BYU is looking to bring in some junior college talent to shore up some areas such as cornerback, defensive line and offensive line. Cornerback Trenton Trammell signed his letter intent last week, while Sam Lee is another junior college cornerback that has committed to BYU.
Meanwhile, Compton Community College’s Kalolo Manumaleuna-Utu has also committed to the Cougar program, but he hasn't signed a letter of intent yet, as he needs to speak to the Cougar coaching staff about that process.
“You know what, I haven’t even talked to them about that yet,” said Manumaleuna-Utu. “I haven’t graduated yet and they were planning on bringing me in on June. I don’t think I’ll be up there until July. I need to talk to Coach Kaufusi about that.”
He has been in contact with the Cougar coaches, however.
“Coach Kaufusi called me up [on Wednesday],” said Manumaleuna-Utu. “He called me up to say hi and asked me about how the holidays are going and things like that. He asked me how school was going and I told him that I have two semesters left, so I should make a go of it when I graduate in June.”
BYU was hoping to bring Manumaleua-Utu out in June to be a part of the early summer voluntary workouts.
“I’m definitely going to graduate in June for sure,” said Manumaleuna-Utu. “I know they were planning on bringing me in during the summer, but I graduate in June, so that’s why I planned on being out there in July. I guess I’m supposed to start school in the fall. They just want to bring me in during the summer so I can be there for the summer workouts.”
By the time Manumaleuna-Utu steps foot on campus, his plans on being a slim 235 pounds in order to play middle linebacker like one of his favorite players in Rey Maualuga. So how is that going?
“Well, we just had Christmas the other day, so you know how that goes,” said Manumaleuna-Utu with a laugh. “We had a dinner with all the family. Man, I just couldn’t say no! I’ll tell you what though, when 2013 comes around in a couple of days, things are going to get serious though. It’s going to be all about getting down to business.”
Coming from Samoa while at the high school level, Manumaleuna-Utu played defensive tackle for just a couple of years prior to leaving on a mission. It has always been his goal to play middle linebacker at the next level, and he still has that goal in sight.
“I mean, I already told you what I’m planning to do,” said Manumaleuna-Utu with a laugh. “I’m coming in there to play linebacker and I’m coming in at around 230 or 235 bro. I’m 285 right now, but I’ve got time. I got this down bro and I’ll get there.”
If not, he'll be on the defensive line, where BYU needs more depth due to attrition after the 2012 season. Either way, he’s looking forward to getting out to BYU, and is humbled by the staff giving him the opportunity to play for the Cougars.
“It really tells me a lot of how much faith they have in me, especially after being away from the game a few years,” said Manumaleuna-Utu. “I’m looking at this as another opportunity, you know? But that defense BYU has is a really good one, and it really says a lot about what the coaches think of you as a player and person to want [me] to come in and uphold that standard.”
The quest to do so will begin next season.