Alani Fua Reflects on His Time at BYU

Senior outside linebacker Alani Fua will be playing his last BYU home game this weekend against Savannah State. Fua has been a key part of Bronco Mendenhall’s defense over the past couple of years and reflects upon some moments as part of the BYU football program.

When Alani Fua first came to BYU he was a happy-go-lucky young man with football on his mind. He was a highly recruited prospect out of California and had many collegiate options on the table. He came to BYU over Ohio State knowing that the kind of environment provided would be beneficial to him and his young family.

“I mean Ohio State is a big school and all that,” Fua said. “I just didn’t want to go to Ohio. That was the main reason. Being in the situation that I was in with my family BYU was the perfect place for us.”

Since then that happy-go-lucky young man has grown in many ways. The struggles that Fua endured over the past couple of years juggling football, family, and school really helped him to grow as a man.

“Just maturing I think,” Fua said. “I was pretty immature coming in here, but now I feel I’ve grown up and still have a little ways to go maturity-wise. But, I mean, I’ve definitely feel I’ve come a long ways just learned how to become a man really through Coach Mendenhall, becoming a dad, a husband, and a man.

“It’s been kind of tough but I feel like I’ve grown a lot. Looking at my freshman year and looking at how I am now I’ve definitely have come a long way. It was hard juggling school and football was hard, but then I have a family I have to keep happy at home as well. It was good but at the same time it was challenging.”

While attending BYU, Fua didn’t work another job to support himself. Instead his young family lived off of the scholarship money that BYU provided. It wasn’t much but it was enough.

“No, I’ve just been living off of BYU the last couple of years,” Fua said with a laugh. “No, with the scholarship we were well off. I mean, we had to learn how to budget our money and everything, but we had food on the table so we were good.”

With one more semester to go before graduating, Alani Fua will be leaving BYU with a degree in construction management. Before entering the workforce in which he received a degree in, Fua will try his hand as a NFL prospect.

“Well, I just have the one more semester left, so I’m going to finish this semester and then go train and stuff and hopefully try out for the NFL,” said Fua.

Running out of the tunnel one last time will this Saturday will remind Fua of one thing: the first time he visited BYU on a recruiting trip. It’s a moment that’s always stuck within his mind.

“I mean, just kind of thinking it will remind me of the first time I came to BYU to take a visit,” said Fua. “One of the main things that stuck out to me was walking out of the tunnel with the team and feeling that crowd and seeing that college atmosphere that first time.”

When it comes to a playing moment that Fua remembers the most over this BYU career, the Georgia Tech game comes to mind. Fua wasn’t having a good game but then one play changed all that.

“There’s a play where I got a pick-six against Georgia Tech was probably one of my highlights,” said Fua. “It was kind of a slow game for me and that was probably the only thing that I did the whole game, but that one play kind of made everything up.”

While that pick-six against Georgia Tech will be seared within his memory for a long time, the more meaningful moments of Fua’s career will be those moments just being with his teammates.

“I would think memorable moments would be just hanging out with the guys really. Just hanging my brothers in the locker room and just getting to know them,” said Fua. “I think getting to know guys on a very personal level is the main thing that I’ll probably take away from all of this. It’s just the friendships.”

So while Fua and his Cougars teammates get set to take on Savannah Sate, which will be many of these Cougars’ last home game, he believes his career at BYU has been satisfactory. Fua is content with how his career at BYU has turned out for him.

“I’m satisfied,” Fua said. “There were a lot of great players in front of me throughout my whole career, so I didn’t get to play as much as I wanted to. I mean, where I’m at now I’m happy. This year getting injured wasn’t part of the plan, but I’m happy with my career here at BYU. I’m happy to move on and I guess I’m content.”

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