February 8, 2013
Moroni Laulu-Pututau is worth the wait, and the weight
Weight and wait. That's what Moroni Laulu-Pututau has in his immediate football future. The 6-foot-4, 190-pound wide receiver and cornerback from Mountain Crest High School is fast enough to play wide receiver at BYU, but the coaches really like his potential to play tight end at the program where NFL tight end alumni are a dime a dozen.
"They told me that they like that they can move me around a lot and they talked a lot about mismatches. I think just my size and how fast I'll be if I can get heavier and keep my speed. As a tight end they like that I could line up out wide or keep me in and have some mismatches."
"Coach Anae just talked to me about how his offense is run and how he works it, and how he thinks I will fit into it really well. Also how he throws it to his tight ends a lot and it's a big part of his offense."
On national signing day Coach Mendenhall likened Moroni to former Cougar greats Jonny Harline and Dennis Pitta. Harline seems to me to be an excellent comparison for Moroni. Harline was slender for a tight end but ran excellent routes, had great hands, and could elevate to catch high passes over the middle or on fade routes in the corner of the end zone. The coaches envision Moroni being utilized in the same way, a catch-passing tight end who can make plays from a three point stance, lined up in the slot, or split out wide.
If he is to line up in a three point stance he will certainly need to put on weight, he might need to put on more weight than any other recruit in the class of 2013. He has been trying to put on weight since the end of his first team all-state senior season, where he led his team to the state championship game, and lost a close one in double overtime. This two sport standout has found however, that it's hard to gain weight while playing basketball.
It will hopefully be easier to gain weight while proselytizing in the Chile Antofagasta Mission, where Moroni will be going after he reports to the MTC on March 27th. We have all heard of signees who graduate from high school early and enroll at BYU for winter semester so that they can attend Spring Camp, Moroni graduated early so that he could serve a mission, and as a result will have more time to prepare for his freshman season upon his return from his mission. This to me shows the sense of urgency and the drive that BYU fans will come to know within Moroni.
It was this same drive that earned him a scholarship offer from BYU and Utah State before his junior year of high school (it also didn't hurt that at 6-foot-4 he runs a 4.55 40 time). He knew what he wanted and he committed to BYU upon receiving the offer.
As a tight end in a receiver's body, he also has a tight end mentality, he certainly doesn't have any kind of aversion to contact.
"That's the fun part... I think I'm pretty good at blocking as a wide receiver too, I've never really had to block as a tight end. So that will be something new coming off the line."
What about BYU earned his commitment and signature on his National Letter of Intent?
"My faith, it's where my family would like me to go, it's where they felt that it was the best place for me. Football of course, it's a good program. Their tradition and the kind of system that they have, I think I'd fit best over there. Their academics, and it's also close to home."
Seeing Moroni play for the Cougars will certainly be worth the wait, and the weight.
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