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BYU football: Sitake addresses Neil Pau'u's status after DUI charge

Brigham Young Cougars wide receiver Neil Pau'u (84) makes a catch going out of the end zone for a score as BYU and Utah play at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018.
Brigham Young Cougars wide receiver Neil Pau'u (84) makes a catch going out of the end zone for a score as BYU and Utah play at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018.
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

PROVO — Just around 100 players took the practice field at BYU on Wednesday, although one of the most notable players there was dressed in plain clothes. Cougar junior receiver Neil Pau'u, who was charged with a DUI in the offseason, was there with his teammates throughout practice despite not participating in it or any fall practices to come.

BYU head coach Kalani Sitake clarified Pau'u's status to the media as part of his post-practice interview.

"I love him to death. He's on the team, he's on the roster, but he's not participating in fall camp because he's not going to play this fall," Sitake said. "He's going to redshirt and be a junior for us next year. But he's in school and he's on the team."

Pau’u pleaded not guilty to DUI, a class B misdemeanor, and not guilty to interference with a traffic control device, a class C misdemeanor, in Provo City Justice Court, according to court documents stemming from his June 8 arrest.

A 6-foot-4, 220-pound native of Santa Ana, California, Pau’u caught 18 passes for 216 yards and one touchdown last season as a sophomore. He started in three games for the Cougars and played in 13.

Pau'u was viewed as a likely heavy contributor out of spring practices, but his contribution will now wait until 2020 as he works through his legal troubles.

Neil Pau'u is the younger brother of former BYU linebacker Butch Pau'u and played for Servite High School in Anaheim, California prior to accepting an offer to play for the Cougars.