January 9, 2013

BYU in 32nd ranked 3* DE Gaius Vaenuku's top 4

Just last month BYU offered the 32nd ranked defensive end in the country in the class of 2013, and immediately found themselves among his top 4. 3* DE Gaius Vaenuku from Trinity High School in Euless, Texas has offers from six Pac-12 programs, four Big 12 programs, Missouri (SEC) and Michigan (Big 10). In his top 4 are Missouri, TCU, Utah and BYU.

Why didn't BYU offer the talented defensive end this last summer when he visited with Bronco Mendenhall in his office?

"He just went over what I wanted, and told me that BYU had that for me, but he told me that I needed to get my grades up before they could offer me."

Gaius did well this last semester in school and scored well on the ACT, so BYU offered and is instantly among his favorites.

"Yeah, I grew up a BYU fan."

"To be honest, I just thought they're a really great team, I haven't really seen much. This will be my very first time since sixth grade seeing the campus when I went to their camp. After this visit I'll let everybody know what I like and what I didn't like. I really don't know that much about BYU. All I really know is that they're a good team."

What does he know about the BYU Cougar football team? "They play together as a family, I've read a lot about their tradition over there. They're all about tradition"

Gaius' teammate and fellow defensive end at Trinity High School Sam Tevi has committed to the University of Utah, but he has friends and family at BYU as well. "I've got a couple friends, mostly family over there. Ross Apo is my uncle, Bronson and them are distant relatives I think."

"My number one priority is to go to a school that will let me go on a mission, who will honor that. The second is education. And someone who will take care of me, that's all I ask. I'll do the rest."

"I want a football team that's like a family, everybody has each other's back, and they're not trying to play to hurt each other or get down on or criticize each other. To be honest that's all I'm looking for."

Missouri, TCU, and Utah have all agreed to hold his scholarship for him until he gets back from his mission. He plans on serving right after high school before he enrolls. Based on what he's looking for in a school it's not surprising that the Cougars find themselves among his favorites. From the film that I have seen of Gaius he looks to me to be a great fit for BYU's 3-4 defense. In a majority of the plays that he made on his film he just overpowered his opponent and bull-rushed him into the backfied to make a play.

Gaius' high school team runs both a 3-4 and 4-3, depending on the situation. "I really like the 4-3 because I like the four man rush."

The Cougar coaching staff will have their chance to sell him on the 3-4 that they employ this weekend when he takes his official visit to Provo. They have Ziggy Ansah's incredible senior season and NFL draft stock to help them with that sale, along with Bronson Kaufusi's extensive playing time and success as a true freshman having just returned from his mission.

"This will be my second visit, the first one I went to Missouri. It was fun, but we really didn't do anything because everybody had exams. Most of them were studying so we just hung out at the hotel."

This visit should be a little more fun for Gaius than his Missouri visit, "I know I'm going to watch a basketball game, they said that Bronson is going to be my host and he plays basketball for BYU now."

"My whole family has always liked BYU because it's the church school, so it's the team that I've always rooted for. My parents are BYU fans but they don't care where I go, they just care that I get my education, as long as I get my degree."

Thanks to Gaius' efforts in the classroom he might just end up getting that degree from BYU.

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