Mo Langi

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Courtesy Deseret News

Motekiai “Mo” Lang was a lineman for Brigham Young University, turning heads at the National Signing Day in 2015. At 6-foot 7-inches and over 400 pounds, he was considered a possible phenomenal player. But a recurring neck injury shortened his collegiate career.

He came from Liahona, Tonga, and had never played American football. However, he did play rugby and basketball, and Bronco Mendenhall offered him a scholarship when he came to the United States to serve a full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Langi faced challenges reshaping and transforming his body into a collegiate player, which required more than losing weight. The media hyped his size. He carried the American flag onto the field during BYU’s first game’s pregame ceremonies and played in a few special plays. But for most of the season, he didn’t play. For the 2018 season, he never put on a game uniform.

In May 2019, he announced his retirement on Instagram:

My time of playing football has come to an abrupt end. Due to surgery and a recurring neck injury. Discontinuing football is at the best interest of my health, my family, and my future. I have enjoyed and loved everything that football has taught me. I'd like to thank everyone that had a part on getting me over here to BYU. Grateful for everyone that helped, supported, and encouraged me these past couple of years. I am truly grateful for Coach Sitake, BYU football, and BYU for the opportunities that they have given and opened up for me. On to the next chapter …[1]

Some consider his one-armed tackle in 2017 fall camp as his biggest moment, as it went viral.