"You know, I was surprised to have even heard that," said a chuckling Hafoka. "I didn't know anything about me going to Oregon State when I was on my mission. When I got home a few of my friends congratulated me on going to Oregon State. I told them that I had signed to BYU before I left and that I was committed to them throughout my mission.
"There was never any idea that popped up in my mind while I was serving in the mission field that I was ever going to not play at BYU. There was no question about at all that I was coming back to BYU. My commitment to BYU was my definite answer and I felt strong in sticking to my commitment, so I have no idea where that came from. I simply do not know. It surprised me a lot when I heard that I was transferring to Oregon State. I didn't even know that until I heard it, which was funny. I never backed down after signing with BYU and immediately told everyone who said that that I'm heading up to the Y."
Now that this latest round of transfer rumors has been put to rest, Hafoka is excited to be a part of this new BYU program under the direction of head coach Bronco Mendenhall.
"Oh yeah, it's perfect," said an excited Hafoka. "It's just fantastic and perfect. This is a great coaching staff and they're doing all that they can do, and I just love how these coaches present themselves and represent something greater than just being coaches. They are willing to not only help out our physical development, but also help further our spiritual development as well.
"They also want to further develop our mental and social aspects of life in all that we do. You couldn't ask for a better coaching staff [that's] willing to implement those aspects into a championship college football program. Just knowing that I can apply all those things that I've learned, while serving a mission, here in an atmosphere similar to a program that I just went through over the last two years is fantastic. That's a big plus and a big blessing."
It appears Hafoka is excited to apply the lessons learned both physically and spiritually while a missionary to his new mission of playing football and representing his church's college at BYU.
"Yeah, I'm excited to be back and my mission was the greatest experience," said Hafoka. "It allowed me to grow spiritually, and now that I'm back I'm happy to be back here with the BYU team. I'm looking forward to applying what I learned out in the mission field here on the football field to hopefully help impact this football team."
While Hafoka was out on his mission, he mission president allowed him to work out for 20 minutes in the morning. In one of his apartments was a special machine that an Olympic trainer had developed to keep in shape.
"[The trainer] developed a free-weight machine that was approved by our mission president," said Hafoka. "It wasn't a big machine but it was effective. A lot of me being able to stay in shape came from that and me eating right and doing a lot of cardio workout. I got bigger and stronger and hopefully I can turn that strength into something positive on the football field."
Hafoka, who is currently at about 6 feet 1 inch and 200 pounds, talked about what kind of shape he is in.
"My speed is there, but I'm not at my highest potential," said Hafoka. "I don't feel that I've lost a whole lot, but with time and practice and off-season training I know I can reach that potential."
Now that he is back, Hafoka said he is anxious to join his teammates in blue on the field.
"I've been out to watch my teammates, and it's given me the excitement and enthusiasm to know that when my time comes to make the most out of it," Hafoka said.
With BYU gearing up to play Utah, a school that had offered him a full-ride scholarship, does he have a prediction on who will win the rivalry game?
"I just want to shout out to BYU," Hafoka said. "They'll just go out and do what they've been doing the last couple of games. BYU all the way."