Every Cougar fan wants to know what is on the mind of the biggest uncommitted 2013 recruit in the state, and CougarNation caught up with Bingham High School Head Coach Dave Peck to find out what to expect from 3* DT Lowell Lotulelei. At 6-foot-2, 290-pounds Lowell is the 30th ranked DT in the country and the 4th ranked recruit in the state with offers from Boise State, Cal, Oregon State, UCLA, Utah St, Utah, and BYU. "Right now I think he still wants to take his trips when the seasons over before he makes a decision. If you ask me right now I definitely think that BYU and Utah are both in the mix, I don't know what out of state schools he's interested in."
Lowell Lotulelei has yet to take any official visits, so what unofficial visits has he made? "He probably spends more time at Utah because his brother's up there, He goes up and watches the games when he can so I would definitely say that he spends more time at Utah than anywhere else because of his brother playing up there. In the end I would be really surprised if he ended up going out of state, but I don't know at this point."
Lowell's brother Star initially committed to BYU out of high school but couldn't qualify academically. After a year at Snow College Utah offered and BYU didn't. So what are Lowell's family hoping he will do? "I think in the beginning they were BYU fans, but with Star playing up at Utah they've become Utah fans, and I think they like both programs, so as far as his family I think they will just leave the decision up to him."
Star is going to be playing in the NFL next year before Lowell has a chance to play with him, so do you go where your brother played, or do you go play with your cousin Inoke Lotulelei who has committed to play at BYU? "Yeah they're cousins, I don't know how close they are, I'm pretty sure they're first cousins, but I have no idea (How much influence Inoke will have on Lowell to play at BYU)."
Lowell, like Star, carries his weight really well, and moves better than a lot of lighter linemen do. "He's probably about 290 right now, 295 and just as strong as a bull, he's really got good hands, he's good, I think he's the best D-Lineman in the state in my mind."
Who was the better defensive lineman as a senior in high school out of Star and Lowell? "I would say it's about sixes, I would be shocked if they're both not first team all state D-Lineman, Star led us to a state title in '06, played both ways, Lowell played a little bit on the other side but not much. As far as speed Star has maybe a little more athleticism but not when it comes to technique, I think Lowell has got him when it comes to technique at the same age. Lowell really has figured out that D-Line, he knows when to come, he knows when to sit, he knows when to bull rush, when to make a move, he's good."
How does Lowell compare to a former 3* DT miner who committed to play at BYU in 2011 and is currently on his mission, Kesni Tausinga? "Kesni played D-Line for us his Junior year then played mainly O-Line his next year, so different kind of players but Lowell is a little bit bigger, a little bit more of a technician, definitely knows that position better at this point."
Will the defensive system ran at BYU and Utah dictate where Lowell decides to play? Which system suits him better? "He's going to be good in either system, he'd make a great nose guard in a 3-4, and we actually play him in both, we'll play him at some tackle and some nose guard. We'll actually run an even man front at times too where he's lined up over guards similar to what Utah does, so we do a little bit of both and he'd be comfortable in either scheme."
How often do BYU commit Keegan Hicks and Lowell Lotulelei line up across from each other? "Just about every day, he (Keegan) holds his own, Lowell is definitely an exceptional kid but for two years in a row they line up against each other every day." Who has the advantage out of the two? "I'd give Lowell the advantage, Lowell's got plenty of advantage over any O-Lineman in the state, he's just that good.
What can BYU fans look forward to seeing in Keegan when he enrolls at BYU? "Keegan's a good leader on our team, he'll get after it until the play's over. Keegan at the beginning of the year got in a boating accident and missed two or three games and kinda busted up his shoulder a little bit, and took 29 stitches I think in his head so he missed a few games. But he's playing good ball for us, there's definitely a reason we're better here at the end of the year, it's because we're healthy and we got our guys back."
The Miners also have another BYU commit on the team in WR Hayden Weichers. "Hayden just is a great playmaker, real good ball skills, he catches the ball really well, he was just named region 4 offensive player of the year. He can take it the distance any time he touches the ball, good speed, all around just a good heady player who knows the position. He's the only player on the team to start both ways for us."
One of the top recruits in Utah in 2014 is also a Bingham Miner in Dalton Schultz. He currently holds offers from BYU, Utah, Stanford, Cal and Oklahoma to name a few. "I think he is (LDS) but he's not a mission kid. Yeah there's a chance (that Dalton stays in state), but Oklahoma offered him last week, he's got quite a few out of state offers. I don't know, he's just a Junior, things change. He's a 3.9 student so I know Stanford is really appealing to him, but if he knew what he wanted to do he would have already made a commitment. I know (his family members were) big Utah fans growing up."
Of the three seniors on his team with offers from BYU Coach Peck said: "I would think that all of them are interested in going on missions but I don't know for sure, Hayden and Keegan I think for sure will go on missions."
There are a number of factors that could swing Lowell's decision either way in his recruitment. He may see the opportunity to play right away at BYU as the two deep on the defensive line is mostly seniors, or he might want to try to follow in his graduating brother's footsteps at Utah. The top 3 recruits in the state have all committed to play out of state, but BYU fans are hoping that the Bingham pipeline will carry him south to Provo.