Kafu Takes Up Offer

Defensive line recruit Solomone Kafu visited BYU this weekend on an official trip without an official offer from the school he dreamed of playing for every since he could remember. When the offer was finally given to him and he quickly snatched it up, it fulfilled a childhood dream.

"I've always dreamed of playing for BYU ever since I could remember," said Solomone Kafu. "When Coach Mendenhall presented me with the official offer I couldn't believe it. I didn't even have to think for a second. I accepted the offer right there and then."

Kafu is a 6-foot-4-inch, 315-pound defensive line recruit from Rio Linda, California. Kafu's recruiting process started a bit late due to being injured during his entire junior season, something that kept recruiters unaware of the lineman's abilities.

Thankfully through the efforts of church leaders in Kafu's area, BYU came to know of his abilities and started recruiting the mammoth lineman this past December.

Kafu was coming off an impressive senior campaign in which he was named First-Team All-City and Second-Team All-Conference while playing on both sides of the line. While watching Kafu play, BYU coaches noted a quick twitch that defensive line coach Steve Kaufusi requires of all his linemen.

"I'm really quick off the ball," said Kafu. "I'm very aggressive. I think maybe I'm so aggressive that I get too tired at times, so I need to work on that. I need to work on my conditioning, which I aim to do."

Kafu also has the requisite strength required of any future Division I nose tackle. Kafu reports a 350-pound bench press to go along with a 515-pound squat. After viewing Kafu's abilities, Cougar coaches went out to see him and the recruiting process began.

"Coach Doman met me at school and yeah, I was very excited to see him," said Kafu. "He said that they saw my film and really liked what they saw. To me at the time it was all I wanted. BYU has always been the school I wanted to play for, so when Coach Doman contacted me I was very excited."

Kafu's recruitment process continued with an official visit, which he took this past weekend. Although Kafu grew up a BYU, fan he'd never been to Provo to view the BYU campus up close.

"It was my first time seeing BYU," said Kafu. "I've always been a fan since my uncle Elias Faupula played there. He'd tell me how great BYU was and I always thought I'd play for BYU when I got older."

Kafu was shown around campus, went on snowmobile rides, attended a basketball game, and did everything else included in a BYU official trip. Through the trip, Kafu came away even more impressed than he was going in.

"It's the people, it's the environment and how you feel just being there," said Kafu. "I knew I'd like BYU a lot, but man, I couldn't believe how great it was. Everybody and everything was just so nice. I can't believe I'm going to have the opportunity to go there."

Kafu was hosted officially on his trip by defensive lineman Ian Dulan, who Kafu hit it off with immediately, just as he did with all the other players he met.

"Ian Dulan is like me," said Kafu. "We're both big poly linemen and I really got along well with him. He told me how everything was and I really appreciated it. I met just about everyone else and everyone was as nice as you could hope for. I can't wait to be their teammate."

Through the tours and meetings, Kafu was able to meet with and spend some time with defensive line coach Steve Kaufusi, whom Kafu is anxious to play for and to learn from.

"[Coach Kaufusi] a great guy who makes you feel that he'll work with you well and improve you as a player," said Kafu. "All the coaches were more like leaders and seemed to really care about me as a person more than just coaches only interested in what I could do on the football field."

Kafu's trip was capped off with a meeting with Cougar head coach Bronco Mendenhall. Kafu admitted to being excited and maybe even a bit nervous going into the meeting with Coach Mendenhall, waiting to learn what would be said.

"I thought that they may offer me, but you never really know," recalled Kafu. "But when he pulled that letter out, man, what a great feeling. It was all I ever wanted and there it was. I committed immediately."

So what can fans expect from Kafu, who plans on playing a year before leaving for a church mission in February following the 2008 season?

"They can count on a person that will represent BYU and what they stand for well," said Kafu. "BYU isn't just a place where you play good football. It's a place where it's important for players to represent well what BYU is and be great representatives of the Church. I'm all for that and I will be honored while I'm there to represent the standards BYU has to the best of my abilities."


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