Usually when a top-rated prospect decides to commit, a phone call is made and congratulations are extended. On Wednesday when Coach Mendenhall received a phone call from top California linebacker prospect Butch Pau'u, he didn't just get one commit; he got two.
"My cousin [Jherremya Leuta-Douyere] and I committed to BYU today," said Pau'u. "We're really excited about it. While we were up there, the school and campus was so beautiful. Random people came up and said hi to us."
"It's just a lot of weight lifted off my shoulders," said Leuta-Douyere. "I can just now focus on my senior year knowing that I'm going to a great place like BYU. It's a big thing when you go to BYU. You have to be a positive role model and example to everyone. It's a big deal to go to BYU."
When Coach Mendenhall had both players on the phone, one talked more than the other.
"Jherremya is kind of shy, so I did most of the talking," Pau'u said. "I mostly spoke to Coach Mendenhall about committing, and then when I was done Jherremya wanted to talk to him."
"Yeah, I didn't really say much," Leuta-Douyere said with a laugh. "Butch did most of the talking. The few words that I got out to Coach Mendenhall were, 'Thank you for allowing me to have this opportunity and be a part of your program.' He then said he was doing cartwheels. He said his day was going great, but that it got even been after we called him. He said when we gave him the news his day got even better and he wanted to do cartwheels."
Pau'u wanted to commit to BYU while he was visiting BYU during the summer camp last week. However, his father Uepi wanted him to be patient, knowing that Leuta-Douyere had received an offer.
"I wanted to commit to BYU while I was up there but my dad said to wait," Pau'u said. "I was like, 'Oh my gosh!' because I wanted to commit then and there, but I'm happy now that I was able to commit with Jherremya.
"Just to know that I'll be a part of a program owned by my faith is incredible. To know that President Thomas S. Monson and the Quorum of the Twelve support a man like Bronco Mendenhall is just awesome to know. I'm at a loss of words right now."
As for Leuta-Douyere, he had to come home and talk to his parents after receiving his BYU offer. A meeting of the two players' families was later called. Mrs. Leuta-Douyere wanted some reassurance on a few things, and once that was cleared up, both Butch Pau'u and Jherremya Leuta-Douyere got the green light to call Coach Mendenhall with the news.
"Basically, my mom called Coach Mendenhall yesterday," said Leuta-Douyere. "She got the information she wanted to hear from him. We talked as a family and I told my mom and dad that I'm all in. We knew that Butch's family was waiting on our word, and once my mother got all the information she wanted to know from Coach Mendenhall, it just sealed the deal."
As Leuta-Douyere said, Coach Mendenhall was very excited about the news.
"It was kind of funny because he said he was so excited that if he didn't show up for work tomorrow, it was our fault," Pau'u said with a laugh. "I was like, ‘Aw, thanks coach! That's good to know.' It was kind of funny and Coach Mendenhall is such a great guy and my parents love him. Both my parents and Jherremya's parents got a chance to talk to him and they just love him.
"The way he holds himself in regards to a higher standard is above all other coaches. Jherremya's parents are in love with him. They know Jherremya is going to be okay up there and that Coach Mendenhall will take care of him and teach us to be the kind of young men our parents want us to be. Football can only go so far, and our parents know that BYU and the coaches there will expect us to be more than just great football players."
Now that Pau'u and Leuta-Douyere have committed to BYU, both wanted to relay a message of appreciation to BYU fans who've followed their recruitment, worried a tad bit and supported them.
"I'm coming home!" Pau'u said. "I just want to tell BYU fans that I'm coming home! I'm done and my parents can finally let go of the burden of taking care of me. I'm just grateful for the opportunity Coach Mendenhall has given me and for all the support of the fans. This is just awesome! I'm coming home and I'm grateful for my Heavenly Father for giving me the chance to go to a big school like BYU."
"I want to tell BYU fans thank you so much for the support," Letua-Douyere said. "I really didn't understand how big this really was, how anxious people were to know what me and Butch were going to do. I know people were waiting for us, and to hear of the support and see that is just amazing. It just feels good to have people out there support us on our journey and in the decisions we've made."
Congratulations and welcome to BYU, boys.
Servite High School linebacker and top California prospect Butch Pau'u and do-everything teammate Jherremya Leuta-Douyere called Coach Mendenhall Wednesday with some news. It was news that the BYU head coach and Cougar fans all across the country had been waiting to hear for a long time now.