BYU offers Utah linebacker

The Cougars extended another offer following Wednesday's Junior Day activities. This time Coach Mendenhall extended a scholarship to a Brighton High School linebacker who had a great time at Junior Day.

Coming in at about 6 feet 4 inches and 210 pounds, Uaea Masina was offered a full0ride scholarship by Coach Bronco Mendenhall on Wednesday.

"I went down to BYU today and they offered me a scholarship today," Masina said. "It was way cool and I'm really excited. I don't know what else to say."

Excited and happy that Coach Mendenhall considered him a great candidate to represent his program, Masina feels he connects well with BYU's head coach.

"What separated BYU for me right now is just how down to earth Coach Mendenhall is," said Masina. "There was a line he said during his whole presentation that just made me want to go there. He was talking about all this stuff that you can't do and that you can't control, but then he said, ‘There's no limit to how much effort and how much time you can put into football.' That just really stuck with me and really motivated me. I wanted to go out there and run around some more."

Masina was pleased and excited to see how much interest the Cougar head coach took in him while he performed out on the field on Wednesday.

"When we were doing the drills, Coach Mendenhall sat and watched and he showed me something that I was doing wrong," Masina said. "He was talking to me about football and all the different players. I thought that was cool.

"I did pretty good and in the one-on-ones and passing drills I thought I did pretty good. I kind of got bodied up a few times here and there but I was still able to drive them back. I definitely could have done better and need to use my hands a little more and just need to practice that."

Having been down to BYU many times before, Masina wanted to look and see one thing while on his visit. He wanted to see how well the coaches interacted with each other and with the players. What he saw pleased him quite a bit.

"It was just how great how all the coaches interacted with each other," Masina said. "All the coaches knew my name and even the wide receivers coach new my name. I was thinking, ‘Why would the wide receivers coach bother to know my name?' So I thought that was really cool. It was just kind of cool how everyone knew my name and said hi.

"During the drills, Coach Poppinga was calling out and knew a lot of the kids by name. It wasn't just me; he would call out all the kids' names after the drills. He kept saying my name the whole time and I thought that was cool."

While on his visit, Masina had the chance to see some of the current BYU Cougars work out.

"We saw the players lifting beforehand and I really liked how everything was personalized for them," Masina said. "I thought that was really cool, and they each had their own list on what they had to do to get better and I thought that was really cool."

Following the Junior Day activities, Masina and a hand full of other kids were called back to listen to a Coach Mendenhall presentation.

"They told us what they expected from us and what they want us to accomplish and what we are capable of. Coach Mendenhall is a great guy and he knows what each player can do and he knows what he wants them to do. There is no reason why we can't reach the potential he has for us."

Then Masina received an unexpected surprise, a visit with Mendenhall himself.

"I wasn't really expecting me to talk to him one-on-one in his office," Masina said. "I was in there with my mom [Tamina] and my 11-year-old brother Salua, who was having fun being there and running around. My mom was so happy about it and proud of me. She was having fun too."

All three sat in Coach Mendenhall's office when Masina was handed a piece of paper.

"I was reading a piece of paper he gave me and it said that I was offered, and I was just overwhelmed," he said. "It was just really cool to see how much they want you. There's nothing more to really say other than I was just so overwhelmed."

The Cougars join Utah, Colorado and San Diego State in offering Masina. The Brighton linebacker is excited about his Cougar offer.

"Every time I go to BYU, I learn something more about it. I've loved it more every time and love BYU. There's not much to say about it. The people up here are great and the academics are great. I love the fact that they love me there. I've always been thinking about BYU and considering going there, but it was always kind of in the back of my mind, thinking, you know, what if they don't offer? Since they've offered me now, they are definitely up there higher. BYU and Utah are probably now my top two."

Although Masina is currently slated to play outside linebacker, there is a chance he could end up playing Mike linebacker if he does choose BYU.

"It's just crazy to think about possibly going to BYU," said an excited Masina. "Coach Mendenhall said if I go there, depending on how big I get and how I perform, that they could possibly move me to the Mike linebacker position, which is cool. He was talking about me being the leader of his defense and I thought that was really cool. If I do go to BYU I'll play as hard as I can. Their defense is always great and Coach Mendenhall is just a great guy and coach overall. I love Coach Poppinga too, so playing for him is also something that is exciting to think about. He's always just a happy, fun-loving guy and I love being around him. I'm just really excited about all this and the opportunity that BYU's given me."

Masina is going to take a more thorough look at the schools that have offered him and will wait until the end of June and narrow things down.

"Right now I'm just going to wait until the end of June and sit down and look at all the colleges that are there already and talk about those ones," said Masina. "Then in July I'll visit the ones I want to. Sometime around or before the beginning of the season I'll just sit down … and talk about each one individually till I find the one that clicks and [I] want to be at."

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