Fuga Anxious to Make Impact for BYU

As previously reported, Romney Fuga gave Head Coach Bronco Mendenhall a verbal commitment on Saturday to play for BYU. However, unlike other recruits who needed an official visit to convince them of their decision, Fuga's trip had no impact on his decision

"There was really nothing that confirmed to me any more that BYU was the place for me on my official visit that I hadn't felt before," said Romney Fuga. "It was nice and I had a great time, but I knew going in that I was going to commit to Coach Mendenhall."

Throughout his recruiting process, Fuga has maintained that BYU was the clear leader for his services, but he took his time making a final decision. He wanted to be sure about which school he would attend and play for. Fuga made up his mind about two weeks before his official visit to BYU.

"I just sat down with my entire family to make the final decision, and we all decided that BYU was the best place for me," said Fuga. "I've always thought I'd commit there since the summer when they first recruited me, but I made a final and definite decision sitting down with my family about two weeks ago."

"We never pressured him anyway on where to play," said Romney's mother La Fuga. "We left it entirely up to him to decide. He's a very good kid and we knew he'd make the decision that was best for him. He feels that playing for BYU is the best decision, so we also know that Romney attending school at BYU and playing for BYU is the best decision. We're very happy for him."

Romney prepped at Edison High School in Huntington Beach, California where he started on both the offensive and defensive lines. He was recently named by the Los Angeles Times as the Southern California lineman of the year. Fuga also played in the Florida-California All-Star game this past weekend.

"I'm proud of how I performed this past season," said Fuga. "I feel I did alright and being able to play in that game [Florida-California All-Star game] was an awesome experience. Now I'm just looking forward to wrestling season, graduating and heading off to BYU."

Other schools have taken notice of Fuga's play on the field with many of the offering him scholarships.

"I had offers from just about every Mountain West school including Utah, San Diego State and Colorado State," said Fuga. "I also had offers from Washington, Washington State and Arizona. Schools like Penn State and Colorado were also sending me stuff toward the end and talked to me about possible trips, but I'm committed now, so that's all off."

As mentioned, Fuga will compete for the state heavyweight wrestling crown. Last year he took fourth in the state tournament. While a wrestling background alone is not enough merit a scholarship offer, BYU coaches have mentioned in the past that wrestling can separate two otherwise evenly matched recruits.

"We have to get him skinnier now," said La Fuga. "He needs to get smaller to compete in wrestling, so he can't eat as much as he usually does. He loves to eat, so it's tough for him, but we want him to do well and he wants to do well also."

Fuga will serve an LDS mission, but will play a year before leaving. He intends to compete for immediate playing time in what will be a much-depleted defensive line unit for the Cougars.

"They told me early on that I'd be able to compete right away for a starting job or a job in the rotation at nose tackle and that is what I plan on doing," said Fuga. "All I can do is go at it as hard as possible and work as hard as I can and I know Coach Mendenhall will give me a chance."

Romney roomed with fellow line recruit Sione Fua during his visit to BYU and got along great with the highly recruited lineman who lives just south of Fuga.

"Sione is a great guy—really smart and cool," said Fuga. "We got along great, and I really hope we can be teammates at BYU. I know he really loved his trip. I don't know if he'll end up signing with BYU or not, but I know that he loved his trip a lot and that BYU has a good shot at him. We'll just have to see."

Fuga mentioned that the atmosphere and the coaching staff were the two main reasons for his commitment.

"I've been to BYU a lot and it just feels like exactly what I want in a school and in a football program every time I'm out there," said Fuga. "Like I said, my visit didn't really change my mind at all. I went in knowing I was going to commit and that didn't change. I love the atmosphere being a Mormon kid, and I love the coaching staff. BYU is the place for me."


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