Unga Struggles with Decision

BYU coaches paid Timpview running back Harvey Unga an in-home visit yesterday in the hope to swing the interest of one of Utah's most talented players towards BYU.

With BYU already landing two of the "Thunderbird Four" in gunslinger/ athlete Steven Covey and trench specialist Matt Reynolds, BYU hopes to seal the deal in the final stretch of this year's recruiting saga with Luke Ashworth and running back Harvey Unga.

BYU coaches sat down with Harvey Unga and his family last Tuesday night to tell them what BYU had to offer the talented running back. For a young man already torn between the University of Utah and BYU, the visit has made it much more difficult for Unga to decide.

"I don't even know," said a saddened Unga. "They just went over what I would be playing and all that stuff."

At a time when many football prospects are going on with their lives having already made their decisions with clarity of mind and without a heaviness of heart, the recruiting process has been one filled with months of emotional burdens for a kid whose life is laced with the Tongan teachings of respect and honor for your elders.

"The feelings are the hardest part because it's hard for me to tell Kalani and coach Whittingham, "no" if I were to go to BYU, and at the same time it would be hard to tell coach Reynolds and coach Anae the same," said a somber unga. "It's just really hard for me."

During their visit, BYU coaches cleared up some concerns for Unga. One attraction Utah held for Unga was the fact coach Whittingham told him he would be recruited specifically as a running back and that's where Unga wants to play in college. For BYU, Unga was afraid BYU coaches would switch him to defense once he signed.

"No, they're recruiting me for offense. They told me I would be the only running back recruit. It makes it a lot harder," said Unga.

Fellow Timpview teammate and good friend Matt Reynolds confirms Unga's comments.

With his primary BYU concerns answered, Unga now feels the football advantages that lead to his soft commit to the UofU has been matched by BYU.

"The visit was good," Unga said. "They just cleared a lot of things up because my dad had a lot of questions. So they cleared things up and, man, I don't know; it just made things a lot harder. Yeah, they are putting up a good fight with the U right now and it's making things a lot harder for me."

BYU is Unga's church school and he also considers it to be the school with the better facilities, environment and undergraduate education. There is one area in which BYU does not surpass the University of Utah: recent success.

"Well the thing about the U was their winning season," Unga said. "That was one of the most appealing things to me at the time. I mean, they were number 5 and they had a perfect season and so that was appealing to me, and BYU wasn't doing so great at the moment. At the same time at the end of the season, I took my trips and noticed a lot of other things. A lot of other things that have changed my perspectives about BYU and Utah.

"Just the environment and everything, it's different. It's really added to my perspective and thoughts on where I want to go."

With an unsettled mind, Unga has gathered all the advantages and disadvantages of both schools and took his concerns to the Lord to help settle the confusion. He feels he has received somewhat of an answer and will wait until he meets with Utah coaches this Saturday before making his final decision.

"Oh yeah, I've been praying a lot," said Unga. "I'm not sure yet, I'm just waiting to see. This Saturday night the Utah coaches are coming to talk to me and it will probably give me a good idea on where I stand. To hear their last word. I've talked with Mendenhall and I've heard his last words and I'll hear what Utah has to say with their last words and then make a decision."


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