BYU offers Texas all-state lineman

Along with a resounding victory over the Longhorns of Texas, the Cougar coaching staff has been back in the Lone Star State in an effort to hook a talented prospect or two. On Tuesday Coach Mendenhall extended an offer to a first-team all-state offensive lineman, who is very excited about his BYU offer.

Allen High School offensive lineman Tejan Koroma anchored an offensive line that helped his team win the Texas 4A state championship in 2012. A physical lineman, Koroma is one nasty player on the football field.

"I just like to have a little fun," said Koroma with a laugh. "I really do like playing center and try to come off quick and faster than others. I just really like playing center and being physical and getting after guys as much as I can."

Coming in at 6 feet and 260 pounds, Koroma might not have the height of most college lineman prospects, but he makes up for it with good strength, agility, and a high motor.

"I'm pretty strong in the weight room and I try to maximize the things that I can control," he said. "My last max on the bench was 365 and I squatted 500. I had around 70 [pancake blocks] and was named first-team all-state along with first-team everything else, like all-region, all-area and all that. Being first-team all-state, everything else just kind of comes with it."

Koroma already has a few offers on the table, most of which have come from Division I programs out of state.

"I have offers from Arkansas State, UTEP, Army and Air Force," Koroma said. "It's kind of a sad deal that some colleges think that because I'm two inches shorter that I'm not good enough to compete. If I was two inches taller I would probably have offers from every Texas school in the state. It's kind of cool that BYU is better than most schools in the state of Texas and doesn't care about things like that."

Apparently, Koroma is right. He can now add an offer from BYU to his list.

"My high school coach told me to call up Coach Mendenhall, so I talked to Coach Mendenhall for a while and he let me know that I had an offer from BYU," said Koroma. "I was very excited when he told me that. I've been following BYU for a while and was hoping they would offer me. When they finally did I was very excited about it. A lot of people around me really do like BYU, so I'm just really happy to get that offer."

In the meantime, Koroma is aiming on getting ever more pancake blocks this year.

"I have the goal of getting over 100 pancakes this year and beat last year's record. I'm aiming for 100 this year."

Koroma watched as Texas rolled into Provo to play the Cougars of BYU a few weeks ago. The 40-21 resounding BYU victory left an impression on the young Texas gridder.

"I was cheering for BYU," said Koroma. "Everybody was saying how BYU was going to lose and this and that, but they really made Texas look like kids out there. To get over 500 rushing yards against anybody is amazing, but to do that especially against UT is just crazy. I was just excited and it just showed that BYU is a great school and a great football team and something that I would definitely like to be a part of."

The win over Texas really opened Koroma's eyes. He could see himself being a part of Coach Mendenhall's program in the near future.

"Especially after the win against Texas, it just shows that BYU is a great football team," Koroma said. "I know you have to be really smart academically to get into the school also, so it's a great school with a great football program, so what more could you ask for?"

Following the victory over Texas, BYU commits and fellow Texans Cedric Dale and Trey Dye received a lot of praise from those within their communities. So, has Koroma experienced the same thing?

"I haven't gotten a lot of congrats because I just got the offer from BYU last night, but I'm sure that will come once people find out more about it," said Koroma. "My mother and grandmother were really excited though. They were going a little crazy. I mean, BYU is a great football team and are right up there with the best, so it is an honor to be offered by such a great program."

One reason Koroma is excited to receive an offer from BYU is because of his faith.

"I grew up LDS and I'm a member of the LDS faith and go to church on Sunday," said Koroma. "It's kind of nice knowing that I have an opportunity to go to a school where there are people with the same morals as me. It's nice to know that I can go to a school where I don't have to deal with any temptations and whatnot, and that's something cool.

"I really am excited about the offer and have been waiting for a while to see what would happen. I'm just happy that it finally came yesterday and that I have that opportunity now. I'm really honored."

About 20 years ago, the Koroma family met two young men dressed in white shirts and ties. It wasn't long after that the family joined the LDS faith in Texas.

"My family found their way to Texas, and about a year before or after I was born, the missionaries came by and after that my parents found the Church," Koroma said. "They really liked the Church and became members of the gospel. My parents met with the missionaries down here and joined the Church."

At this point in time Koroma hasn't decided if he wants to serve a mission now or at some later point in time later, and he also hasn't decided on when he'll commit.

"Yeah, I just got the offer and I'm going to do some talking things over with my coach and my family," said Koroma. "I think after that we'll see how things go from there. I'm not sure exactly when I'll make a final decision and don't have a timeline right now. I am really excited about the offer from BYU, but I just want to talk to my family first and see how it all plays out."

The BYU coach that evaluated and recruited Koroma is none other than BYU offensive line coach Garett Tujague.

"I really do like Coach Tujague and he came down here and I was able to speak with him last week," said Koroma. "I was really grateful that he did that and cleared up a few things for me. I really like Coach Tujague a lot. He's a great guy and I'm grateful for him."

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