BYU DL Alema Pilimai Moves On From Football

Apr 25, 2023, 2:10 PM

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BYU football DT Alema Pilimai announced he is moving on from the program after graduating. (Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

(Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah – The latest player movement from the BYU football team doesn’t involve a transfer. Instead, it’s a graduating player hanging up the cleats.

BYU defensive tackle Alema Pilimai announced on his personal Instagram page that he is “officially done with football.” The Tustin, California native, continued, “I’ve come to peace with the fact that my time is over, and I should move on.”


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A post shared by Alema Pilimai (@alema_pilimai)

Pilimai competed during BYU’s spring practices last month but didn’t appear to be earning snaps with the first or second defensive units. Last December, Pilimai announced that he planned to take advantage of his COVID year and play in 2023. But instead, he’s graduating and moving on.

“My love/hate relationship with brother Brigham comes to an end as I take my last exam today,” wrote Pilimai on Instagram. “Excited for the future, but grateful for the lessons of the past. I’ll be graduating from the School of Family Life with a bachelor’s in Family studies [emoji] #GoCougs.”

Alema Pilimai snapshot with BYU football

Pilimai was one of the last players remaining from Kalani Sitake’s first recruiting class in 2016. With Pilimai now moving on, there are only three players from Sitake’s first recruiting class in the program. Those players are LB Max Tooley, DL Atunaisa Mahe, and DL Caden Haws.

Pilimai was a notable addition to the BYU program when he signed as a three-star athlete. On Signing Day in 2016, Pilimai flipped from rival Utah to sign with Sitake’s BYU program.

Pilimai played linebacker, then switched to defensive end, and later defensive tackle in his career. He finished his BYU career appearing in nine games.

Last season, Pilimai was honored on Senior Day during the final home game against Utah Tech.

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Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU moving to the Big 12 Conference on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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BYU DL Alema Pilimai Moves On From Football