BYU under head coach Kalani Sitake has reevaluated the recruiting landscape in an effort to build his program and take BYU's vaunted football program further than ever before. With that effort in mind, defensive coordinator Ilaisa Tuiaki has extended an offer to Kearns High School two-way prospect Sione Finau.
"Yeah, BYU offered me a scholarship and I'm really excited about that," said Finau. "I'm very excited about it. When I was a little boy growing up, BYU was my dream school to go to. Now that I've got an offer from them I have to make a decision.
"Coach Tuiaki is the one that offered me. He used to train with my [uncle] Sione Pouha. Tuiaki is a great guy and he makes promises that he doesn't back away from. He's a great man and a great example. I'm excited he's at BYU now."
Ilaisa Tuiaki and Kalani Sitake both recruited Finau to Oregon State, where he has verbally committed. His relationship with BYU's new defensive coordinator and head coach is a longstanding one, built upon deep seated ties.
"Coach Sitake is just like Coach Tuiaki," Finau said. "He's a great man and a humble man who loves the game. He just a great guy and I’m grateful to have the chance to play for them. It's a great opportunity to play at the next level for those guys."
Now that Finau has a BYU offer in hand, he has a lot to think about. BYU is his church college and an in-state program closer to home.
"It just gives me another decision to choose from," said Finau. "Being in Corvallis, Oregon State is a lot different than being in Provo, Utah. They're two different programs with two different environments. It's a lot to choose from."
The social standards found at BYU, along with those religious principles woven deep within the fabric of the university and football program, makes it an attractive place for Sione Finau.
"Yeah, the religion side of things will play a strong factor in my decision," said Finau. "The Lord has always come first before football ever came into the picture. BYU has offered me and it's an in-state school and has the same standards as me. It will play a big part in my final decision."
On the field of play, Finau is a slashing back who can skate through holes. His quick and elusive abilities make him difficult to tackle, let alone get a proper angle to make a play on him. However, he describes his style of play in a more humorous way.
"I’m a fast water boy!" Finau said with a chuckle in his voice. "I can run that water! No, BYU wants me mainly for defense. Coach Tuiaki recruited me and he's the defensive coordinator. He wants me as either a cornerback or strong safety."
Playing on the defensive side of the ball is just fine for Finau.
"Yeah, I love playing defense," Finau quickly said. "I'm fine playing either position. I've been playing that position a lot and know a lot. I know I have a lot to learn to play at the next level, but I know Coach Tuiaki has a lot of wisdom and I can learn from him and the other members of the staff."
The athletic exploits of Sione Finau don't just stop with being a wide receiver, running back, or defensive specialist. He's also a top Utah track athlete as well.
"I'm 5-11, 170-pounds," said Finau. "I ran a 4.5 forty but I don't know what my pro-shuttle is, but I also run track as well. I'm the 4A state champion for the 110 meter hurdles "
Just like his two older brothers, Finau plans on serving a two-year LDS mission. He'll set aside his helmet and pads for two years and wear a white shirt and tie before ever making a single play at the college level.
"Yes, I plan on serving a mission," said Finau. "I have one brother who came home from Auckland, New Zealand. I have another one serving in Detroit. My brothers really want me to serve an LDS mission."
What will be interesting to see is if Sione Finau sign with BYU, what happens with his older brother, Amone Finau, who signed with the Utah prior to serving his mission. Amone Finau is a 6-3, 190-pound running back with reported 4.47 speed prior to leaving.
"The same coach that recruited me also recruited my brother Amone [Finau] to Utah," said Finau. "Coach Tuiaki is the one that recruited him to Utah before he went to Oregon State. [Amone]'s just focusing on his mission now, but we'll see what happens after he comes home from his mission."
No official visits have been set up for Finau yet, who has focused primarily on the basketball season now that football is over and done with. He'll take his official visits then make a final decision on a college of his choice.
"After I take all of my college visits," said Finau. "I'll then meet with my family and we'll make a final decision from there. I'm excited to see what the future has in store for me."