Recruitment for Schwenke Takes a Turn

The recruiting process is a tough one for almost every young kid who has multiple high-profile offers thrown at him. Such is the case with Kona Schwenke who committed to BYU but is making a late trip to Notre Dame. So is Schwenke still committed to BYU and what has caused him to take a hard look at Notre Dame at this late hour?

Kona Schwenke is a 6-foot-5-inch, 230-pound defensive end recruit from Kahuku High School in Hawaii. Schwenke committed to BYU this past July and has held firm to his commitment to BYU throughout.

On Wednesday it was reported that he will be taking an official trip to Notre Dame, which has offered him a scholarship. Glowing comments from Schwenke's father McKay led many an observer to think that BYU has lost Schwenke and that they're looking at Notre Dame as their favorite school currently.

"Nothing could be further from the truth," said McKay regarding the question of whether his son now considers Notre Dame as his favorite school. "Kona still considers himself committed to BYU, but these past few days we've seen a bit of an ugly side to BYU that has caused us to consider some other options."

Both McKay and his wife are graduates from BYU-Hawaii and have long considered themselves BYU supporters while dreaming of having their son Kona attend and play football in Provo for head coach Bronco Mendenhall. So why all the gushing comments about Notre Dame that surfaced in an Irisheyes.com article Wednesday entitled "Irish Offer Kona?"

"Those comments were made out of a lot of frustration on my part," informed McKay. "We were told by BYU coaches some things that really shocked us regarding Kona's commitment and there were some trust issues that were discussed and will hopefully continue to be discussed, as Kona still very much wants to sign and play for BYU."

When Kona was offered a trip to Notre Dame he saw it as a great opportunity to meet up with his friends Manti Te'o and Roby Toma, who are both part of Notre Dame's program. According to McKay, they wanted to be very up front with BYU coaches and not do anything behind their backs such as visiting Notre Dame without their knowledge.

They called Cougar coaches to let them know of their plans and were somewhat shocked by the response they got.

"They told us that they expected Kona to live up to his commit and that him going to Notre Dame on a trip wasn't doing that," said McKay. "I let them know that we're still committed to BYU and that Kona will sign with BYU, but they let us know that if Kona was willing to do something like this, that they didn't want him, or at least that is the sentiment that I got from them, which really surprised me."

After his conversation McKay was met with a voice message from head coach Bronco Mendenhall concerning this issue. Kona and his father will be calling the Cougar head coach Thursday to talk more of where Kona stands in regards to still having a BYU offer at this point.

"If BYU wants Kona then Kona will go to BYU," said McKay. "He wants to go to BYU. Right now we're not sure if he has that offer and we'll talk more with Coach Mendenhall about this today. I just want people to understand that Kona is the type of person that wants to please everyone, so it's hard for him to say no. That's just they type of kid that he is. He's like a kid in a candy store, so recently when Washington asked him to take an official visit there he agreed until he talked it over with us and we all decided that it was better for him not to."

So why trip to Notre Dame?

"He's really good friends with Manti and with Roby and really thought it would be a great experience to go up there," said McKay. "Not for a second did he feel that he would not hold his commitment to BYU even though he was taking a trip there, but now, that might change if BYU pulls his offer, which we've been told might happen."

TBS will follow up on what has transpired with Schwenke and BYU coaches.


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