"He'd catch the offensive linemen under their shoulder pads, lift them and with one arm, toss them out of the way," said Snow head coach Tyler Hughes, then the team's offensive coordinator. "He was doing that at practices regularly, moving 280-, 290-pound kids with one arm."
Lotulelei opted to redshirt the next fall, and saw his weight balloon even higher, to 350 pounds.
Finally, with a chance to play for Utah, he called on his uncle again, dropped 30 pounds and got ready for Division I.
He earned a starting job with three games left in Utah's 2010 season.
Now, he figures with a wife and family it's more important to get his degree in the fall and build up that pre-draft resume.
"The NFL can wait," said Lotulelei, who turned 22 last week.
"We're all really proud of him," said prep coach Peck, who has watched Lotulelei's kid brother, Lowell, blossom into another high school star. "(Star) was always a respectful kid and worked hard, yet some kids struggle in the classroom. Even in that area he's totally turned things around. I couldn't be happier for him and his family."
Hughes doesn't see much else about Lotulelei changing. "I think he'll always maintain his perspective and his humility," Hughes said. "I don't know if he'll allow himself to believe all the amazing things being said about him."
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