Cougar Spotlight: Romney Fuga

Alex Parsons of Irvine, California was a heralded four-star recruit who signed with college football powerhouse USC, but he was not good enough to be the L.A. Times Lineman of the Year. That honor went to new BYU Cougar and 2006 California state heavyweight wrestling championship runner-up, Romney Fuga.

6-foot-1, 301-pound Romney Fuga sat in anxious anticipation as his teammates filed out of the locker room on the first day of fall camp. Fuga, knowing much is expected of the incoming recruits to help solidify the D-line, sat wondering what was going to occur out on the practice field.

"I'm a bit nervous, but everybody is nervous," said Fuga with a slight smile. "This is a lot different than high school and it's a whole new level. The guys here are faster, bigger and stronger, so it's going to be tough. I'll just keep on working hard and try to do my best to help out the team."

During the pursuit drills, Fuga showed fairly well under the extreme conditions of the day. It appears he added nearly 30 pounds to his once reported 275-pound high school frame (an observation supported by the new team roster). He has the lower body size needed for D-tackle in the 3-4 defense.

Following the day's activities, Fuga was again seen sitting on the chairs next to the locker room. However, this time he was more relaxed and his smile was bigger. With his first college practice behind him, Fuga is more excited than nervous.

So what was it like facing his talented teammates on the first day of fall practice?

"They're good," said Fuga. "They're strong, and they're really good. They're just the whole package here, and they have everything. It's college football at the D-I level, and it's BYU, which has a great tradition. It was really tiring, but it was good and a lot of fun.

With Judd Anderton, Hala Paongo and Jan Jorgensen manning the first team D-line to start out fall camp, Fuga found himself on the third team defensive line alongside fellow true freshman Matangi Tonga. The desire to rise up through the depth chart has already begun to burn within the young D-linemen's hearts.

"We want to step up and show that we can play," Fuga said. "I didn't do too badly today, but I'm not where I want to be. I still have a lot of improving to do, but I'll get there. I just want to be able to compete more. I want to be able to do as well as I can and be able to help out the other guys. I want to be able to give a better look and help the other guys get better looks that play next to me."

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