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BYU football 2014: Former Utah RB Harvey Langi arrives to little fanfare

BYU running back Jamaal Williams.
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Days after BYU defensive tackle Kesni Tausinga posted a photo on his Instagram showing he, fellow Cougar Manoa Pikula and Utah Utes running back Harvey Langi with a caption outlining Langi as the newest edition (sic) to BYU, social media, TV and radio went nuts with speculation.

Well, was Langi going to keep to his word that he was transferring to BYU--as was told to Deseret News blogger Vai Sikahema-- or was Langi going to reverse course and stay at Utah?

If you heard Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham speak about the subject, he said Langi was staying with the Utes--period. Apparently Whittingham was wrong though.

When the Cougars lined up for the beginning of fall camp on Friday, August 1 and when media members looked down at BYU's rosters they were given, Langi's name was on it along with a familiar number: No. 21. That was probably a surprise to Cougar faithful, considering running back Jamaal Williams wears No. 21.

That must have seemed odd to Cougar Nation. If Williams already wore No. 21, how on Earth would Langi wear the same number? They're both running backs.

The answer was simple: Langi wasn't playing running back anymore; he was now listed as a linebacker. His move probably surprised Cougar fans who thought Langi would play running back--based on all the reports they heard and read leading up to Langi's decision.

And so ended weeks of speculation. There wasn't any fanfare and little mention of it in the media. But, Langi was for certain a BYU Cougar, and he would be playing linebacker.

What's more is that according to BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall, Langi is doing quite well at his new position, thanks.
That’s where he chose to play," BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said in an interview with the Salt Lake Tribune. "I am very impressed, not only with him as a person, but as a football player just [after] one practice. So we are right at the beginning of his career, but I am impressed with him."

So Langi's pursuit of excellence at Utah is now a footnote, one he'd probably like to forget since he got just 70 rushing yards on 13 carries and didn't score a touchdown in his one year as a Ute.

Langi may also never get the ball at BYU--unless he recovers a fumble or makes an interception--but it is clear from the start that the former Bingham High star, who never really got to show what he could do at Utah, will get his opportunity in Provo.

According to reports, Langi hadn't made his mind up about going to BYU until late last weekend. Then, that Instagram photo surfaced with he, Tausinga and Pikula earlier in the week.

In the end, Langi let his actions--not his words--do the talking. He didn't tell any media which school he'd be attending. Instead, he just took the field in a No. 21 Cougar uniform, not against the team he had the most success in his career, running for 33 yards on four carries--but on the rival that his old team dispatched easily.

While Langi may have won at Utah that year, he lost out on an opportunity to play much. Now, at a new position, he'll try to reach the lofty expectations set for him on and off the gridiron the moment he left Bingham High School for big time, Division I football.

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