BYU looking at Taumoe'anga

For some time now Coach Poppinga has been evaluating and recruiting LDS talent in the state of Oregon. One such prospect is defensive tackle Sione Taumoe'anga, who was at BYU's summer camp last year. He may return again one more time in an effort to pitch his case for a BYU scholarship offer.

There is a lot of really good LDS talent out there to fill a roster with. At Roosevelt High School in Oregon, there are three LDS prospects, and one currently has a BYU offer in quarterback Kimane Domena. Meanwhile, defensive tackle teammate Sione Taumoe'anga is also being looked at by BYU.

"Right now I'm trying to figure out all the camp stuff for the summer," Taumoe'anga said. "I might go out to the All-Poly Camp and the BYU camp but I'm not sure yet. I was thinking about going to the All-Poly Camp and then stop by the BYU camp one more time.

"They want us to come out one more time. I talked to Coach Poppinga and he told me they ran out of scholarships for 2014 for the defensive line, so they're still talking about it though and what might happen. BYU offered a lot of kids earlier in the season, and so he said to me that it's just a waiting game right now."

While Coach Poppinga is the one recruiting Taumoe'anga, it is Coach Kaufusi who wants to see him up close one more time over the summer to get an overall better evaluation.

"Coach Poppinga is the one that flies back and forth out here and has been the one from BYU recruiting us out here," Taumoe'anga said. "Coach Kaufusi, BYU's d-line coach, wants to see us one more time this summer. We went down there last summer and worked out for them last year, so he wants us to come back out and see where we're at."

Taumoe'anga had glowing comments about BYU's defensive line coach.

"Steve is a great coach and I've learned so much from him when I was there at BYU last year and when he was coaching at the All-Poly Camp too," he said. "He expects the most out of you and he's all about business and being a hard worker. He's a good coach and great guy and I really like him as a d-line coach."

Taumoe'anga enjoyed going to BYU's summer camp last year.

"It was a good experience being out there," said Taumoe'anga. "I really liked the campus and the area. For me it's kind of isolated from the city but it's a nice campus and area. I really thought the campus and the facilities were really nice and everything was really topnotch. I really like that. I also really like the coaches and they're really good at what they do. They're also LDS and nice guys too. It was an overall good experience being out there last year."

While he understands that scholarship situation BYU currently faces, Taumoe'anga is keeping his fingers crossed that something will open up for him.

"Yeah, I'm interested in BYU because of the surroundings, the atmosphere, the coaches and because of my religious faith," Taumoe'anga said. "I always grew up a BYU fan too, and so I've always wanted to play for the Y. I also want to serve a mission out of high school. I told all the coaches that are looking at me that the Lord is first in my life, so I have to go serve God first out of high school. Then I can come back and play some ball."

However, the scholarship crunch at BYU could force him to look elsewhere for that next-level opportunity.

"I'm interested in BYU, but right now if I have to go with a first choice I might have to go with UCLA," Taumoe'anga said. "UCLA has been doing a lot of recruiting and I think the next two-to-three weeks they're sending some coaches out to look at me. I also think they might have some scholarships available for the d-line, so they're coming out to take a look at me. I'm also being recruited pretty heavily by Ivy League schools."

Taumoe'anga has two current offers on the table, and both are from Ivy League schools.

"I have a 3.6 GPA and have offers from Harvard and Yale, so I have those two offers out there right now and that's nice. I wouldn't mind getting an offer from BYU or UCLA."

Taumoe'anga's parents would like to see him attend his church's university, but they also support him in any decision he makes regarding his future.

"My parents want me to go to BYU but they support me and feel that whatever school I feel is best for me I should go to," Taumoe'anga said. "I want to go to a college that provides a good education because that's first for me. I want to go to a good college that has the type of career that I want to choose. I would like to study law or sports science and I know BYU has a really good law program. Second, I want to be around good coaches since that's who I'll mostly be around. So, I want to be at a good program with a good staff. Those are some of the things that I'm looking for. I guess we'll see."


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