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BYU football: Prized freshman linebacker dismissed

Published July 18, 2014 3:33 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

BYU football coach Bronco Mendenhall has dismissed one of his prized recruits from the 2014 signing class before that recruit has played a down of football for the school.

Incoming freshman linebacker Sione Takitaki has been kicked off the football team. Talo Steves of Totalbluesports.com first reported the dismissal Thursday afternoon.

Takitaki has been in Provo for less than a month and began taking classes on June 23 when BYU's summer block (semester) started. It is unclear whether the 6-foot-3, 240-pound freshman will be allowed to return to the team next year.

BYU athletic department spokesperson Duff Tittle said Mendenhall is on vacation this week, along with most of his assistant coaches and most members of BYU's athletic department and administration.

Takitaki could not be reached for comment.

Ranked as the No. 24 inside linebacker in the nation by ESPN.com out of California's Heritage (Menifee) High, Takitaki was expected to compete for playing time this fall as the Cougars look for replacements for leading tackler Uani Unga and All-American Kyle Van Noy.

As a senior, Takitaki helped Heritage go 13-1 and made 81 tackles and 3.5 sacks. He also played on offense as a running back, picking up 1,673 yards and 25 touchdowns in his final two years.