BYU football: Cougars receives running back commit

Published: Sunday, Aug. 12 2012 10:16 p.m. MDT

BYU commit Darrin Laufasa held offers from Idaho, Wyoming and Portland State. He'll play running back for BYU.

Laufasa family

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WHITE CITY, Wash. — BYU received a football commit from Darrin Laufasa from Bothell High School in Washington. The 6-foot-1, 220-pound running back is BYU’s 22nd commit for the 2013 class. He held offers from Wyoming, Portland State and Idaho at the time of his commit.

Although not LDS, Laufasa grew to appreciate BYU early on after familiarizing himself with two of its top running backs — Manase Tonga and Harvey Unga. In attempting to train him, his older brother presented film of both players.

“He told me that I needed to run like those guys if I wanted to play in college,” said Laufasa. “He’d show me how they weren’t all about trying to get guys to miss, but just ran over people. I’m a big guy, so he told me that I needed to focus on running like them.”

BYU soon took notice of Laufasa and paid him a visit. Coach Kelly Poppinga started recruiting him in May, and BYU has been his top choice since.

“Everything I learned about BYU made me think it was the best place for me,” said Laufasa. “I’m Catholic, but I loved the idea of going to school with other staunch Christians that held the same values that I do. BYU just grew on me more and more whenever I’d talk to coaches.”

Laufasa and his father John made an unofficial visit to BYU this past weekend to learn more about the program and hopefully to receive an offer.

“BYU exceeded my expectations when I was on my visit and my expectations were pretty high,” Darrin Laufasa said. “They had everything planned for me. They took me on a tour of the campus and the facilities, and they were amazing.”

Laufasa also was able to meet a lot of the players, including Michael Alisa, who spent a good deal of time with him.

“I sat in on the position meetings and Mike (Alisa) sort of took charge to show me everything,” Laufasa said. “I thought it was great that the starting running back would take so much time to make sure I understood everything and to show me things.”

During the visit, both John and Darrin Laufasa were able to meet with coach Bronco Mendenhall.

“He’s an amazing coach and an amazing person,” Darrin Laufasa said. “He cares for you as a person more than he cares about you as a football player. He wants you to succeed off the football field as much as on it, so I think he’s the perfect coach for me.”

Darrin and John Laufasa left their visit convinced that BYU was where Darrin needed to commit but needed his mom’s approval until they made it official.

“It didn’t take long to convince my mom,” said Darrin. “She immediately realized that it was where I wanted to go above any other place and she loves what BYU is and what it stands for. I’m very excited about my decision and my opportunity to play for such a great program.”

Email: bgurney@desnews.com

Twitter: @BrandonCGurney

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