Talent in the Rotation

It is no secret that BYU coaches are playing more incoming talent this year than they have in recent memory. Nine new players have seen playing time this season. After playing on special teams in the Cougars' first two games, Manase Tonga saw some action at full back against TCU.

"Oh man it was fun; I really enjoyed it," Tonga said. "Getting in on the first play that I had was really exciting for me and the adrenaline was rushing."

Although he does not know if he will ever get the chance to actually take a hand off from quarterback John Beck to show BYU fans and coaches alike that he's dusted off the missionary rust, Manase Tonga does feel he will be getting more playing time in the offense.

"Well, we'll have to see what the coaches do," said Tonga. "We'll just have to see wait and see what happens."

BYU coaches are bringing Tonga along slowly to play a role very similar future role as running back/lead blocker NauFahu Tahi. Right now Tonga is getting more reps as a lead blocker to spell the 245-pound senior.

"The game plan right now is to get Fahu as much rest as we can right now just because he's a work horse," said Tonga. "He carries a heavy load and what he does is physically demanding you know.

"So right now I just come in and relieve him a little bit to give him a breather every once in awhile, but I'm learning a lot and I'm excited to be running behind Fahu."

This past Saturday, a few BYU recruits showed up to watch BYU play TCU in what could have possibly been the longest NCAA football game in history beating out a contest between Arkansas and Ole Miss for the current record. Recruits such as quarterback James Lark and running back/safety Mike Hague were on hand to see the overtime thriller. Also in attendance was Aragon High School defensive end and younger brother of Manase Tonga, Matangi Tonga.

Manase asked his younger brother his thoughts concerning his first ever BYU game day experience.

"Well his first reaction was he liked the turnout and he really enjoyed the game," said Manase Tonga. "He liked how our offense played and it was a very exciting game. That's all he really said.

"He toured around the locker room and met some of the players and was messing with some of the coaches. He enjoyed it."

Despite the overtime loss that has placed the Cougars with a current 1-2 record, Manase Tonga feels his brother will most likely end up at BYU.

"As far as the school and recruiting and all that stuff you know, he really likes it," Manase. "I wouldn't be surprised if he does sign here. I think he left with a really good impression and a good feeling."

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