Former BYU DT Matangi Tonga To Snow?

BYU fans anxiously await the return of Matangi Tonga, who played for the Cougars during the 2006 season as a true freshman and who was highly recruited by USC, Oregon, Oregon State, Arizona State, Arizona, Cal, Nebraska and UCLA. It has recently been reported that the big defensive tackle will be attending Snow Junior College. But will he?

Following a successful year, Tonga was expelled from Brigham Young University for violating the school's honor code policy. Tonga then attended UVSC and had hopes of rejoining the team once he was cleared to return to the Cougar program. It has recently been reported that Matangi Tonga will be attending Snow Junior College in the fall.

"I know that's what BYU would like him to do, and so maybe that's where the idea of him coming to Snow came from," said Snow defensive line coach Jason Ah You. "I haven't received word that it's official yet though. We're holding a spot for him if that happens to be the case, but right now nothing is official that I know of."

Snow Junior College has been one of the premiere NJCCA football programs, and was ranked No. 1 in the country last year until losing in the championship game. Coach Ah You has developed players that will be an addition to BYU's 2008 recruiting class. He coached defensive end-turned-outside linebacker Coleby Clawson, defensive nose guard Tevita Hola, and walk-on athletes in defensive end Sean Matagi and safety Andrew Rich.

"We'd love to have Matangi down here at Snow, but it's really up to his family," Coach Ah You said. "Like I said, nothing is official yet that I know of. I've placed a call to Coach Kaufusi to see what they would like to do, but haven't heard anything back yet."

A scholarship from Snow Junior College only covers tuition but doesn't cover housing, food or other expenses. Athletes that wish to play for this topnotch program have to support themselves outside of the classroom while they endure the rigors of playing football and develope their skills in the weight room.

"You have to be a special kid to play here," said Coach Ah You. "A scholarship only covers a tuition waver. It doesn't cover your housing and food or anything else, so it really could be up to the family of Matangi on whether or not he does decide to come to Snow. They would have to play for everything else, so that could be an issue.

"Like I said, I know BYU wants him here because he would be able to play for a year where it's a different level. He would be on the field, gaining confidence and growing as a football player, where if he is sitting out a year he's not able to do that. I don't think he's going on a mission, so he could transfer back to BYU and play for two years rather than sit out as his clock continues to run."

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