East High receiver on BYU's radar

The state of Utah has quite a few up-and-coming talented prospects for the 2013 class. The Cougar staff has already offered Cottonwood tight end Siale Fakailoatonga, and is close to offering East High School defensive tackle Meti Tauliauli. Now, BYU has set its sights on an East High School wide receiver.

For a junior-to-be, Sione Fakahafua is big for his age. By the time he's finished playing football at East High School, he should be a three-year varsity starter playing on both sides of the ball.

"Right now I'm around 6'2" and weight about 195," said Fakahafua, a member of the 2013 recruiting class. "Offensively, I play wide receiver and defensively I play free safety and will even play defensive end this year."

A 195-pound defensive end?

"I wanted to play d-end because I like being physical," Fakahafua said. "I asked them to put me at d-end and see how it works."

Fakahafua, who is also a varsity starter for his basketball and baseball teams, was named first-team all-region for Region 6, Division 4A.

"Well, I'm supposedly one of the best wide receivers that we have," Fakahafua said. "I broke my collarbone in the first play of the semifinals, but I still played with the pain throughout the whole game. I was still ended up racking over 200 yards catching that game.

"When I step out onto the field, I leave everything – even my shoes – out on the field when I compete. I'll leave everything out on the field for my teammates. I just let my actions speak for itself."

Fakahafua attended BYU's summer camp and did very well. Following the camp, he was invited to meet with Coach Mendenhall.

"It was a good experience for me," Fakahafua said. "I had a one-on-one discussion with Coach Bronco Mendenhall. At first I was a little nervous, but looking back, it's really a blessing to know that BYU's coming after me. He told me that he has a scholarship waiting for me. All I need to do is get my GPA up to a 3.0 this year.

"He said that I have everything else they're looking for, and once I get my GPA up to a 3.0 they'll have a scholarship waiting. He said once my grades are right, then he'll call my coach and let him know by the NCAA rules that they've offered me."

Coach Mendenhall also went over BYU's culture.

"He was talking to me about what BYU stands for and what they bring to the football field and how football relates to education," said Fakahafua. "He explained that if I want to come here, then I have to have good academics. BYU is all about being better, and that's what Coach Mendenhall was explaining to me."

The discussion with BYU's head coach made an impression on Fakahafua.

"It really hit me hard," Fakahafua said. "It really put things into perspective for me. I need to really focus on sports and academics and slow down on all the dumb decisions."

Meanwhile, BYU isn't the only school to have noticed Fakahafua.

"Utah State already offered me," he said. "Utah is also showing interest and is looking at me. I talked with the Michigan coach a little bit and they're interested in me also. Washington State and Weber State are also looking at me as well. That's about it for now."

Fakahafua's great grandmother is the sister of former BYU running back Fui Vakapuna's grandmother, so he is certainly familiar with BYU.

"BYU is a different place," Fakahafua said. "My older cousin, Fui Vakapuna, he went there. I watched him play when I was younger and I've known almost all my life from a lot of my family members that BYU is a great place to be. I've known that their education and sports and expectations are high.

"My two favorite schools are Oregon, because I had been watching them this past year, and BYU. To have one of my favorite schools coming after me like this is a blessing for me. I have turned everything around."

Fakahafua now has his sights set on earning a BYU scholarship offer.

"Yeah, I'm going to work towards that," Fakahafua said. "The reason why is I've grown up a BYU fan. Everybody in my family likes BYU because of the foundation that BYU provides as a school. If my athletic ability only takes me so far, then I have a great education. I'll always have that with me as a Plan B for me.

"Also, because BYU is a LDS school and I want to serve a mission. When Utah State offered me a scholarship, the first question I asked them was, 'Well, I have to serve a mission first.' They said that would be okay and that they would work around that, but I told them that I had to serve a mission first."

If Fakahafua is able to meet BYU's academic requirements and receive an offer, is there a good chance that he could end up in Cougar blue?

"Yeah, probably," he said. "I like BYU and I want to stay close to home. I'm going to work hard to try and get that scholarship."

Fakahafua's sophomore highlights can be seen at the following address: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mx7S64dHWCM

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