Jonah Moi Hoping to Visit BYU

It’s been a strange set of recruiting circumstances for Riverside Community College linebacker Jonah Moi. Following the Redlands University camp, where BYU coaches participated, Moi was offered a scholarship by Bronco Mendenhall. Since that time his recruitment has fallen off from the Cougar coaches. The question is why?

Following Jonah Moi’s offer from BYU he received quite a bevy of interest from schools ranging from the PAC-12 to the SEC. He also feels he’s close to receiving an offer from a member college from the Big-12 as well. He’s hoping he can set up a visit to BYU.

“I have Ole Miss, Oregon State, Washington State, and TCU should be offering soon,” said Moi. “BYU is definitely one of the schools that I want to take one of my visits to. All these other schools are trying to set up visits with me, but I want to set up a visit to BYU.”

BYU was the first of two universities to have officially offered Moi, who is of the LDS faith. He gave a soft verbal to Hawaii, which was the first university to have offer, prior to his BYU offer. However, being LDS and growing up watching and knowing about his church college, he was happy that BYU extended the offer feeling that it could be a place he wanted to play football.

“I’ve always been a fan of BYU growing up and just playing for the church,” Moi said. “I just think I would be more focused playing at BYU. I feel like that would be a good place for me, and I definitely can see myself playing over there.”

However, along the recruiting trail the parties went from being high school sweethearts to distant college friends. The communication lines between Moi and BYU fell silent during the recruiting process.

“I was probably talking to him a few weeks after [receiving my offer], and then after that I just never heard from them in a while,” said Moi. “I only talk to Coach (Kelly) Poppinga during the season once. I was talking to a friend on the team and I asked him and he said they were going to get back to me and they didn’t.”

The reason for the lack of communication is uncertain, and of course BYU’s coaches can’t speak on the matter due to NCAA rules. There may have been a misunderstanding or a communication error by one party or anther’s during the process, such as giving the perception of a lack of interest by not returning calls or corresponding through social media.

As we know perception is often times reality. Moi may have given that perception unintended. However, when asked if this could have been the case he said: “Well, I don’t know,” Moi said with a pause. “The only thing I can think of is maybe all of these other offers that have come in have offered too. Maybe that might have something to do with it. I don’t know.”

It’s hard to pinpoint the cause. However, there is a perception that when interest is given by a coaching staff and not reciprocated back by a recruit coaches will often shift their attention in areas where such interest is given. Moi mentioned that he hadn’t reached out much to Coach Poppinga through Twitter or by other social media, which might explain some of the distance.

“No, I haven’t,” said Moi. “I messaged Coach (Mark) Atuaia a few times but he never messaged me back. He was the only one that followed me, so he was like the only one that I could message on Twitter. The coaches never followed me back, only Coach Atuaia did.

“I would love to get in contact with them but I don’t know how to get in contact with them. I’m still interested in BYU. Everyone is trying to set up a visit with me, and really the only schools that I want to set up visits with right now are TCU and BYU. I might do Oregon State too. I might go to Ole Miss but I might replace Ole Miss with Oregon State. I don’t know yet.”

As often seen in recruiting articles, Kelly Poppinga is one of the strongest recruiters on BYU’s football staff. No stone is left unturned and no crack left unchecked when it comes to his recruiting efforts. One only needs to look back at his track record to know this to be the case. Because of today’s situation, Moi feels that a little neglected.

“I just don’t want to go to a school that doesn’t wants me,” Moi said. “That’s the only thing. I want to go play at a place that wants me to be there.”

That’s a wise position to take and one often mentioned by Coach Mendenhall in regards to the type of recruits the staff wants at BYU. They want recruits that want to be there, and it is clear Moi still has an interest in BYU. He’s also made it known that he wants to try and contact and speak with the coaches. Maybe a common ground, or at least an understanding, could be reached if the communication lines were opened back up again.

“Yeah, that’s true,” Moi said. “I just want to get in contact with them to see what’s up. I just want to talk to the coaches to see if I can get out there.”

That, of course, is all up to the coaches of BYU. Stay tuned, Cougar fans. We’ll have plenty of coverage for you on as signing day draws nearer.

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