Standing 6-4 and weighing in at 260-pounds, Kingsley Suamataia joins a small group of elite prospects to make BYU recruiting history by receiving an offer from Kalani Sitake and the Cougars prior to entering high school. Following a spring practice session, Suamataia, along with his mother Tamara and father Leroy, were called into Coach Sitake’s office where Kingsley was given his scholarship offer.
“I was really excited and mostly thankful for the offer,” said Suamataia. “I was surprised that I got offered. I was watching practice and they wanted me to come up stairs to the coach’s office.”
The Suamataia family walked up to the second floor of BYU’s Student Athlete Building where the coaches offices are located. Sitting in Coach Sitake’s office, Kingsley Suamataia listened to BYU’s head coach talk about the importance of family.
“He talked to me about family and mostly about respecting your family, especially your parents,” said Suamataia. “He talked about always following your parents and to do what they say, and if you do that you’ll make it far in life.”
“We’re thankful for Kalani,” said Kingsley’s father, Leroy Suamataia. “He talked about how he’s going to have other offers, but nowhere are you going to be at a place where we can discuss football, church, The Book of Mormon, the temple, missionary work and feel the Spirit all at one place like BYU.”
After a life talk and an emphasis on the importance of obeying parents and family, Coach Sitake then extended a scholarship offer.
“He said he wanted to offer me because I come from a really good family,” said Suamataia. “He said he knew my family well. When he offered me I was thankful. There was a lot of emotions. My parents were happy and my mom was crying.”
“He actually shed a few tears when Kalani offered him,” said Leroy Suamataia. “It was a good experience for him. Kalani [thinks] highly of him and that was humbling for us. Kalani has seen a lot of talent, but he spoke highly of Kingsley and talked about all the different kids that have come in here. He said he only offers the special ones, and he’s never been wrong about the kids he’s offered early.””
Kingsley Suamataia was shocked by the news that a scholarship to attend BYU was offered to him so early.
“I’m only in the eighth grade,” Suamataia said. “It’s crazy! I’m kind of in shock.”
A two-way player, Kingsley Suamataia plays about every position in the trenches on both offense and defense.
“I play O-line and D-line; on offense I play from center to left and right tackle,” said Suamataia. “I would say my favorite position on O-line is playing tackle.”
When asked why he liked playing tackle, Suamataia simply said, “I like to pancake people.” As a 6-4, 260 pound eighth grader, pancaking hapless defensive lineman has to be a common theme for Suamataia, who was the MVP of the Under Armour All-American Camp.
“Two weeks ago we went out to L.A to the Under Armour All-American camp where he won the MVP and blew up on social media,” Leroy Suamataia said. “It was a big thing for us. Everybody wanted to do an interview and the west coast schools were high on him. UCLA already took us on an unofficial visit while we were there, so for BYU to offer before all those guys came out was huge for us because of all the attention he was getting.”
Kingsley Suamataia comes from a family of talented football players. He’s named after his uncle, Kingsley Ah You, who played football at BYU from 1992-93. His other uncle, Harland Ah You, played defensive tackle at BYU from 1995-97, and his grandfather Junior Ah You played for Arizona State in the 1970’s, earning All-American status. His mother Tamara is first cousins with former BYU football players Matt Ah You and C.J, Ah You, as well her uncle, Charles Ah You, who played running back. Because of the long and prestigious Ah You family history with BYU, Suamataia favors his church college as one of his favorites.
“Yes, BYU is one of my favorite schools because a lot of my uncles played for BYU,” said Suamataia. “I’m really excited.”
Jason Ah You currently is the Director of Football Athletic Relations at BYU and basically all of BYU’s Polynesian staff members have known Kingsley Suamataia since he was born.
“These guys are all like uncles to Kingsley,” said Leroy Suamataia. “These guys are all like family and so it was hard for Kingsley because he didn’t know if he should call them uncle or coach when he came. All these guys were at his blessing when he was a baby, so it was kind of a surreal moment for us because they put on a different hat today and had to offer him without the uncle hat. It was different for him but it meant a lot to him.”
“I like the coaches and their staff,” said Kingsley Suamataia. “I like the spirit that they have and it feels like being with my family. My uncle Jason [Ah You] was with us when we had the meeting. He was smiling and said he was really happy.”