More than just football: Alema Te'o promotes education, community with his All Poly Camp

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    June 22, 2013 10:24 p.m.

    Duck - nothing against Vic So'Oto but I didn't even know he was on the Redskins. He has only appeared in a handful of games, has less than 10 career tackles, and is listed 4th on the depth chart at his position. I wouldn't call that doing 'pretty well' in the NFL. He at least made a roster the past 3 years as an undrafted free agent but hardly an example of the success of BYU putting poly kids into the NFL.

    Even you would be hard pressed to argue that your team has been more successful in this area than Utah over the past few years.

  • Cougar Passion Salt Lake City, UT
    June 21, 2013 9:35 p.m.

    Vegas: Will do. And, as I said, I am quite happy to discuss things with someone who will do it rationally, as you do. Another quote from the aforementioned Gurney blog is this:

    "After he committed to Utah Lotulelei stated that he didn’t care that BYU didn’t offer since he liked Utah better anyway, but those feelings often come about after a recruit feels spurned by a particular program."

    That of course also makes it sound like a fact that Star didn't get offered, but at this point I'm really past caring. Clearly, only one story is right, unless of course the rating services got their information directly from Star, who interpreted something said by Doman as being an offer when in fact it wasn't. Then, I suppose, both sides could be right, and the discussion could continue. But I'm quite happy to let it rest now.

  • VegasUte Las Vegas, NV
    June 21, 2013 5:48 p.m.

    Passion - not to be argumentative, but as a side note, Rivals isn't the only reporting service that reflected the offer with Brandon Doman specifically being the recruiter.

    Take it for what it's worth.

    Go Utes!!

  • VegasUte Las Vegas, NV
    June 21, 2013 5:45 p.m.

    Perspective - Cougar Passion was responding to me and my post. He admitted that he may be wrong and gave me credit for what I posted. As a side note, he showed me why he thought the way he did about Star, which I accepted. No big deal! We were having a fair discussion, so I am a little offended, with you as a Ute fan, that you attacked him so hard over nothing. Please, don't be a Chris B!


    Just friendly advice from a caring Ute brother.

    Go Utes!!

  • wwookie Payson, UT
    June 21, 2013 5:23 p.m.

    Why does anyone respond to Chrissy?

    In response to islanda, despite the best efforts by some to make it look like the utes only care about football, the utes do have a very strong bond among all their poly brothers. Many recruits choose the utes because of this. Many former players that never made the pros still come back and actively support the team. Even some poly players that didn't play for utah, but are in the pros (Haloti Ngata) have adopted the utes (and the utes have adopted him too) because of the great support and comradery that exists at Utah.

    You know the Polynesian culture, how it is inclusive of others that aren't islanders. This atmosphere created by the strong Polynesian presence also makes Utah more attractive to recruits of any background. And don't mistake our happiness for guys like Star, Misi, Soliai, Fanene, ma'afala, Asiata, Komeuatu, etc etc as anything other than happiness for and pride in our Utah brothers.

  • MyPerspective Salt Lake City, UT
    June 21, 2013 3:18 p.m.

    Cougar Passion
    Your passion clouds your judgment. You and I have had this discussion before. You are more than willing to accept a statement from a byu centric sports journalist as long as it's what you want to see. Ask the questions, look at other sources, and evaluate. Then tell us what you find. Fair enough?


    Go Cougs

  • Cougar Passion Salt Lake City, UT
    June 21, 2013 2:24 p.m.

    MyPerspective: This is the only time I will respond to you. I am happy to discuss things rationally with fans of another school who are willing to do the same, as is clearly the case with VegasUte. Or did you not notice that VegasUte was willing to let it go after I referenced Brandon Gurney's blog post? Look, I don't know if in fact BYU offered Star and lied to Gurney about it--that's highly doubtful--or if somehow Gurney didn't hear it correctly--that's also fairly unlikely--or if Rivals got it wrong. I frankly think that is the most likely of the three, given that Rivals likely did not have direct contact with BYU's coaches, don't you? But given your obsession with trying to prove that Star was in fact offered by BYU when I offered a source that reported direct contact with BYU saying otherwise, I'm guessing it won't matter what I say. I did say to VegasUte that I might be wrong. I also thought it was important to state all I knew, which is why I followed up with Gurney's blog post.

  • Sheamus Salt Lake City, UT
    June 21, 2013 1:56 p.m.

    Great camp, great instruction and great coaches - good camaraderie. However, although it's open to all players of other nationalities/races beyond Polynesian - I noticed that non-Polynesian campers are not provided a genuine means to get out on the field during scrimmages, the first choice of a coach at the camp is a Polynesian. Had anyone else noticed that or is it just me? Just sayin'

  • MyPerspective Salt Lake City, UT
    June 21, 2013 11:28 a.m.

    Cougar Passion
    Your obsession with Star not selecting byu is unbelievable. Go to Rivals and look it up. byu did, in fact, offer Star a scholarship. Look it up instead of making it up.

  • Uteology East Salt Lake City, Utah
    June 21, 2013 12:33 a.m.

    “It’s about feeling part of a community and realizing that you have the potential to be a success on the football field, but especially off of it in the pursuit of education.”

    I absolutely agree with this statement!!!

    A great example is Star, who struggled but stayed in school to get his degree when he could have easily bailed to the NFL last year. He'll be a star on the football field but I feel he's a great roll model in the class room.

    Props to AT for what he is doing for these kids.

  • VegasUte Las Vegas, NV
    June 21, 2013 12:31 a.m.

    Cougar Passion: Fair enough.

  • Cougar Passion Salt Lake City, UT
    June 20, 2013 5:49 p.m.

    Just so you know that I wasn't imagining things, Brandon Gurney said in a DN blog post from 5/1/2012, after mentioning Jesse Taufi along with Bernard Afutiti:

    "Most BYU fans aren't familiar with those two names, but they should have been. Afutiti and Taufi both signed with BYU in 2008 and went on to prove to be two of the better line performers I've seen since first covering BYU practices back in 2003.

    Both of them flamed out in the classroom and never played a down for the team while taking up valuable scholarship spots. BYU coaches were likely heartbroken to see two extremely talented players not see the field due to not hacking it academically and were subsequently hesitant to pursue Lotulelei, as a result.

    I was told by a BYU assistant that they did not pursue Lotulelei due to existing academic concerns."

  • Cougar Passion Salt Lake City, UT
    June 20, 2013 5:35 p.m.

    Good enough. As I said, I've been wrong before. I had heard enough over time about how BYU had soured on experiences with a couple of highly-rated JC players, defensive lineman specifically--Bernard Afutiti was one; can't remember the other one right now--that they chose not to take a second chance on JC lineman Star, who had already missed qualifying for them out of high school. The story line--again, heard many times--was that this mindset cost them when they saw Star do sufficiently well academically, and that they were now reconsidering the risks of offering a scholarship to someone who may well fail academically versus the help that player could give to the line if he managed to make it.

  • FelisConcolor North Salt Lake, UT
    June 20, 2013 1:14 p.m.

    "Bronco fired all of his poly coaches several years ago, that was a brilliant move. Now he has seen that he was wrong and hired a couple this year."

    I suppose I could spend all day correcting the misinformation from Ute trolls in the comments in articles about BYU, but I just don't have time. So I'll just quickly point out to u25 that Steve Kaufusi has been a key member of the BYU coaching staff ever since he left Utah in 2002.

  • VegasUte Las Vegas, NV
    June 20, 2013 12:23 p.m.

    Islanda - Nicely said!!

  • VegasUte Las Vegas, NV
    June 20, 2013 10:42 a.m.

    JDL and Passion - Star came out of JC in 2010. He had offers, coming our of Snow, from Utah, BYU, Oregon State and Utah State. BYU's recruiter was Brandon Doman. Not trying to be a Chris B on this one, but BYU DID have a second shot at Star, and Star chose Utah. I'm sure the statement that Star wanted to go to BYU is correct, but only as it relates to his recruitment out of high school.

    Go Utes!!

  • ISLANDA Stansbury Park, ut
    June 20, 2013 10:32 a.m.

    @Chris B and your fans,

    Its pretty sad how guys all care about Poly when only comes to football, you don't even consider them to be part of a community. that's all you care about, if those Polys don't do well I'm pretty sure you are gonna forget and don't even care. Only to make your Utes team better or something like that. Tell me how many of the Polynesian player didn't make it to the NFL and now have successful career that you know of I WANT YOU TO NAME THEM AND TELL ME WHAT THEY ARE DOING NOW...ESPECIALLY THOSE THAT WENT TO THE U.

    K be real now these kids are just trying to make it better for them coming from the islands, coach Te'o in Camp didn't and i mean DID NOT TELL THESE KIDS TO GO TO THE UTES OR THE Y OK. HE PUSHED THEM TO BE A GOOD ADDITION TO THE COMMUNITY AND FOR THEMSELVES. I hope i make my points clear. And please know that us polynesians have it more than just football ok.

  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    June 20, 2013 8:55 a.m.

    Nice article about a good man. Thanks!

  • u25 West Jordan, UT
    June 20, 2013 8:11 a.m.

    Bronco fired all of his poly coaches several years ago, that was a brilliant move. Now he has seen that he was wrong and hired a couple this year.

  • Silent Lurker Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 20, 2013 7:54 a.m.

    Sorry, Chris B but you missed the point of the camp. It is to help the kids realize that they can use football to get a quality education, live a high value life, become a strong member of the community, the NFL may be a good goal but it is not the main focus. There are many good schools from which students can obtain a quality education. All three major schools Utah, BYU, and Utah State provide this opportunity.

  • Cougar Passion Salt Lake City, UT
    June 20, 2013 7:29 a.m.

    Good morning VegasUte,

    My understanding of the situation is similar to that of JDL: Star committed to BYU of high school, but didn't qualify. Then, because of similar situations where BYU previously got burned offering quality players with questions academically out of JC, BYU chose not to offer Star. That Star in fact did well academically at the U has BYU coaches again reconsidering the risk/reward ratio, and they are taking some chances again out of JC.

    I could be wrong on this--it wouldn't be the first time. But I believe the "Star wanted to go to BYU" view is correct.

  • JDL Magna, UT
    June 19, 2013 8:56 p.m.

    Vegas Ute, The way I understand it is Star committed to BYU and then went the JC route due to academics. Coming out of Snow, BYU missed out with recruiting him and he went to Utah

  • VegasUte Las Vegas, NV
    June 19, 2013 6:19 p.m.

    Cougar Passion: Just a point of clarification. Star was offered by byu coming out of JC, but turned them down to play at Utah.

    I love what Te'o is doing for the state of Utah. Keep up the good work!

    Go Utes!!

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    June 19, 2013 5:13 p.m.

    Vic So'Oto seems to be doing pretty well in the NFL christina. You seem to be struggling on the interwebz.

  • Cougar Passion Salt Lake City, UT
    June 19, 2013 5:10 p.m.

    More drivel from those obsessed with BYU. No mention of the fact that Star wanted to go to BYU. And given the strength of BYU's defenses under Mendenhall (and given how a kid with no experience three years ago becomes a top-5 pick under him), I'd say that an objective viewpoint recognizes that a player with the physical tools will do at least as well at BYU as he would at Utah.

  • UU32 Bountiful, UT
    June 19, 2013 4:57 p.m.

    Oh good, another comment line filled with Chris B's ranting and BYU fans falling for it.

    Alema does a lot of great things for the community. Lots of good work going on at his camps beyond just the game of football.

  • VegasUte Las Vegas, NV
    June 19, 2013 4:54 p.m.

    I think Chris B and Ducky are the same person.

    While the poly players are certainly a large part of the Utah football equation, they are a large part of BYU's also and have been for a long time. The best poly name to come out of the U, IMO, is Christian Fuamatuma'afala.

    Ed - take off your blue colored glasses. Utah has been to the exact same number of bowl games during the BCS period as the school to the south, 11. Now, if you want to compare the quality of those bowl games, the payoffs and the records - be my guest.

    Go Utes!!

  • Sinew South Centennial, CO
    June 19, 2013 4:44 p.m.

    Coach Te'o is awesome. I loved playing for him at Snow. He has a knack for lightening things up and getting the most out of a player.

    Get Gas on three!

  • EdGrady Idaho Falls, ID
    June 19, 2013 4:34 p.m.

    If Poly kids like 5-7 records and lots of down time during the bowl season, they'll choose the utes.

  • bobbymcghee houston, texas
    June 19, 2013 4:05 p.m.

    Umm, Uona Kaveinga went to the Broncos this year and is Tongan. I think recruits will be a little less blatantly biased than you. BYU has always had a strong Poly connection.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    June 19, 2013 3:14 p.m.

    Who was the last Poly Whittingham put in the NFL?


    Who was the last poly Bronco put in the NFL?


    I wonder if future recruits will notice the same thing I notice.


  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    June 19, 2013 2:44 p.m.

    The poly community in my opinion will be the number one strength of the Ute football program going forward and is VITAL to our success in the Pac12.

    We won't win most recruiting battles with USC or Oregon and no one is claiming we will.

    We will however win most recruiting battles in Utah(as we've already done the past several years if you look at recruits who were offered by all 3 schools) and the Poly community needs to make up a big chunk of our base each year.

    In Utah we're a little disadvantaged as you don't find a lot of the "speed" that is everywhere in Texas, Florida, California. So yes we need to continue to recruit texas and California hard.

    I see the large Utah Poly community being a huge advantage to the Utes both in terms of compared to other Pac 12 schools and also compared to byu/usu.

    The premier Poly kids will want to play for the premier program in the state.

    And that is the Pac 12 University of Utah Utes

    Go Utes