BYU Gets Four-Star D-Tackle Commit

Bronco Mendenhall and his staff received a verbal commit today from a top-rated junior college defensive tackle. The commit marks the sixth prospect to commit to the Cougar staff this year.

Snow defensive tackle Tevita Hola gave his word Monday that he would sign a letter of intent with the Cougars of BYU. The 6-foot-1-inch, 310-pound player is the second four-star prospect to give an early commit to BYU for the class of 2008.

"He committed this morning," said Snow defensive line coach Jason Ah You. "He was really excited about it."

"I was going to either call them last Saturday or today to let them know that I was going to commit," Hola said. "I just decided to give [Mendenhall] a call today to let him know, and luckily he was still at the airport and here in Utah. We basically just talked about what he expected of me and what he wanted me to prepare for as I go throughout the season. He said he was basically looking forward to seeing me up there after this year.

"[Mendenall] was excited to hear that I made an early commit with him. He asked me if I had talked with David [Tufuga] and I was like, ‘Well I haven't talked to him yet but as for me I'm committed.' I let him know that this was something that I wanted to do."

When Hola met with Coach Mendenhall the day he received his scholarship offer, the big d-tackle was excited, knowing that his chance to play D-I football had just became a reality.

"It was really exciting," said Hola. "I told my parents and they were also really excited. I just kind of wanted to talk to them about it and they were really grateful that I have the opportunity to go to school and get my schooling paid for and to also play football and stuff.

"Coach Mendenhall is pretty blunt about everything. He doesn't try to work his way around anything. He told me that if there is a place to go to, BYU is the place that offers everything. I didn't take the offer right away when they offered me. I knew there were other schools that were coming from the other side that were looking at me as well. My options were pretty broad, but I kind of narrowed it down to Texas A&M, Oregon State and BYU. When BYU offered I was really excited and attractive to them."

Although many options were beginning to open up for the Badger d-tackle, Hola wanted to stay close to home where his parents could see him play. The defensive tackle made a list of his top school choices and placed BYU at the top of his list even before a scholarship offer was ever extended to him by Coach Mendenhall last week.

"I'm really excited because my parents can come to all of my games," said Hola. "I kind of wanted to stay instate rather than go out of state, so I was really happy. When I came home from my mission I went to BYU to see about walking-on there. They told me to go to a J.C. and that they would watch me there.

"They watched my film and they had seen me play and stuff. Coach Ah You said they never had an offer this early in the year, so that's something that really impressed me about BYU's program."

After their recent visit to BYU, both Hola and Tufuga left Coach Mendenhall's office with a full-ride scholarship offer in hand. When they met with Coach Mendenhall, the Cougar head coach told both players to pray about coming to BYU and being a part of his program.

"I didn't do the fasting part," said Hola while chuckling. "I just thought really hard about it and talked with my brothers and parents about it. They just let me know that as far as me as a person, BYU has all the types of things that I want.

"We were really happy because we didn't know if any school would offer both of us. When BYU presented a scholarship to both of us we were really happy because we wanted to play together at the next level. I'm really excited and this really has given me the motivation to go out this summer and work hard, just knowing that I have BYU watching me."

After BYU offered the two defensive tackles a scholarship on the May 2, the University of Utah contacted Coach Ah You on May 6 to inquire about Hola and Tufuga.

"[The University of Utah] called up and spoke with Coach Ah You last night and asked about us," Hola said. "They asked him if we were borderline committed to BYU, or are they even interested or should we even bother recruiting them. Coach Ah You replied back and they wanted to see us today."

Although Hola gave a verbal commitment to BYU today, David Tufuga went down to the UofU to speak with the Ute coaches to get a better picture of the situation and to compare apples. It is not known whether or not the UofU has offered Tufuga a scholarship.

"[Tufuga] went down to the UofU today to talk with the Utah coaches," Coach Ah You said. "He just wants to have something to compare it to, and so he went down there to check things out before he makes a decision. I think he just wants to take his time a little more to see what his options are."

"David went up there but I just kind of passed it up," said Hola. "I had to work."

Later on in the day, Hola was able to let his fellow teammate know that he committed to BYU.

"I talked to David and told him that I committed and he was like, ‘You did what?' I told him I didn't want to prolong it and that I'm going to sign with BYU. David was like, ‘Are you sure?' And I was like, ‘Yeah I'm sure.' The whole thing with that is just getting it off my chest so I don't have to worry about it any more.

"When I talked with David he kind of wanted to see how things kind of unfold. Right now he's not really sure about one specific school that stands out above the other. I'm pretty sure when more offers come up for him he'll be able to see more of what he wants. He said he was just trying to decide and was like, ‘Man, I don't know. I'm just still trying to decide.' I didn't want to pressure him too much, you know?

"I'm just glad I finally got it off my mind. After I committed I felt better and had no regrets. It was just a relief more than anything and now I don't have to have that in the back of my mind. I can now just worry about working harder towards my goals, knowing that I have a future ahead of me to continue working towards after Snow."

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