Mt. SAC O-lineman Interested In Cougars

Mt. San Antonio College - located in the Los Angeles suburb of Walnut, California - has a few prospects that the Cougars are recruiting. One is 6-foot-1-inch, 265-pound LDS d-lineman Bernard Afutiti, and the other is a sophomore offensive lineman that recently made a trip out to BYU.

Mt. San Antonio College offensive line coach, Coach Purcell, believes he has a pretty good one in sophomore offensive lineman Ula Matava'o.

"He's so athletic, it's ridiculous for a player his size [6 foot 3 inches, 310 pounds] to have that kind of athleticism," Purcell said in a previous interview. "He can run and play in space really well, and he can really move his feet well so he can shadow pass-rushers. He could play guard or tackle at the next level, but we're counting on him to have a big season for us."

"I bench around 345-to-350 [pounds], and I don't know what my squat is since I haven't maxed out since high school," Matava'o said.

Matava'o is a BYU fan and has the Cougars at the top of his list.

"I'm trying to go up there [BYU]," said Matava'o. "They told me to get some film over there to them. Their coach over there last year came out to see me around last November to see what the deal was. Another coach came down to see Bernard [Afutiti], and I was able to talk with him. They wanted to see some film to see if they were going to get me a scholarship or something."

Last week, Matava'o made an unofficial visit to BYU with close friend Mark Fitu, who will be rejoining the Cougars in January.

"I came out there to visit because my younger brother went into the MTC," said Matava'o. "I just went up there and hung out with Mark [Fitu] and we went up to BYU to take a look around. I like it up there and I want to go [to BYU]. The reason why I like BYU is because I'm a return missionary [New York, New York South Mission].

"I just like the environment up there at BYU and I thought it was really nice. Even before I went up there this last time, I knew it was a good school. I'm going to be getting married in about a year or so and I know BYU is a good place for married football players. Also, BYU has a really good football program. I have some friends up there that have told me good things about BYU."

It had been a while since Matava'o had been on BYU's campus. He was in attendance at BYU and competed during a star-studded camp that featured Brian Soi, Dallas Reynolds, R.J. Willing, Nick Alletto and Terence Brown, among other highly recruited athletes at the time.

"Back in, I think it was 2002, when I was there at a BYU football camp, I competed with Dallas Reynolds, R.J. Willing and Brian Soi," said Matava'o. "That's why when I was there recently I saw R.J. and I asked him if he was playing or not. I was there at the BYU camp with Coach Reynolds and I got "O-linemen of the Camp" with Brian and Dallas."

BYU has been in contact with Matava'o and is watching his progress at Mt. SAC. Other D-I colleges are also doing the same.

"[BYU is] talking to me right now and just seeing how things go," said Matava'o. "Other schools looking at me are Utah, SIU, Boise State and Oregon State. I don't have any offers yet. Utah said they're probably going to offer me after the season."

Being a big BYU fan, Matava'o would rather have a scholarship from the Cougars, but would take a scholarship from the U of U if it meant he had the chance to continue going to school and playing football.

"I would rather represent my church school, and [I like BYU] because it's a place that's a good environment," said Matava'o. "I didn't really know that Utah was looking at me like that until they looked me up."

Matava'o is good friends with defensive tackle and fellow Samoan teammate Bernard Afutiti. Afutiti was recruited by BYU while he was playing linebacker at Keiser High School in Fontana, California. Now a 270-pound sophomore J.C. defensive tackle, Afutiti is once again being courted by BYU.

"Yeah, [Afutiti is] doing really good as usual," said Matava'o. "He has BYU as one of his top schools and is coming up there this weekend. He'll be up there in Provo this weekend taking a trip."

Total Blue Sports will try and reach Afutiti for comment following his recruiting trip to BYU.

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