Coming in at around 6-5, 260-pounds, Sean Vaisimia graduated from Clayton Valley Charter High School in Concord, California in 2015. He earned first team all-league for both defensive line and tight end. He currently plays at Diablo Valley College located in Pleasant Hill, California; the same junior college former BYU Cougars offensive lineman, and current Baltimore Raven, De’Ondre Wesley attended before becoming a Cougar. Recently Vaisima received a BYU offer.
“It’s exciting for me. For my family the BYU offer is the one that is probably the most exciting about,” said Vaisima. “My mom’s side of the family is Mormon so they’re all really happy that I got that offer from BYU. They’re all huge BYU fans and they have a history with BYU. My mom went to school over there and a couple of cousins went there. I have a lot of family in Utah that are really big BYU fans.”
The offer came as sort of a surprise to Vaisima and at first it might not have been the intention of BYU’s head coach to visit Diablo with the intention of offering. However, after seeing Vaisima run during a practice, Kalani Sitake extended an offer with no JUCO film and without have seen Vaisima play a single game.
“Coach Sitake had come out and he had offered another one of our players earlier that day, so I wasn’t sure if he had come to our school for me but was pretty sure it was for another guy. I guess he had seen me play. The next day I got a phone call and I was actually at the institute across the street from my school when I got the call. He just told me about the honor code and asked me if I was willing to follow it. I don’t know, it was pretty shocking and kind of weird how it all happened.”
It’s no secret Coach Sitake has a keen eye for talent. He was Utah’s best recruiter and the endeavor to find talent is a passion of his, regardless if the player has ever seen the field or not.
“I’m pretty humbled by the whole situation because there’s a lot guys on my team that already completed their first year,” Vaisima said. “Then there’s me who sat out last year, and being away from football for almost a year now, it’s just crazy to see a coach like Sitake put so much faith into my game based on what he saw me do at a practice.
“I was kind of shocked when I got the offer. I mean, the first person I told was my buddy and he was excited for me. Then I had told Brother Fowler who runs the institute and he was excited. We had a whole little prayer thing going during lunch time and it was really exciting for me. It was just a blessing to finally receive an offer, especially from a school like BYU.”
When it comes to recruiting, BYU is also recruiting Vaisima’s fellow teammate John Vaka, who is the first cousin to former BYU defensive lineman Mosese Foketi. This is the prospect Coach Sitake came out to see when he discovered Sean Vaisima. The two were offered on the same day while attending institute.
“BYU is also recruiting John Vaka, who is our right tackle, is the other recruit BYU offered,” said Vaisima. “He’s the only one they had offered out here. He was really excited and told me that BYU is his dream school that he’s always wanted to go to. He was offered at the institute with me that same day.
“We were walking over to the institute from the school and he told me that he had received an offer from BYU. Then maybe 10 minutes later I got the phone call. I got off the phone and he was pretty excited. He was telling me, ‘Man, what if we both ended up going there?’ We were just talking about the school and he was just telling how much he loved BYU and always wanted to go there.”
Vaisima was excited to receive the offer from Coach Sitake who is the first Tongan head coach in NCAA history.
“Oh man, it’s kind of crazy and that’s something you work all your life for,” Vaisima said “First to be offered by my church college BYU is such a blessing, but to finally hear those words, ‘You’ve received a scholarship’ from a Polynesian coach at your church college is just an incredible feeling. It just shows how far we’ve come as a culture to know that I’ve received an offer from a Poly head coach. There’s nothing better than getting an offer from somebody who knows how it feels to be Tongan. It’s crazy.”
Currently, Vaisima has four offers on the table and views his offer from BYU to be his biggest offer so far for many reasons.
“I have received offers from Central Florida, Colorado State, [and Hawaii], but, I mean in my opinion [BYU is] the biggest school that has offered me,” he said. “I mean, it’s just BYU! I mean, people don’t understand that on sundays when you can’t watch TV and all and if you go on the BYU channel they won’t have sports playing on Sunday. I mean, it’s crazy and exciting to know that I can have Polynesian coaches who are of the same faith as I am surrounding me. I mean, it’s not even the head coach but a lot of the staff are Polynesian.”
Although in high school Vaisima played both defensive tackle and tight end, BYU is looking at him to more the tight end position because of his size and physicality.
“I play tight end and play kind of that mix between receiver and blocking tight end,” said Vaisima. “I think what separates me from other tight ends is I don’t shy away from the physical part of being a tight end. I think in today’s game, especially in the spread offenses and everything, some tight ends kind of shy away from the blocking game and lean more towards being a receiver. I just enjoy helping out my teammates whether it’s blocking and helping them succeed or helping the team success by me catching passes down field.”
Vaisima will have four years to play three and, like John Vaka, will graduate this December and enroll in college prior to spring ball next season.
“I grey-shirted my first year and this will be my second year at Diablo Valley,” Vaisima said. “This is basically my freshman year. The reason why I grey shirted is because I wanted to get my grades up out of high school. I plan on graduating and getting my degree the same time as John Vaka in December. That way I’ll have four [years] to play three at the next level.”