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July 19, 2012BYU has had some very good success at the fullback position. Most recently, we have seen Fahu Tahi, Fui Vakapuna and Manase Tonga clear the path for the RB's, protect the QB and make plays out of the backfield. All three former FB's went on to play in the NFL.
They've got a FB for the future in Patrick Palau who is 5-foot-11, 240-pounds. Patrick has traditionally played LB for East High in Salt Lake City, UT. The last time he played FB was when he was in his freshman year.
A year ago Palau attended the BYU Junior Day Camp where he first impressed the coaches. Since that time the coaches have been recruiting him, specifically Coach DuPaix. After his junior season the interest from BYU started to grow stronger.
When this year's Junior Day came he was hoping to again impress the coaches enough that they would offer him a scholarship. What did happen there surprised him a little. As he was in his drills Coach Doman and Coach DuPaix pulled him aside and said they wanted him to do FB drills and workout as a FB.
"It was shocking. At the same time I was happy and all for it. Nothing could make me happier because I just wanted the opportunity to play college ball" said Patrick.
While he was doing some of the FB drills current New York Jet and former BYU FB Fui Vakapuna was there to help out, a player that Palau looks up to.
"I grew up watching BYU as long as I can remember. I remember watching Fui [Vakapuna], [Manase] Tonga. I watched a lot of John Beck and all those years. And I remember the rivalry when Beck threw the touchdown to [Johnny] Harline. He [Fui Vakapuna] came up to me while I was doing drills and he pulled me out and said he really liked the way I played and that I reminded me of him and how he plays" said Palau.
After returning home from the camp Palau got a call from his recruiter Coach DuPaix, telling him that he and Coach Mendenhall would like to meet with him at the Coach's office and he should bring down whomever he wanted. So the next day they met with the coaches and Palau had brought his grandparents and uncle with him. After talking for a while about other things besides football, Coach Mendenhall gave Palau a piece of paper telling him that he was being offered a full ride scholarship to play football for BYU.
Having grown up a BYU fan and seeing his childhood friend and East High teammate Merrill Taliauli commit to The Y, it was simple decision for Palau.
"I really wanted to play for The Y and when that offer came and I took it right away It makes me excited. I'm optimistic about everything. I am just grateful to be offered by BYU and play football for them."
Palau was being recruited by Oregon State, Colorado, Princeton and Columbia. He holds a 3.5 GPA.