|Cottonwood's Lomu is versatile|
| By John Coon |
The Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune
|Article Last Updated: 10/05/2006 12:35:03 PM MDT|
|It's no coincidence that Cottonwood junior Finau Lomu seems to be everywhere whenever the Colts play these days. |
No matter what unit takes the field, Lomu finds a spot in the lineup. On offense, the first-year varsity player plays slot receiver and running back. He has seen time at safety, cornerback and outside linebacker on the defensive end.
Lomu even has a place on special teams as a punt returner.
The only way he could spend more time away from the sidelines is to discover how to clone himself.
"It's kind of tiring, but I like it a lot," Lomu said.
Cottonwood also likes having as much of him as it get. Lomu has provided the Colts quite a boost of energy in region play. His increasing contributions are part of a team-wide maturation taking Cottonwood from a collection of talented, but inexperienced, players to a realistic region title contender.
With a 40 time of 4.5 seconds, Lomu also ranks as one of the Colts' fastest players and certainly is among the speediest in all classifications.
Cottonwood coach Tom Jones values Lomu's contributions, especially on the offensive side of the ball, because his open field quickness gives him an ability to elude tacklers.
"He's learned to get yardage after the catch," Jones said. "And that [makes him] a threat and puts us in a situation where if they don't keep him covered, he's going to score. It puts a lot of pressure on the defense."
Lomu has shown he can turn a small play into a big one with no trouble at all. In the Colts' 40-21 victory over Cyprus, Lomu scored two touchdowns on a pair of receptions from junior Austin Wadsworth and added another score on a 70-yard punt return.
In a season filled with firsts for the first-year varsity player, his touchdown on the punt return against the Pirates was the first punt he scored on this season. Lomu caught it on the run along the sideline and cut back toward the middle. Within seconds, he found a running lane and was gone.
"It just developed right when I got the ball," Lomu said. "There was a lot of guys chasing me and all those guys chasing me were getting blocked."
Exciting as that play was for him, Lomu enjoys playing at wide receiver more than any other position because it allows him to catch passes and score touchdowns more frequently.
Lomu's breakthrough season is more impressive when you consider that he missed all but one game last year after breaking his leg in the first game. With his season prematurely over, he hit the weight room to improve his strength.
Jones said Lomu worked out all winter long and that kind of commitment made all the difference in helping him overcome such a serious injury. Once he adds some more weight, Jones thinks Lomu can develop into an even bigger threat.
"He's still just learning how to play and starting to develop into a big playmaker for us," Jones said.
Wadsworth is amazed at Lomu's ability to play practically wherever he is needed. He said the junior is a smart player who can do exactly what needs to get done.
"I guess he's just got the talent for it," Wadsworth said. "He's fast. He can move. He can catch. He can do it all."
Monday, October 09, 2006
Finau Lomu: RB, 5'10, 150, Jr
at 7:55 PM