"He's so athletic for a big," said Coach Thomas. "Right now he's about 275 from wrestling but in the summer he was around 300 pounds. He looks great now but in the summer he looked great too.
"He's a great kid around the campus. He's a three sport athlete and just a great kid. He's three time champ in wrestling and went to Masters Meet this year. He had an injury or else he would have gone State. He's done well in shot put for the track team and obviously he's been a dominating football player since his sophomore year. He was All-CIF since he was a sophomore, he was the linemen of the year this year in our league, he was All-State, All-CIF this year. He was All-Area in both newspapers out here."
Coach Thomas has a good reference point against which he can compare Fua's talent.
"I coached Shawn Williams who was a first round draft pick for the Giants," said Thomas. "He was an All-American at UCLA, so I've coached a few that have played division one but Sione is by far the most talented linemen I've ever coached at the high school level."
On top of his many accolades, Sione Fua, a 6'3", 275-pound Tongan, has received quite a bit of attention from major D-I colleges nationwide because of his dedication in the classroom. In fact, Fua is currently sitting on top of 9 football scholarship offers prior to attending any summer camps.
"Yeah man, Sione has a lot of offers so we're really excited and it's still coming," said Sione's father George Fua. "May is around the corner so the coaches will be able to come out. A lot of coaches wait until they can meet the kids. Boston College was the first one, UCLA was the second one, Arizona was the third one, BYU was the fourth one, Arizona State was the fifth one, Tennessee was the sixth, Maryland was the seventh, Stanford was the eight but it was a verbal. Apparently they can't offer until they do the whole admissions thing and then Cal Berkley. Those are the ones I have. Sione‘s doing really well in both the classroom and on the field. He‘s had a 4.0 since like the fourth grade."
Fua's football talents are complemented by the coaching he currently receives not only from his own father, but from the coaches on the Crespi High School football staff.
"The offensive line coach is the offensive coordinator and he coached at Fresno State, so Sione is getting coached by a college guy right now," said Coach Thomas. "He's going to come out very well prepared and he's already showing good technique for being a high school kid. Technique-wise he is getting coached, on the defensive side, by a college coach and also on the offensive side by a former college coach."
A once talented football player in his own right, George Fua used to man the trenches at Rick's Junior College. George draws upon the hard lessons he learned while attending college to guide his son in the right direction in both academics and football. Seeing his son get so many scholarship offers, especially from BYU, is a dream come true for a proud father.
"Yeah man, well, unfortunately I didn't have the grades and with Sione I was basically on him because I didn't want him to have to go through the same stuff," said George. "I want him to have a better life and a better opportunity and try and get the strongest possible education and degree for him so that way he can have success in life.
"You know, Coach Lamb had sent Sione an email that said, 'Hey, you're the kind of guy we're looking for and congratulations we're going to offer you and you'll receive it in the mail.' This really brought a tear to my eye because there's a lot of history there and there's a lot of work and everything that's been apart of the church. I mean there's just a lot of emotion there, so it meant a lot to me."
"My dad said BYU is a good school and he said he really wants me to really consider going there because that's where he wanted to go play football," said Sione. "It's just a good school all around."
For Sione Fua, the letter that contained the scholarship offer from the coaches of BYU was very exciting for him. In fact, Sione was waiting to see if BYU was going to offer him a scholarship before he made any early decisions on committing to any college.
"They sent me a letter," he said. "I was excited because this is my church school and everybody wants to go there, so it's just exciting that you can say that you've got an offer to go to BYU and play football for the Y.
"I feel excited because it's my church school. And BYU is going to be one of my major choices because BYU's got all the values I like in a school. They're my church school so they'll allow me to go on my mission. It's a good education and also it's a good football program."
A combination of high academic standards and low tuition fees contributed to the BYU's third-place ranking in the Princeton Review's list of "America's Best Value Colleges." For George Fua, BYU would be the first choice for his son. However, the family will simply guide Sione in principle and let him decide where he should attend college.
"BYU would be my fist choice for Sione," George said. "We want Sione to see BYU. We all know BYU and we know the tradition, we know the culture and everything that's apart of BYU, the devotionals and all that stuff. You know I ended up at Rick's College and I met his mom there and it was nice, so we got married a couple of years later. It was cool because we both went to a church school both his mom and his dad. It's exciting and I told Sione to pray about it and his mom and I will support him on his decision."
Sione is currently doing his best to complete his project for his Eagle Scout award. He will soon put his project on hold, however, so he pack up his stuff and drive up to Provo, Utah for to see BYU firsthand with the rest of his family for this weekend's "Junior Day" at BYU.
"We're driving up on Thursday," Sione said. "It's basically like a thing for the top juniors where they bring in all the kids that they're recruiting and basically show them around the school and give an overview of the football program, student life and academics with statistics and an overview of the education and different majors on what the school has to offer. It will be fun."
George added: "We're going over to the Junior Day this Saturday at BYU, so we'll probably drive down and leave here on Thursday night to visit Junior Day in Provo. The other thing that's on our schedule is we're going to be at the NIKE camp in May over at Stanford and then we'll be over at the Junior Day at Stanford. Originally I wanted Sione to go to a Texas camp like a Texas A&M or the Texas Longhorns. Go to a camp there and then do something in Florida and then he would probably do a west coast team camp like a Stanford camp or a USC camp. That's kind of what we had planned for summer but we'll see because it's so much on the kid you know."
"It's exciting because I've never seen the BYU campus or anything," Sione concluded.