PROVO — He's never played a single down of actual football, but fans will likely see a glimpse of him playing a certain role during the coming season.
BYU defensive coordinator Ilaisa Tuiaki confirmed to the media on Tuesday that Motekiai Langi will be part of both the field goal kick and block units during games this fall, although it may be a while until he sees time playing defensive tackle.
“He’ll play on special teams right now, because we can kind of make his assignment specific, but it’s really, really difficult," Tuiaki said regarding where Langi will contribute.
So how long until fans see the 6-foot-7, 410-pound lineman take a snap along the defensive front?
“If you’re a fan, realistically plan on him taking snaps in two years,” Tuiaki answered.
Coaches plan on using a number of their biggest and tallest guys during field goal block situations, along with Langi, this season. Several of the participants will be regular defensive linemen, according to Tuiaki, but don't be surprised if some of the bigger offensive linemen get in on the act.
“Hopefully we can get some blocked kicks,” Tuiaki said. “With (Langi) and Corbin (Kaufusi), Kieffer Longson — some other guys we can throw in there, like Austin Hoyt — just some big, tall guys.”
As for Langi and his progress, Tuiaki believes it's coming along well, and that the big Tongan is on track to legitimately compete in a couple of years. But even if Langi does arrive to become an option, that won't necessarily dictate certain playing time.
“It’s all relative to his competition,” Tuiaki said. “… There’s only so many snaps you can give to your first and second-stringers, so I think he’s coming along. He’ll get better, but as far as being a guy we can depend on to be out there and play? I think he’s a few years away, but I love his progress so far. He has a great attitude and he’s a funny, funny kid.”