“BYU offered me a full ride scholarship to play outside linebacker a while ago,” Funa said. “They offered that to me when I was in my sophomore year. I went to a football camp that they had and I just went there just to try and get better as a football player. I wasn’t really expecting anything other than just to get better.”
However, to the surprise of this unassuming and relatively unknown prospect from Spanish Fork High School, he would receive a scholarship offer from Bronco Mendenhall. His intention for going to BYU's summer camp years ago was to simply hone his football skills. What ended up happening was he received an offer to attend BYU and play for the Cougars. It was the surprise of his life.
“Yeah, I was just really surprised by how it all ended,” Funa said with a slight laugh. “I wasn’t even expecting it at all because I just went there to get better. After the third day of the camp, Coach Tidwell approached me and asked me if I could bring my parents with me to Coach Mendenhall’s office. I just thought they wanted to talk to me so I went up. What happened was I ended up getting offered. I didn’t really know what to say because I was so surprised and excited. I don’t know, I was just shocked.”
This all occurred while he was a sophomore in high school. Joining him during the occasion were his father and uncle who were with him in attendance at BYU’s camp.
“I just told my uncle and my dad that the coaches wanted to talk to us,” recalled Funa. “I just told them that they wanted to meet with us and just talk, so we all went up to Coach Mendenhall’s office. Then they pulled out the scholarship and I started reading it. That’s when I looked over at my dad and uncle. They were both shocked too! Then they got excited for me after realizing what had just happened.”
Being a LDS athlete and one who will serve an LDS mission, Funa decided to commit to Coach Mendenhall a few days after receiving the scholarship offer. After the proverbial cat was let out of the bag that BYU received a commit from a prospect from Spanish Fork, other colleges took notice.
“I decided to commit because I’m LDS and BYU is a place that has my values,” Funa said. “They saw something in me that they liked a long time ago. Even though I committed to BYU a while ago they still treat me great. They always send me letters and let me know that they’re excited for me to come and play and all that. Since then there have been other schools that have been recruiting me.”
“I already committed to BYU but Boise State has been coming by a couple of times and they seem interested in me,” said Funa. “They’ve been talking to me and showing me interest and stuff like that. Then Oregon State has also been showing me interest. They’ve been talking to me and they also seem interested in me as well. It’s been interesting.”
However, despite the interest from other quality football programs Funa is still committed to BYU.
“Yeah, I’m still committed and BYU is where I want to be,” Funa said. “I’m a LDS athlete and love the coaches over there. Like I said they saw something in me a long time ago and offered. I plan on going on my mission and then returning home to play at BYU. I’m excited about it and can’t wait.”