He's big. He's fast. He's strong. Federal Way linebacker Andru Pulu has been called "a freak of nature" and many opponents discover he's a train wreck waiting to happen.
Seattle Times staff reporter
FEDERAL WAY — The soft eyes and easy smile fit his laid-back personality.
But when Andru Pulu puts on his Federal Way football helmet, he transforms into a hard-hitting linebacker who regularly lays out opponents.
"He's a train wreck," Kentwood coach Rex Norris said. "He's a prototype linebacker — big and strong and fast, and he likes to hit."
At 6 feet 2, 250 pounds with 4.7 jets in the 40, Pulu is punishing. As Kentridge coach Marty Osborn put it: "When he hits you, you're hit."
Pulu arrived at Federal Way as a 180-pound freshman who showed flashes of potential. He added weight without subtracting speed, developing into one of the state's top linebackers as a senior. Federal Way coach John Meagher marvels at him.
"His physical presence is really unmatched, from anybody I've ever coached," Meagher said. "When you're 250 pounds and run a 4.7 40, you are special. It's a freak of nature more than anything else. He gets to places other linebackers can't get to, and when he gets there, he's packing a punch."
Pulu also starts at left offensive tackle for Federal Way, which won the South Puget Sound League 4A North Division championship last year to end a 31-year drought. He and Andre Barrington, one of the league's best running backs and defensive backs, are key reasons the Eagles are expected to contend for the title again this fall.
Barrington, who played against Pulu in middle school, said he knows he can count on his teammate to make a key block or big tackle.
"He makes everything easier for me," Barrington said.
Off the field, he calls Pulu "a big goofball."
"Most of the time, he's real laid-back," Barrington said, "but on the field, he's the man."