Soifua hoping for BYU scholarship offer

Joshua Soifua was evaluated as one of the better offensive lineman underclassmen at the All-Poly Camp, and he also was given named offensive lineman MVP at the end of BYU's summer camp. Now this 6-foot-2-inch, 280-pound Alta High School two-way lineman has a new goal in mind, and that is to get a coveted BYU scholarship offer.

Alta High School has had some talented prospects come through the program over the years, some of which have gone onto the Division I level, and some that even attend BYU like Toloa'i Ho Ching and Jordan Black. Another talented Alta prospect coming up is Joshua Soifua, who will be a junior this upcoming season. He plays both defensive tackle and offensive guard.

A 2015 prospect, Soifua is still too young to be recruited by college coaches until September 1, but if his performance at the All-Poly Camp and BYU's camp is any indication of what his potential is, he could be heavily recruited.

"As a defensive lineman I'm really physical with my hands," Soifua said. "I have good feet, so I'm pretty quick off the line. I'm really good at reading the o-lineman and knowing what his weakness is. I'm just really good at paying attention to the little things to know how to attack it.

"I pull a lot as an offensive guard. I also have a very powerful punch in the blocking scheme. I'm just working harder at having quick feet to keep my base and I'm pretty strong. I like working with my cousin Breiden [Fehoko] in one-on-ones to get better as an o-lineman and d-lineman, and I'm just really blessed to be able to do that."

"I see his motivation when we go one-on-one and we fight and scratch and go out at it big time," said Fehoko. "He's a great athlete and works hard to be the best. I can see it in his determination and his will to just be the best he can be."

Soifua was one of the better underclassmen performers at the All-Poly Camp. He played physically, and listened to instruction from the coaches and then applied it the following rep. He did well on the one-on-one drills and held his own against many of the upperclassmen.

"The All-Poly Camp was wonderful and it was my first camp that I've ever been to," Soifua said. "It was a great experience. I felt where I'm from here in Utah, there are some big kids with a lot of talent, but at the All-Poly Camp there were a lot of big kids there and a lot of talent. I got to work with Ed Mulitalo a lot and that was a great experience too. I learned a lot."

How does he feel he did competing against some top-caliber athletes at the All-Poly Camp?

"I think I did really wonderful," said Soifua. "I think I did really well, but personally I need to keep working harder and stay humble and do what I can do to my advantage. I just need to keep working on those things that I need to improve on so I can continue to progress and get better."

His cousin also said that Soifua had an excellent showing.

"Josh did really well at the All-Poly Camp," said Fehoko, who was one of the top defensive line performers. "You know, Josh, he's not going to talk too much about his accomplishments because he's so humble about his performance. He works hard in the weight room and is an animal on the field. He blocked a lot of the top d-linemen in the camp and put them on their backs at the All-Poly Camp. It really showed what he's capable of and what his potential is."

Following the All-Poly Camp, the Soifua family went up to BYU with Fehoko's family. Fehoko wanted to show support for his cousin.

"[Soifua] was at the camp and tore it up," said Fehoko. "He loved it out there. He went out and dominated as an offensive lineman and got the offensive line MVP. He loved it over there. He loved the atmosphere and loves how he could just be himself and be that regular LDS kid. He's a baller and he's a tough kid."

"Oh man, it was so wonderful and I really loved it over there at BYU," said Soifua. "Meeting all the coaches was really wonderful. Seeing how many kids that were there and being able to compete against some really good talent was just great for me. I was there with my team and it was just a really good experience."

During the padded camp at BYU, Soifua was tutored by BYU offensive line coach Garett Tujague.

"It was really wonderful because I hardly know about playing on the offensive line, but Coach Tujague really taught me a lot of things that I'm going to be able to use to help me become better," Soifua said.

As noted earlier, Soifua was recognized for his performance at BYU's camp.

"I think I did really good over there," said Soifua. "I just worked really hard and was really happy when I was named the camp MVP for [offensive] linemen. I was just really happy about that. All the hard work that I've been doing every day paid off and getting that MVP really helped me to know. Man, I just want to be the best and I know that I can be the best, so I went to the BYU camp and came away with the MVP for offensive linemen."

It was a proud moment for his father Jerry.

"My dad was just in tears because he wasn't expecting me to come up to this kind of level," said a humble Soifua. "I just worked my butt off and I think he was just so happy for me because I did so well. All the things that he taught me and all the time that he worked on me paid off and I think it made him proud of what I accomplished."

"His dad, Uncle Jerry, I worked out with him a couple of times and he focuses on being explosive," Fehoko said. "He's taught a lot to his son and you can see it in the way Josh plays. He has good core technique, good base, good hands and a good work ethic, and that's what college coaches look for."

Coach Tujague told Soifua that he would be keeping his eye on him during this upcoming season.

"He was just telling me that I have some wonderful footwork and good hands," Soifua said. "He was just telling me to keep working on my footwork. I told him that I was going to go on my mission and he told me that he was happy to hear that and that I was a great player. He was just telling me he was going to come watch us when Alta plays against Bingham because that's one of the top rivalry games in Utah. He said he's going to come watch me, so I know I'm going to just go kill it out there."

Soifua is focused and will prepare himself well prior to his contest with Bingham High School. Knowing that Coach Tujague will be in the stands, Soifua hopes his performance then – and throughout the season – will warrant him a BYU scholarship offer.

"BYU is such a great school and it's a college that represents me and my faith," Soifua said. "Ever since me and my older brother [T.J.] – who is getting ready to go on his mission – were younger, we loved BYU. I'm hoping I can do well enough to get a scholarship from BYU.

"My uncle Jake Fitisimanu always told me and my brother since we were little that's where he wanted us to go to. Man, it's just a great school and my brother wanted to go play at BYU. He is going on his mission now, but he wants to come back and try and walk-on when he gets home."

"BYU is a college where kids who have great values want to go to," said Fehoko. "It's a college where LDS kids, or kids like JonRhyeem Peoples or Kahlil Bell, feel they can be a part of a program that represents who they are. It's a place where kids who want a great environment can go and stay straight with their morals and values. It's a program that stands for more than just football and that's why kids like Josh are hoping that he can get that BYU scholarship."

Fehoko received his BYU scholarship offer while Soifua was at BYU's camp. Soifua recalled how happy Fehoko was when he received the offer.

"Oh yeah, he was very excited," said Soifua. "He's one talented kid and I think he was really happy that he received the chance to go there if he wanted to. I'm just happy for him that he got that BYU scholarship, and I'm happy that he and his family are a part of my life because I know Breiden can help me be the best I can be too."

"[Soifua] talked a lot about how he wants to be where I'm at and things like that, but I just told him to make sure you stay focused and do things the right way and you'll be blessed for it," Fehoko said. "I just told him to keep working hard and put the Lord first in your life and everything will work out for the better."

Jerry is also hoping that his son will one day have a scholarship offer from BYU.

"Yes, he's hoping too, just because he loves that school and it's a Mormon school and he loves the Church," Soifua said. "It's just a special place and he knows that it's a place with good academics. I have a 3.4 GPA right now but I want to raise that to around a 3.9, so my dad knows that if I go to a college like BYU that I'll continue to stay focused in the classroom."

Time will tell if that will happen or not. But one thing is certain, and that is that Soifua is going to continue to work hard in an effort to make his dream a reality.

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