“They offered me last year after the first or second day of the padded camp over the summer,” said Funa. “I didn’t know they were going to offer me. They just coached me and asked me if I would like to meet them after the last practice, so I took my dad and my uncle to the office and they just pulled out the scholarship thing. I was really excited.”
It was during the summer of last year that Funa made his pledge to sign his letter of intent with BYU. After receiving his scholarship offer from Bronco Mendenhall, Funa committed to BYU about two weeks later.
“I committed to BYU last year,” Funa said. “I was really happy after I read the scholarship and my name was on it. It kind of caught me by surprise.
“The reason why I committed was for me I’m a LDS member. Once Coach Mendenhall mentioned all the standards they have there and what they hold important to them it just made me want to go there. It just made me know that BYU is the place where I wanted to go and be. After that day they offered me it was about two weeks later that I committed. I told my mom that I wanted to commit. Some in my family wanted me to wait to see what other offers I get, but I knew what I wanted and wanted to commit and get it over with.”
At Spanish Fork High School, Funa plays a wide range of positions both offensively and defensively. Offensively he’s played tight end and even lined up in the backfield as a running back. Defensively he’s played defensive end and outside linebacker. At BYU he’ll be playing linebacker, but it’s not quite clear if it will be on the outside or in the middle.
“They wanted me to play linebacker, but I’m not sure if they want me as an outside linebacker or inside linebacker,” said Funa. “Coach (Paul) Tidwell wanted me at linebacker and that’s what my offer was.”
Like many Tongans living in the state of Utah, the Funa family are members of the prominent religion found in the Beehive State. His strong LDS faith is what led him to commit to BYU early, and it will also carry him onward to serve an LDS mission.
“The standards that BYU has it all I know and what I’ve grown up with,” said Funa. “There’s not a lot of other colleges that allow us Mormons to go and serve missions, and that’s what I want to do after high school is go serve a mission.”