Pleasant Grove Athlete Gets BYU Offer

A two-way athlete for Pleasant Grove High School is being looked at by a number of schools, including several Pac-10 programs, but his first scholarship offer came recently from the Cougars of BYU.

A quick and agile athlete, Sefa Tanoa'i plays both tight end and defensive line for the Vikings of Pleasant Grove High School. Two weeks ago, the junior gridiron prep star received his first offer while attending BYU's Junior Day activities.

"I'm really excited about the offer and they have a really good football program," said Sefa. "It's also a place close to home, so it's probably where I'll end up going."

BYU is looking at Tanoa'i primarily as a defensive lineman at the next level.

"I play tight end on offense as well as d-tackle and end sometimes," Sefa said. "I haven't played any offensive line, just tight end. BYU is looking at me for the defensive line. Coach Anae and Coach Kaufusi both were talking to me and said I would probably be playing d-end if I go there. I haven't played much d-end in high school, but whatever works I'll play. I'm really excited."

The first thing that one notices about Tanoa'i is that he has great feet and quickness for his size. However, Tanoa'i feels he's more of a physical player on the field.

"I'm more of a power player but I also have some speed, which is why I play tight end," Sefa said.

Tanoa'i received the BYU offer during a Junior Day visit to BYU, and although he has yet to commit to Coach Mendenhall like his Viking teammate Joey Owens, there is a very good chance that he'll be suited up in Cougar blue in the near future.

"Coach Mendenhall called me and a few other guys into his office when he basically offered me," said Sefa. "My teammate Joey Owens also got an offer from BYU and he already committed. [Coach Mendenhall] said that me and Joey are incredible athletes and told us to keep working hard in the classrooms and we'll have a scholarship waiting for us. I haven't committed yet or anything."

"We're going to look at other options and see what colleges are going to look at him," said Sefa's father George. "We're getting a lot of letters every week. We're just waiting for his senior year and then he'll probably make a decision then."

So what does the athletically gifted Sefa Tanoa'i think about Owens' own athletic abilities?

"Joey is a really good athlete and plays running back and outside linebacker," Sefa said. "He's a really good football player. Another one of our teammates Dallas Lloyd is also being looked at by BYU. He's another really good athlete and hopefully he goes to BYU. We're only juniors right now, so we can't sign until our senior year. I haven't committed yet so we'll see what happens. I'm going to talk about it with my parents first and then we'll see after that."

When Tanoa'i first received the scholarship offer from Coach Mendenhall, he went home and informed his parents of the exciting news. His parents, however, were quite skeptical.

"Well, I was really happy because I wasn't expecting that to happen," Sefa said regarding when he received his offer from BYU. "At first my parents didn't believe me, but then they called Joey's parents and asked them what happened. They told my parents what had happened and then they got really excited. I was pretty excited but I think they were more excited than I was."

"We knew they were looking at him for a while now," said George. "We're very excited and we were surprised when he told us. I've known Coach Anae for a long time and we grew up together. We're Mormon and BYU is a Mormon school. Sefa is a good kid and a good athlete and will play one year and then go on a LDS mission."

In addition to growing up with Robert Anae, George also coincidentally grew up with - and is very close to - Ray Galea'i, the father of new BYU signee Jray Galea'i.

In addition to BYU, schools such as Washington, Washington State, Cal and Utah are also recruiting the talented Tanoa'i.

"BYU was the first to offer me," said Sefa. "One reason I would want to go to BYU is because I want to serve a LDS mission and BYU is a Mormon school. That's one of the big reasons why. My dad grew up with Robert Anae and I'm really close to him too. I know Coach Anae from my dad, who knew him back in high school or something like that."


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