Going with the flow

College of San Mateo outside linebacker and defensive end Sione Sina has 10 offers at this time, but he's taking his time despite being a mid-year transfer. Although he has many to choose from, there are three schools that are showing him the most love at this point in time.

San Mateo's Sione Sina is a force on the football field.

"I'm around 6'2" or 6'4" depending on the day with the trainer or there at San Mateo," Sina said with a laugh. "So, I'll just pick the one in the middle and say I'm 6'3". I weigh around 245 and squat around 440 and bench around 290 or 285. For hand clean or power clean I'm around 350."

For the 2011 season, Sina recorded 38 tackles, 8.5 tackles for a loss and six sacks. But, he feels he could have done better and expects to do so this upcoming season.

"Man, my stats were kind of pathetic," said Sina jokingly. "I had around 38 tackles and a few sacks. I was looking at Clay Mathews and he had around 30-something tackles, so I was like, ‘Whoa, I should be alright then.' Hey, playing outside linebacker is a hard job."

The San Mateo defense runs a 3-4 scheme and Sina has found himself playing in the trenches, as well as at both outside linebacker positions.

"I probably feel more comfortable at the strong side. I can play the weak side if they need me to, but, yeah, I feel more comfortable playing the strong side taking on those tight ends.

"I also played some d-end last year. It was pretty much 50-50 playing outside linebacker and d-end last year."

San Mateo assistant coach Tim Tulloch praised Sina for his physical gifts, saying, "He plays the Sam linebacker and is kind of a Tongan Shawne Merriman off the edge rushing the quarterback." However, Sina is a little more critical of himself.

"Well, I need to use my hands more and do a better job of using my hands," said Sina. "That's the thing I need to work on the most this year is my hands, getting off blocks and things like that."

If there was an award for team spirit, it would more than likely go to Sina.

"I guess on the field I'm just an enthusiastic player and try to get the other players playing with energy," said Sina. "I'm the type of player that likes to have fun, and if you're not enjoying the game then you shouldn't be out there, so I play the game with fire and energy and try to motivate my team to play the same way."

And off the field?

"I think I'm pretty much just the same," Sina said with a laugh. "I'm a hyper dude off the field and don't like to have any enemies off the field. I like to leave a good impression on people and like to hope that when I meet someone, they think I'm a good person."

The Kingdom of Tonga is known as the "Friendly Islands," and Sina, whose family is from there, embodies that cultural trait to a tee. In fact, because of his outgoing and kindhearted nature, he's been made a part of the unity council at San Mateo.

"Oh yeah, the unity council I'm in, they're trying to share the light with all the players over here, "Sina said. "I'm trying to bring everyone together as a team when nobody wants to be friends or whatever. You don't have to be friends but you have to cope with one another and find that unity to be an effective football team. I'm just trying to get everyone to do that."

The colleges that have offered Sina are, BYU, Cal, Hawaii, Kansas, Maryland, Oregon State, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Texas Tech and Washington State. Of those 10 schools, Sina said the three that are recruiting him the hardest are BYU, Oregon State, Kansas.

"Cal will call me here and there and Oregon will call me here and there, but the schools that are desperate in need for an outside linebacker or d-end are BYU, Kansas and Oregon State. They've been showing me the love."

Although he has many options on the table, Sina isn't taking anything too seriously just yet.

"I'm just kind of going with the flow right now," Sina said. "I'll do all my research first and find out more about the education at the different colleges. I have to get my degree so I can have a backup plan if I don't get into the league.

"I'm just taking it easy right now and going with the flow I guess. I don't even know how I'm going to handle all this and I'm just going to wait a while. I'm graduating in December so I'm a mid-year transfer, so I'll transfer to a school that I want. I think I'll only take three official visits, maybe three or four."

Recruits are allotted five official visits, but Sina was told by his coaches that he'll more than likely only be able to take three or four due to a timing issue.

"I'll have to choose for that month of December, so I'm only going to be able to take, like, three or four. I'm not sure what schools yet but I'm sure I'll figure that out later."

After greyshirting his first year at San Mateo, Sina played last year and will play again this year, leaving him with three years to play two.

Sina holds his BYU offer in high esteem.

"BYU has offered, and that's probably one of the more major offers of the top 25 teams in the country," Sina said. "Yeah, that's a big-time school and they've always been good in my perspective.

"I have an interest in BYU because they're a top-25 program. Also, they have an honor code that they have going on over there. There's a higher expectation that the players are held to, like no smoking or drinking and no messing around with the girls. I like how all the players follow the rules."

Following the rules of the honor code is a thread that binds the team together in unity and commonality. While all the players might not be of the same faith, they are of the same standard. And it's that unity that Sina can really gravitate towards.

"I'm not LDS but I am Christian and Coach Howell has talked to me about that," Sina said with a laugh. "We all follow most of the same things and that's something I like. I told Coach Howell, ‘Yeah, hopefully I'll come to BYU and convert a couple of you LDS members before I leave!'

"Yeah, I joked with him about that and we laughed. I told Coach Howell that it's all good. He's a good guy. I think BYU offered me based on my play and then my character, and that's what I got from talking to Coach Howell. You know, just being a good person and stuff like that."

Coach Howell paid a visit to San Mateo this year.

"The whole time he was down here I wasn't able to practice," Sina said. "I was on the sidelines just motivating the players and just kicking in the fire at practice. I didn't play one down and I guess he offered me based on that and based on my character. I go to church on Sunday and it used to be Wednesday too at our church."

Sina is attracted to BYU's value system.

"Being a Christian, I don't go out smoking and drinking. I've never drank or smoked in my life and just try to follow those morals and beliefs we have as Christians and portray those morals and beliefs. It's a big plus in my interest for BYU. It's a really good school."

Being a player with diverse physical talents, Sina could play one of multiple positions.

"I ask Coach Howell and he doesn't know where to put me. He just looked at me and told me, ‘You can play whatever you want.' If I were to come over there I could play d-end or outside linebacker or whatever. It would be up to him I guess. He hasn't told me much about where to play."

But what position would he like to play?

"I'm not too sure actually where," said Sina with a laugh. "I guess whatever position they need. I could play linebacker or d-end but I do like to rush the quarterback a lot."

Being a talented junior college prospect with a passion for the game, there are three things Sina is looking for at the next level.

"First thing I want to look for is to see how the football players on the team play," Sina said. "Do they love the game and do they play the sport with passion? Do they play with fire and a passion in them?

"The second thing will be what does the school have to offer academically and what kind of resources and plans do they have that will help me graduate on time within those two years I have of playing time, just what they have to offer.

"I guess the third thing is hopefully they can get me to the league."

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