Here at Lawless Republic we will be profiling all the 2013 signees & return missionaries who will be joining the BYU Football team this season. This will be a daily feature on the site as we count down to Fall Camp.
Bountiful, Utah; Bountiful
Before BYU:Rylee Gautavai had an outstanding career as a linebacker for Bountiful High School out of Northern Utah. Gautavai grew up playing soccer and is relatively new to the game of football, but, his raw talent and high potential were enough for BYU to offer him a scholarship. The First-Team All-State linebacker’s senior statistics are enough to see why BYU was eager to get Gautavai. The 6’1”, 205 pound senior racked up 117 tackles and 4.5 sacks at Bountiful.
Gautavai demonstrated good awareness and closing speed in high school. On his film, it looks like he lacks the strength and athleticism to become an elite defensive player for Coach Bronco Mendenhall, but his ability to read plays quickly and wrap up on tackles makes him a good fit for this defense.
Expectations in 2013: Red Shirt Candidate
Spencer Hadley, Alani Fua, Kyle Van Noy and Jherremya Leuta-Douyere are some of the names that will be ahead of Gautavai on the BYU roster this year. As an undersized and inexperienced freshman, Gautavai has the opportunity to learn from a great core of outside linebackers during this season. If he does not red shirt, I don’t anticipate him seeing much playing time this year for BYU. A year taking notes and putting on man-weight at Legends Grill will only help Gautavai’s career at BYU.
The potential in BYU career: Moderate
The two-star recruit was underrated coming out of high school. He has decent speed and should put on a few pounds in college now that his soccer career is over. Gautavai has good football instincts and has a knack for reading plays early and making tackles. He has some work to do to reach the right size, but I don’t see weight being an issue. He comes to BYU at a time when the Outside Linebacker position is as deep as it’s ever been so he won’t be making an immediate impact. As Gautavai learns this season, however, I think that he has the skill set to become a very good player.