High-SchoolFootball: BYU

The Huddle: Faith, Family and Football

October, 3, 2011
10/03/11
11:43
AM ET
The huddle is a sacred place in football; one where the team and game are the only things that count. We’re going inside the huddle by talking to football players on the POWERADE FAB 50 teams to find out their most valuable lessons learned -- on or off the field -- that contribute to their success.

Middle linebacker and tight end Butch "The Butcher" Pau'u of Servite High (Anaheim, Calif.) talks about choosing the right program not only for collegiate football but also for life preparation. Pau'u is a student with a 3.7 grade point average and has aspirations of a future in medicine. The 6-foot, 220-pounder committed to BYU in June over scholarship offers from Nebraska, Iowa State, Washington, Oregon State and Colorado -- largely because of his religious faith as a Mormon.

Playing solely on defense last season, Pau'u made over 100 tackles, registered five sacks, three interceptions and recovered two fumbles to lead the Friars to a 14-1 record and a state runner-up finish in California's the large schools division.

Pau'u, whose Friars just lost their first game in a close battle to Las Vegas powerhouse Bishop Gorman, listed education, environment, the coach, family's opinion and your decision among the five things for recruits should look for in selecting the right college.

"The first thing should be crucial is the education and how well-rounded the school is for academics because not many people are going to make it to the NFL," said Pau'u. "So after your college career, you could be done with football. So you want to be able to move on in life after football."

Second, said Pau'u, would be the campus environment, including "friends among teammates who will keep you on the right track, tell you the truth and help you to stay out of trouble."

The coach is third, said Pau'u, who will play for Bronco Mendenhall, followed by your family's influence.

"You want a coach who will tell you the truth when you're doing wrong, and who won't just baby you and will be in your ear, letting you know that you have to grow up or back down. You want to mature and to be able to handle life like a man," said Pau'u.

"Your family is next, because in most cases, they've helped you to get to that level, and they're the ones you thank. They're the ones who will be there by your side when all is said and done."

Finally, the recruit's own feelings, which, for Pau'u, boiled down to his faith.

"For me, I'm a Mormon, so it came down to being given the opportunity to serve my mission and still have a scholarship in hand, being able to play football," said Pau'u. "That was a big part of choosing BYU for me."

ROLE MODELs: Yepi and Tupou Pau'u, father and mother. "I've played football since I was seven, for 10 years now. My dad was my coach on and off the field, and he played linebacker at San Jose State. With chores, he taught me how to be a leader not a follower on and off the field and how to be a man. My mom is the most humble person on the face of the earth. She helps us with homework and reminds us to have God first, family second, education and football after that."

Get Familiar: Tanner Mangum

September, 26, 2011
9/26/11
9:30
AM ET
Tanner MangumTom Hauck/ESPNHSBYU commit Tanner Mangum, Eagle (Eagle, Idaho), was one of three MVPs at the Elite 11 finals this summer.


Not the fastest but the first.

Tanner Mangum’s older brother Parker offered this advice to Mangum when he began playing football in the second grade. It was his way of telling his younger brother that even if he might not be the most athletic player on the football field, he could still be the best player on it if he put in the time to improve.

The advice has stuck with Mangum throughout his career. The Eagle (Eagle, Idaho) senior quarterback knew that if he wanted to get noticed in a state not known for producing elite football talent, he’d have to work his tail off to excel against the nation’s best when the opportunity presented itself.

Mission accomplished. This offseason, the 6-foot-2, 190-pounder shined at the Elite 11 finals, where he was named co-MVP, and at Nike Football’s “The Opening” to establish himself as one of the nation’s premier signal-callers. Mangum is now rated the No. 10 quarterback and No. 148 overall recruit in the ESPNU 150.

It was a satisfying way to cap off what was a frustrating year for Mangum, who missed the majority of his junior season with a broken collarbone. And he’s carried that momentum into his senior season, throwing for 1,181 yards, 13 touchdowns and just two picks through his first four games (4-0).

Mangum has committed to BYU, but he won’t set foot on the Provo campus until the summer of 2014 when he completes his two-year LDS mission.

But before he does, he’s looking to cap off his high school career with a state title.

So what drives this well-rounded QB? It’s time to Get Familiar with Tanner Mangum.

Read More »

SPONSORED HEADLINES