Coming out of Servite High School in California, Butch Pau’u and Jherremya Leuta-Douyere both entered the BYU program in 2012. Now, in 2015, they are at completely different stages in their careers.
JLD enters the year as a senior who will start at WLB for the Cougars, while Pau’u – the older of the two – is listed on the roster as a freshman.
“It’s kind of shocking, I still feel like I should still be back in HS. It’s crazy how time flies. It was kind of lonely when he was gone on a mission so when he came back I was excited to have him back,” said JLD. “It’s kind of weird that he’s a freshman and I’m a senior and the roles have kind of switch where in HS I was looking up to him, following his path. But now I feel like it’s my duty to show him the reigns on what he missed out on while he was on a mission.”
JLD adds some versatility to the linebacker core seeing time at both ILB and OLB in previous seasons. While he’s slated to start at WLB this season, don’t be surprised if he will contributed at some point to BLB. He feels that learning these positions gives him a better understanding of the defense as a whole.
“It’s kind of interesting, all throughout HS I was an outside rusher and when I came here I was moved inside. It helped me learn the defense better as a whole and I think the middle’s don’t get enough credit for what they know. When I moved back outside I felt that I could play a lot faster because I knew where everyone fit.”
Pau’u has always been seen by JLD as a leader. When he first met Pau’u, he was taken around Servite’s campus and referred to Pau’u as ‘coach’, only to find out he was a fellow player.
“I still look toward Butch for guidance, but he’s more like a brother [than a coach].”
Pau’u also gave some praise to JLD, noting that while he is the more quiet of the two, he still has plenty to learn from him.
“When it comes to humility and it comes to what you’re supposed to do, like Coach Mendenhall says, that’s what Jherremya’s good at,” he also added, “I would have to say [two guys who have helped in teaching the defense are] Jherremya and Manoa Pikula both those guys are seniors. I had a lot of struggles coming into it because the Buck has a lot of checks, we have to know what the D-Line is doing and what the Safeties are doing, whenever I have questions I go to Jherremya for answers.”
While Pau’u took two years off from football to serve a mission in Honduras, he said that he learned a lot as a missionary that he felt would help him on the football field.
“I learned to not feel like I’m under pressure at any time or moment and to play calm. I feel like what I studied and prepared to do will help me perform out on the field.” Pau’u later added, “When I was on my mission I did a lot of work when it came to linebacker drills with my companions and that helped me retain anything that I was leaving behind. Coming back, I kind of had a feel for the game but still need to catch up.”
While it’s been four years since the two played together, they are looking forwards to being on the field together one last time.
“During the scrimmage we had an opportunity on a series where we were both in. As soon as we walked on the field the first thing we said to each other was that it was like the old times,” said Pau’u.
“I used to get asked all the time, ‘Hey, what’s Butch gonna be like when he’s back?’ I’d say, ‘Oh man, you guys have no idea.’ He’s looked good in scrimmages and once he started making plays he made me proud and I can say Butch is my guy out there.”