BYU football: Harvey Langi appears ready to go at linebacker

2014-08-04T06:00:00Z 2014-09-02T22:01:10Z BYU football: Harvey Langi appears ready to go at linebackerJared Lloyd Daily Herald Daily Herald
August 04, 2014 6:00 am  • 

It's not the first time this particular story has been told in the state of Utah: an athlete chooses to go to the University of Utah, serves an LDS mission, then decides to transfer to BYU.

The most recent individual to make that choice is former Bingham standout Harvey Langi.

BYU head football coach Bronco Mendenhall said after Friday's practice that having athletes follow that route is something he thinks is good for the program.

"Division I football players who are on missions and living the standards, then have interest in BYU," Mendenhall said. "In general, that's a great thing."

Langi gained 70 yards on 13 carries for the Utes in 2011 before heading to Tampa, Florida on his two-year mission.

When he got back, however, the sophomore had decided to go a different direction.

For the last few weeks, there had been some uncertainty about Langi's status. Last week, however, BYU freshman defensive lineman Kesni Tausinga tweeted a photo of Langi from his @king_cuzz Twitter account with the comment: "The newest edition to the #BYUfootball team... Harvey Langi!!!"

On the first day of practice, there was Langi taking the field with the rest of the Cougars and drawing positive reviews for his performance.

"I'm very impressed, not only in him as a football player but in him as a person," Mendenhall said. "We are right at the beginning of his career and I'm really impressed with him."

Langi spent the first days wearing No. 21 in white and playing linebacker, which is surprising to many who thought of Langi as a running back after his success at Bingham.

"That [linebacker] is where he chose to play," Mendenhall said, adding the initial thought was for the former Miner to be a running back. "When Harvey expressed interest in BYU [when he was in high school], that's where I thought he wanted to play. It wasn't until after he came home from his mission and set up a meeting with me that [linebacker] is what he said he wanted to do."

The Cougar head coach said BYU watched Langi really closely in high school.

"We had offered him a scholarship to come to BYU, so I've been impressed with him for a long time," Mendenhall said.

There might have been an option to give Langi a year to get familiar with the system and back physically, but when asked if the sophomore would redshirt Mendenhall replied, "I think we all want him to play right now."

Langi's athleticism and physique has Cougar fans excited about his possible contribution, but the sophomore should be given some time to get acclimated.

BYU supporters have every right to expect an exciting career from Langi as he shows what he can do.

Daily Herald sports editor ​Jared Lloyd can be reached at 801-344-2555 or jlloyd@heraldextra.com. Twitter: @JaredrLloyd. Instagram: @JaredrLloyd.

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