Last Wednesday, Brigham Young University’s (BYU) football team, the Cougars made the official announcement that seven players had submitted letters expressing interest in playing for the team. Players of Tongan descent were heavily represented on the list of new talent for the team.
Head coach Kalani Sitake and his coaching staff spent the past year searching for and recruiting players whose goals and playing style are in line with that of the Cougars.
The first Tongan to sign a BYU contract was Khyiris Tonga, a former Utah player. He had been waiting to complete his LDS mission before commiting himself to full time football. Also signing on to BYU was Alden Tofa, a defensive lineman from West Jordan, Utah.
The Cougars recruiting team celebrated another player selection victory when defensive lineman, Langi Tuifua signed on to the team. He was previously recruited by a number of Pac-12 schools including Utah, and his on field skills are highly regarded by many.
Hawaii’s 350-pound (158.7 kg) Mango Finau signed to play for the Cougars offensive line. He is described as a player who brings a distinctive advantage to the team.
To round out the of player selections, two more Utah players of Tongan descent submitted their letters of intent to BYU. Cedar quarterback Mason Fakahua and Bingham defensive back Tongi Langi made their official commitments to play for Cougars.
BYU did not, however, manage to recruit every player they desired, with two highly touted Tongan players making the decision to play for different teams. East defensive end Jordan Lolohea will go to Washington after serving an LDS mission, and Bingham’s Jay Tufele will play for the University of Southern California (USC).
Many of those who recently signed up to play for BYU are planning to first serve LDS missions before they head on to the field for the team, so it will be some time before their presence is felt.
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