Good Luck and God Speed Puka12

Just saw the news that Puka has declared for the draft. Of course we knew this was coming. “Of course,” because Puka is the best BYU WR since Austin Collie and will at worst will earn the minimum practice squad salary of $207k for 18 weeks. I personally think his NFL size, speed, strength, etc. will get him drafted and that he will make a roster.

Above and beyond all that, as a fan, as a former head coach, and as a dad of a very good player, I truly appreciate what Puka brought to BYU: max effort on every play, unassailable leadership, and the desire to give 100% for his teammates. Puka is a real life example of the famous speech by Coach Gaines at halftime of the state championship game in the movie Friday Night Lights (BTW, the guy who wrote the book was imbedded with the team for the entire season and was in the locker room when this speech was given, and claims the speech in the movie was true to real life).

Coach Gaines:
"Well it’s real simple: You got two more quarters and that’s it.
Now most of you have been playin’ this game for ten years. And you got two more quarters and after that most of you will never play this game again as long as you live. Now, ya’ll have known me for awhile, and for a long time now you’ve been hearin’ me talk about being perfect. Well I want you to understand somethin’.

To me, being perfect is not about that scoreboard out there. It’s not about winning. It’s about you and your relationship to yourself and your family and your friends. Being perfect is about being able to look your friends in the eye and know that you didn’t let them down, because you told them the truth. And that truth is that you did everything that you could. There wasn’t one more thing that you could’ve done. Can you live in that moment, as best you can, with clear eyes and love in your heart? With joy in your heart? If you can do that gentlemen, then you’re perfect.

I want you to take a moment. And I want you to look each other in the eyes. I want you to put each other in your hearts forever, because forever’s about to happen here in just a few minutes. I want you to close your eyes, and I want you to think about Boobie Miles [an injured teammate], who is your brother. And he would die to be out there on that field with you tonight. And I want you to put that in your hearts. Boys, my heart is full. My heart’s full."

My son wrote “CEFH” (clear eyes, full heart) on his wrist tape and would glance at it before every play.
When I coached, I gave each player a laminated copy of the bolded part above to carry in his wallet. VERY FEW football players can live up to Coach Gaines’ standard. Puka does. I will miss Puka and will always root for his success. What a player and what a kid…

PS Keanu Hill’s father Lloyd was a 1st team All State WR at the same Permian High (and 1st team All American at Texas Tech) memorialized in FNL, and was the star player when Permian won state the very next year after the movie was set.

1 Like

it is the stuff of Legend that Puka, when BYU was in it’s biggest slump in Oct. rallied the team, always building up, always saying positive things.

Going to him in a big way, hope he becomes an all Pro and I mean it. Also a shout out to Hall and the way he lead the team, especially the way he hugged and supported Jake Oldroyd when he was in his slump