This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
For the first time since camp started back in early August, newcomers to the BYU football program were made available to the media on Tuesday, now that the Cougars have a game under their belts. Naturally, everybody wanted to talk to Harvey Langi, the former 5A state MVP from Bingham High who began his college football career at Utah. Langi left the Utes for BYU shortly after returning from an LDS Church mission to Tampa, Fla. So, why did he do it? "A lot of spiritual things and personal things. So I feel like this is the best place for me to succeed as an athlete and as a man," he said. A running back at Utah, Langi switched to linebacker and is learning that position. He made the trip to UConn last weekend, but didn't play because his knee is still a bit sore. He plans on playing on Saturday at Texas, but isn't sure how much he will get into the game, aside from special teams. "Everything is fine," he said. "I am healthy, trying to be at 100 percent. Trying to do my best to help the team off the field, doing whatever I can to get them hyped and ready for the game. It was fun going out there. Sad that I couldn't play, but I will get the green light soon." Langi said he harbors no bad feelings toward Utah and he had no problems whatsoever with Kyle Whittingham's program. He just wanted a change of scenery, he said, for reasons mostly spiritual in nature. "We will always have a love and respect for each other," he said of Utah's program when I asked him if he worked things out with Utah coaches. "I feel like I have given their program all I had when I was there, and they did vice-versa for me. I have all the respect and love for that program." Langi said the past few months since he returned on July 8 have been enjoyable."Oh, it has been great. I love it. The best way I can describe BYU is just, the best. I love being here. I love all my teammates. I love the coaches, the program, everything about it. It is great," he said. Here's more from the interview with Langi today: On playing on mission legs and his fitness level:"They take care of us here with conditioning. We run a lot, and we are always running to the ball, active on our feet, moving around. We are always flying around. If you are walking, you are wrong, they say. I feel like my mission legs are doing OK."On why he wants to play LB and not RB: "I just feel like I've grown a little bit, and wherever I can best help the team, and they see that the middle linebacker is best fit for me, so, let's go. It is fun. I am trying to learn it. It is a new position, but it is fun."On what it has been like to learn new spot:"It is exciting. You are with a lot of guys that are very hungry for the ball, and they are very hyped. It has been different. It is a little different, but football is football. You gotta be coachable and have some humility to change the things you are doing wrong. That is any position, so I am trying to stay coachable and try to do the best I can."On whether he would consider going back to RB:"I don't have that call anymore. If they see that I can help out the team better on that side, then they will put me there. Every day I just take it day by day and go out there and try my hardest. If I do that, I know that I didn't let anyone down if I am a running back or a linebacker." On going against Texas and the type of game that linebackers like:"Oh yeah, if you are a linebacker and they like to run, it is pay day for you. That's a good thing. That's what we are there for. I am excited to play next to Teu Kautai and Manoa Pikula and Zac Stout and Jherremya. These guys are dogs on defense. I love running with them, I love practicing them and going out with them every day. I love it."On the reunion with Bingham guys:"It is the best. I love seeing all old high school teammates, and playing with them, and just seeing how they have grown and how much stronger and faster and more football smart they've come a long way, and it is so great playing next to them."On the biggest adjustment as a defender: "Every defense, they have their challenges, but our defense, if we all buy in and we give all we got out there, I feel like we can be something special. The difficult thing is for me to catch up to them, because BYU defense is known throughout the whole world. Everyone knows about our defense. For me to come in as a convert from the other side, I need to catch up. I need to speed things up. I need to be more aggressive. I can't be that weak link. This defense is too good for anyone to come in and not give it everything they've got."