January 25, 2013

BYU Commit Patrick Palau on his Official Visit

Patrick Palau has enjoyed meeting a lot of guys during his football playing days. Most of the guys he has met haven't necessarily enjoyed meeting him however. His introductions are a little bit rude when you are an opposing ball-carrier looking for some running room. This former running back was just the guy he was looking forward to meeting, and this time the pleasure was mutual.

"I met Coach Atuaia for the first time at the official visit, and I felt like I've known him for a long time when we first met. So that just brings up how close we felt when we first met each other, we just connected right off the spot. I saw a lot of me in him and he told me he saw a lot of him in me. And it's just kind of funny because we come from the same background and our experiences that we've gone through, he kind of compared himself to me to put it like that overall."

"We talked about school, how is my school doing? How is my family? He introduced himself and told me a lot about himself so that I could get to know him in a better way and it just went on from there. Throughout the whole visit I got to know him even more, and after the official visit him and Coach Mendenhall came to my house this past Monday. We talked about how the visit went and what the big picture was, what do I see myself doing in a couple years after my mission. Why am I serving a mission? Why did I choose BYU? Why is BYU a good fit for me? All of those questions, and it was a great experience."

Coach Atuaia is going to be the man that takes this bull-dozing linebacker and turns him into a bull-dozing fullback at BYU, under the direction of the new offensive coordinator Robert Anae.

"Coach Anae is great, he's great. From the couple of minutes that I met with him and from the meeting that I had with the coaches he is a wonderful guy. He knows what he's doing, and I really appreciate that about him. He knows a lot, that's all I can say, but I know that he's going to be a great coach. He said that the offense is going to be fast, and every play is going to be hard. So it's just those two things put together, the offense is going to be hard and fast all the time. There's no stopping it, it just keeps going, I like how he brought that in because I see a lot of teams that lack a sense of urgency. The way he described it to us, we aren't going to let down or waste a play, so every play is going to be all out."

Patrick only camped at BYU and Utah State, who also offered him, and being a Cougar fan growing up he knew that BYU was the place he wanted to play. He committed the moment he was offered by Bronco Mendenhall last summer.

"I can honestly just say that I committed to BYU because of my religion and what I believe in. I was raised by goodly parents who raised me in the church and raised me well and I base my life on that and the way I live is the way at BYU. The honor code and all of these things that makes their school different is the reason why I like BYU over all of the other schools. It's not just about football over there, Coach Mendenhall was speaking to us during the visit and he put four things up there, he talked about education, firmness, character and spirituality. He put football last and he put the Lord first. That just explains why I joined BYU and why I like them so much, they have such a wonderful atmosphere over there and their schooling is top notch. I'm not just going to BYU because I believe it, that's part of it, but because of the way I see people change because of the honor code."

Nothing short of top notch schooling would do for Patrick, who was also offered by Ivy League schools Princeton and Columbia. He is going to wait to start that schooling until after his mission however, which will be two more years of maturing for a kid that is already a man among boys. As excited as he is to attend BYU when he gets back, you can bet that Coach Atuaia is even more excited to see him clearing the way for Cougar running backs in the future.

"The official visit was amazing, it was a great experience just because it was nothing like I expected it to be in my first time going to a visit to a college just for football, and experiencing it for the first time just me and my family. I liked everything about it, I loved the vibe everywhere, the atmosphere at BYU has such a great vibe to it that goes around. Everyone's so nice, and everyone just gets along, I guess we could put it that way."

This version of Patrick that talks about good vibes and getting along is certainly a different person than all of the running backs that he abused the last four years had ever seen. Don't take it personally, he's now a running back's best friend.

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