“He came down to Samoa a few months ago and filmed our whole team,” said Samoan offensive lineman Frederick Mauigoa. “He seemed interested but at that time he didn’t say much, but after a while he was talking things over with BYU’s head coach. He showed them my film and they were surprised. After that they offered me and I felt blessed to have the opportunity. I’m grateful.”
It was apparent to the Cougar coaching staff in watching Mauigoa's film they feel they could develop his talents into an outstanding prospect at the next level.
“I’m 6-4 and weigh 290 pounds,” said Mauigoa. “What I do well on the football field, and this is what coaches have told me, is I have good footwork. They’ve also told me that I have a strong push on the line. I also play defensive tackle as well, but I like playing on the offensive side more. I think the reason is I get to block and smash people.”
BYU coaches extended a scholarship to the big Samoan lineman, whose size and strength has been put on display at various camps here in America. True to his Samoan roots, Mauigoa was grateful and verbally expressed his humble nature concerning his BYU offer.
“I was excited,” he said. “I never thought that BYU would ever offer me. When I spoke to my parents they were amazed with how far I’ve come. Coach Atuaia is a good coach and a great guy because we’ve had some good conversations. He’s not only Samoan but he was able to tell me about some interesting things about BYU and what it has to offer. He seems like a coach that really cares. I was really blessed when they told me they were offering me a scholarship. It was really humbling and I’m just grateful for that.”
A deeply religious person, Mauigoa regularly attends church in Samoa, where his uncle is a local pastor. The offer from BYU means a lot to him simply because he knows the high standards found at BYU accompanied with the high level of education and quality of football.
“It means a lot to me and it was good talking to the coaches,” said Mauigoa. “I know they don’t only care about my athletic development but also my academic development as well. BYU is a school that is more of a religious school and I really like that. I like that because it will keep me on the right path and not doing anything stupid like drinking or smoking or going to parties and stuff like that.”
Mauigoa knows that at BYU he can practice his faith and live his life in comfort without experiencing the social pressures of immorality and partying that comes with college life.
“I like the religious side that BYU offers,” said Mauigoa. “I’m a religious person and I don’t smoke or drink or party or do anything like that. I know BYU is a place that can keep you focused and I like it that way. That’s the kind of college that I want to go to. I’ve seen how guys are now partying and doing things they shouldn’t and I don’t want to be around that. I know BYU is a good school and doesn’t have those things, so that’s a good thing and something I don’t want to be around in college.”
BYU joined other notable colleges seeking to win the Mauigoa sweepstakes.
“Hawaii was the first school to offer then it was Washington State,” said Mauigoa. “Washington State offered me over the phone when I was back home in Samoa. Then UNLV offered me through the PISA [Pacific International Sports Alliance] foundation when I was camping there at Waianae. Oregon State offered me after the Nike combine and then Nevada. I’m looking for a school that can help me athletically and academically. I want to go to a school that will keep me focused on football and school. I think that’s important.”
It’s going to be awhile as the big Samoan lineman from Tafuna, which is where former BYU defensive lineman Shaun Nua, now coaching at Navy, was from, makes his final decision. He’s not sure if he’ll take any official visits or not. In the meantime he’ll return home to the islands of Samoa and talk things over with his parents and make a final decision on where he’ll play college football when he’s ready.
“I’m going to wait a bit and just give me some time to think about it,” said Mauigoa. “When the time comes I’ll talk it over with my parents. I don’t know if I’ll take any visits or not, but I’ll just talk things over with my parents. I’m not sure yet though and we’ll see. I’m just grateful for all the opportunities that I have.”