some linebackers from all across the nation that came down. There were linebackers from Nevada and guys from Washington that came down and from other states.

"The coaches were sort of looking at other players, because they sort of had the 6'2" or 6'3", 225-pound linebacker body. I just went out there and did my thing. I competed to the best of my ability and was first in every drill we did. I played really well up there and that sort of got me recognized more.

"I mean, all of these linebackers may have been bigger than me, but I beat them in every drill and I showed more vocal leadership. A linebackers' coach told me that I could play with these guys and that I deserve to play with them."

Not only did Pau'u play with some of the more physically imposing linebackers at the camp, but he actually beat out every single one of them. One can measure height, but no one can measure heart.

"It was really fun and I really wasn't expecting to win the camp linebacker MVP," Pau'u said. "I just came in there and my whole mindset was to just work and play my butt off. As soon as my mom heard my name she went over to my dad, and he was over eating a sandwich, and told him. They were both freaking out and surprised that I actually did that."

Pau'u hasn't yet made a commitment, but likes BYU.

"BYU is my top school," Pau'u said. "I think they're the school that I'm leaning towards the most, I would have to say. I mean, I have a lot of family up there, and BYU is my church school. I plan on going on my mission and all that stuff, and I've talked to a couple of the coaches up there.

"My family and I are just going with the flow right now. We plan on making a commitment before football season starts this fall, so we can make a commitment right then and there and just go from there."

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