Texas O-Lineman Taking His Time

Total Blue Sports caught up with big Ryan High School offensive lineman Fono Vakalahi for an update. The LDS lineman has two scholarship offers and paid a visit to BYU over the summer.

Coming in at 6 feet 4 inches and more than 300 pounds, senior-to-be lineman Fono Vakalahi currently has two scholarship offers: one from BYU and the other from Baylor. However, there could be more recruiting interest for the Bryan High School lineman in the near future.

"Yeah, I just went out to a one-day Junior Day thing" said Vakalahi. "It was actually pretty good. It was the first time I had the chance to actually show them my physical skills, you know. I had usually just spoken to them on the phone and they hadn't really seen me perform up close or anything. To be there and work out for them was pretty cool."

In addition to putting his physical abilities on display, Vakalahi was able to meet with Coach Mendenhall personally.

"The coaches at BYU were really good," Vakalahi said. "They made sure I was enjoying my visit and stuff. You always hear from people who say that there is no place like BYU. When I went there I actually felt that. It was just clean and it just felt good. Everyone was just nice, and during my interview with Coach Mendenhall he asked me, ‘What do you think is different about this place?' I just told him, ‘It's definitely the Church and the people around there.' Everyone was so welcoming and I told him it felt like home. I really did, I told him I feel like I belong here."

Vakalahi said he feels that BYU is a place he could see himself attending.

"The way I look at it, it's really about getting an education, so trying to be faithful while getting an education is really important," said Vakalahi. "Sure, every place has its temptations, but I don't think there are as many at BYU. I'm definitely looking for a place where I can keep my standards as well as get a good education. They also have a really football program, and I've been staying on top of that and they've been doing really well lately."

Along with BYU, Vakalahi has visited Baylor, Texas A&M and the University of Texas for camps and campus tours.

"I think I know more about BYU and have a better feeling," said Vakalahi. "I haven't really been to Baylor. I've taken their tour and all that, but I haven't really met with all the coaches or anything like that, so it's kind of hard to make a comparison.

"I went to the [University of Texas] one-day camp they had," said Vakalahi. "It was pretty good and was basically the same thing as BYU. They had a lot more people, but I just felt like BYU was more on a personal level.

"I went to the Texas A&M camp and it was good. My brother works there and it was good to be around the hometown college, I guess. There's definitely an interest in Texas A&M. I don't really know too much about other schools."

In addition to his brother working there, Vakalahi has another connection to Texas A&M; he knows former Snow Junior College defensive tackle David Tofuga, who currently plays for the Aggies. Vakalahi said they get together all the time.

Meanwhile, Vakalahi hasn't narrowed down a time in which he will commit to the school of his choice just yet.

"I'm not really sure right now," said Vakalahi. "I'm just going to wait for everything to come before I make a decision."

One thing Vakalahi does know for sure is that he will serve an LDS mission.

"I haven't gotten a chance to mention about that to [Baylor], but I definitely want to serve a mission," said Vakalahi. "I want to go to school for a year or at least for the first semester [and] then head out. I then want to come back and do my best."

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