Magnum Reloading

One of the top JC defensive tackles in the country is on the mend and on the BYU bandwagon. In between physical therapy and study sessions, four-star recruit Magnum Mauga watched BYU wound the Ducks in the Las Vegas Bowl on December 21st. Now he turns his full attention to getting physically and academically prepared to join the Cougar defense.

Everyone is now fully aware of the questionable comments and actions by the Oregon coaching staff to their players before during and after the Las Vegas Bowl. BYU-bound Magnum Mauga, who was being recruited at one time by the Ducks, felt the behavior by the Ducks was a reflection of their program.

"Man that was a great game," Mauga said. "Our boys at BYU play with a lot of heart. I talked to my cousin Vic [So'oto] and he was telling how those guys were talking all kinds of stuff and didn't give them much respect. He told me how BYU came out real humble and ready to play the game with nothing really to say, but just played the game and made their statement on the field.

"[So'oto] said how Oregon was talking smack during the game, but by the end of the game, words don't mean anything, you know. That's how it goes man. You can talk all you want, but if you don't walk the talk, you're going to end up a chump."

During a pre-game pep rally, a player from the Duck team jumped a fence separating the two teams while BYU was performing the haka in front of their fans and disruptively waved his arms and taunted the Cougars.

"Some Samoan kid jumped in the middle of BYU's haka—man, that's no respect man," said a perturbed Mauga. "BYU didn't even retaliate. Man, that's what you call good discipline, you know. That how you know if you're well disciplined or not, and it shows where you come from. BYU is well disciplined and they know where their head is, and in the end, it showed in the game."

Mauga is an explosive and powerful football player, which is likely why Arizona, Auburn, and Washington State offered the big Samoan a scholarship. Mauga is excited about getting out to BYU.

"Man, I can't wait to get out there," Mauga said. "I can't wait."

However, Mauga will have to wait to play in order to fully recover from recent knee surgery. The recovery process kept him from making the trip to the Las Vegas Bowl.

"I got a little chance to watch the game but I was busy rehabbing from my knee surgery," Mauga said. "It's going great, and I got out of it and I'm doing rehab. I was supposed to start walking in like three months, but I'm walking already. I had my surgery on the 11th [of December]."

Mauga's ACL surgery was a total reconstruction of the tendon.

"They actually repaired my whole ACL," Mauga said. "They took my hamstring tendons and tied it and put a graph in there."

Unable to play football this year, Mauga is currently focusing on his associates degree and rehabbing his knee.

"First off my plan is to get my AA and I'm really focusing on that," Mauga said. "I'm not really worried about getting out there [to BYU] so quickly or how long it's going to take to rehab this knee. I'm just thinking about my progress and getting this knee fully healed and ready to go. I'll probably be out there by May or so."

One reason why Mauga is not worried about getting back into football soon is because he will come to BYU with three years of eligibility and a redshirt year available due to not playing his sophomore year at Grossmont College. Mauga will join the likes of Russell Tialavea, Jan Jorgensen, Moses Foketi, Ian Dulan, Temana Paongo, Star Lotulelei, Eathyn Manumaleuna, Brett Denny, and David Angilau among others on next years defensive line.

"Yeah, that's why I'm not so worried about my situation," Mauga said. "I'm just focusing on getting my school taken care of. Mentally, I'm there but physically I just need to get my knee there and ready to play. I have four to play three. I didn't redshirt at all."

Because of his injury, Mauga feels it will take him a bit longer to get himself back into football shape.

"I kind of had a rough semester after I blew out my knee," Mauga said. "I'm probably going to be pushed back a little bit longer than I wanted to. I'm going to have to just work a little harder you know."

Mauga is working hard to prepare himself physically in order to be ready to join his future teammates fully suited up by fall practice.

"I can't wait to get our there man," said Mauga. "Right now I'm doing leg lifts and riding the bike. I'm slowly getting my range of motion in, and then after all of that, they make me ice it down and everything. Then they make me stretch it and stuff like that. It's going to be good man and I can't wait to get out there and play."

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