BYU Lands Midwest Commit

Kansas isn't the first state you think of when thinking of where BYU will land a commit, but BYU landed one from America's heartland Monday when Travis Tuiloma committed to Coach Kaufusi and Coach Mendenhall over the phone. TBS caught up with Tuiloma to learn more of his commit.

"I'm really excited about my commitment to BYU and I didn't really have to think about it much," confirmed Travis Tuiloma. "It's my church school and my parents really pushed hard for me to go there, so when they offered I didn't have to think about it much at all."

Tuiloma is a 6-foot-3-inch, 285-pound defensive tackle recruit. The Cougar staff is well on its way towards atoning for the lack of defensive tackle recruits signed during the last recruiting class, as Tuiloma is the second top defensive tackle commit in a week, with the other being Graham Rowley.

Tuiloma is LDS and grew to know BYU through the efforts of defensive line coach Steve Kaufusi, who has been in constant contact with him since this past December.

"I didn't really grow up a BYU fan or anything like that," explained Tuiloma. "They just contacted me and my family and they really won my parents over. They wanted me to go to BYU real bad, so I could get a great education and stay strong in the Church."

What made the decision easier for Tuiloma was that he was in complete agreement with his parents that BYU was definitely the place for him.

"I'm real strong in the Church and I'm definitely going to serve a mission," informed Tuiloma. "I'll graduate high school when I'm 17, so I'll have at least a year to play before I leave on my mission, but going on a mission is something I'm definitely going to do."

What is remarkable about Tuiloma's commit is that he's yet to set foot on BYU's campus, although he hopes to change that this summer and is busy arranging a trip out to Provo.

"I didn't really have to see the school," said Tuiloma. "Coaches and I had family tell me all about it and I really, really like Coach Kaufusi, so it was the right decision for me. I didn't feel like I needed to see the school to commit there."

Tuiloma's offer came Monday when he called Coach Kaufusi. Coach Kaufusi informed Tuiloma of his full scholarship offer, and Tuiloma in turn told the Cougar assistant coach almost immediately that he accepted the offer.

The phone was then passed to Cougar head coach Bronco Mendenhall and they talked for a while, which made Tuiloma even more confident and comfortable with his decision.

"Like I said, I really love the coaches at BYU," said Tuiloma. "They stress the Church and the gospel and becoming a better person. They also want to make sure I get a good education, which is very important to me and my family. It's the best place for me to grow and to play football."

Tuiloma was receiving hordes of letters from just about every Big-12 and Big-10 school out there, and if he waited he probably could have garnered at least a couple of offers from some BCS programs, but to Tuiloma it didn't make sense to wait.

"It just felt like the right thing to do," said Tuiloma about his commitment. "I talked it over a lot with my family and we decided together that if BYU offered, then that's where I was going. It feels right, it just feels good. I know that I'm going to the place where I'll fit in best and grow spiritually as best as I can."

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