Kaveinga To Be A Cougar *UPDATED*

While on his official visit this weekend, Uona Kaveinga from Leuzinger High School in California committed to sign a letter of intent with BYU. As a top-flight linebacker prospect in California, Kaveinga was being courted heavily by UCLA and USC, but chose the Cougars due to several factors. Scout.com was able to get a few thoughts from Kaveinga following his trip.

*UPDATED* Story has been updated now that TBS was able to reach Kaveinga. All quotes attributed to Scout.com were first printed at Scout's USC site here. All other quotes are from TBS.

"Yeah, that's true. I committed to Bronco Mendenhall to play for BYU," confirmed Uona Kaveinga to Scout.com following his trip. "USC and UCLA are great football programs, but I feel that BYU has a deeper meaning to play for them since I am an LDS member."

Indeed, Kaveinga comes from a very strong LDS background, with his father serving as a bishop in his home ward. The church ties to BYU proved to win out and tip the scales toward Kaveinga's commitment to BYU over UCLA and USC.

"One of the reasons I chose them is because BYU brings out the best person you can be or the best man you can become," Kaveinga told Scout.com. "On top of that you can have fun playing football."

Kaveinga was very high on BYU before his trip and had a feeling that the trip would end in a commitment to Cougar coaches to sign a letter of intent, but he still wasn't entirely sure until he went through the weekend activities, which he enjoyed immensely.

"I had a lot of fun on the trip, said Kaveinga. "I mean, I really, really enjoyed it. Everything from snowmobiling to just chilling with the guys was just really fun for me."

But more important than having fun was the fact that Kaveinga felt comfortable in the BYU environment. He was able to talk to teammates and learn about their own experiences at BYU. Kaveinga was hosted by Cougar running back Harvey Unga, who Kaveinga said was one of the many factors that helped him realize that BYU was the place for him.

"I've been friends with Harvey ever since I first visited BYU," said Kaveinga. "So I was already good friends with him, but I became real tight with everyone. I can't really single anybody out because I seriously hung out and got along with everyone on the team. I love the players they have in the program. I love that they're the same kind of guys I am with the same values."

Kaveinga had previously committed to UCLA, but through the recruiting process he started to get the feeling that BYU was the place for him more and more as time passed. For Kaveinga, this weekend's visit topped off the feelings he had been having and led to his verbal commitment.

"I was just tired of fighting the feeling that BYU was the right place for me," Kaveinga told Scout.com. "So I just expressed myself to Coach Mendenhall and I committed to him. I called the other coaches and informed them that I was coming to BYU."

During his visit with the Cougar head coach on Saturday, Kaveinga and Coach Mendenhall agreed that he'd call the UCLA and USC coaches in Mendenhall's office to let them know of his commitment to BYU.

"Yeah, I called them right there and told them," said Kaveinga. "I mean, I was sure of it and wanted to show Coach Mendenhall that I was sure of my decision. I called UCLA coaches and they were cool about it and wished me luck and the same thing with USC."

Kaveinga has a trip set up with USC next weekend, but isn't sure he'll be taking it at this point.

"I don't know if they'll still want me to go," said Kaveinga. "I might go, but I'm definitely committed to BYU. I won't change my mind."

Kaveinga plans on playing as a freshman, and intends on contributing to the team any way he can. Following his first season, Kaveinga plans on leaving for a church mission.

Kaveinga is aware that the other schools will still come after him, but states that his commitment to BYU is firm and will not change.

"I am going to stay strong to my commitment to BYU," Kaveinga told Scout.com. "They are the only school that is going to allow me to go on my mission."

Kaveinga said he's very excited to get going to partake in the spiritual, educational and football opportunities BYU has to offer.

"BYU is the place for me," said Kaveinga. "It's the feeling you get while you're there even more so than the football program. They have a great football program for sure, but the main reason I chose BYU is because of how I feel when I'm there on visits, [and because of] the teammates and just the environment there."


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