Tea on WSU: I just felt comfortable there

THIS ONE COULD BE shaping up as a wild west showdown between some Cougars out West and some Cowboys from the Plains. A wrecking ball in the middle of the line, defensive tackle Tonga (Junior) Tea, was among those tripping to Washington State this past weekend. The 6-0, 309-pounder had some 'definite' ideas on how things went during his Palouse stay and as of now, has one more visit scheduled.

"It went great," said Tea of his trip to Washington State. "I got answers to a lot of things I needed to know."

The visit moved Washington State up considerably on his list, said Tea.

Headed into the Palouse visit, he said; "...I've pretty much looked into all the defensive fronts and defensive schemes, so right now I'm looking at where I'd fit in and be most comfortable, the atmosphere and environment..."

Post-visit, Tea gave high marks to Washington State, and then some, in all those areas.

"It definitely moved them up, definitely," said Tea. "Pretty much everything. I just felt comfortable there."

Tea, a whirlwind on the gridiron but soft spoken and quiet off the field, was on the way out the door for practice but had time to relate some of the visit highlights included the atmosphere, players and coaches, plus one other thing.

"The food," he laughed. "Too much. I ate too much."

Oklahoma State is the other school scheduled for a visit before the start of the mid-year signing period. Tea will trip to OSU on Dec. 8. It might not be too long after that there's a decision.

TEA, WHO WAS hosted by similarily built Cougar d-tackle Fevaea'i Ahmu, is a pocket cruncher, says Snow College assistant coach Tyler Hughes, one with very good hands, athleticism and advanced football instincts.

"Man, he's so explosive," said Hughes. "He doesn't get engaged or locked out, he does the locking out."

Tea played but one year of high school ball in Anchorage, Alaska before coming to Snow. In addition to the scholarship offer by Washington State, Tea holds offers from Oregon, Utah and Oklahoma State. Boise State and Florida are showing significant interest and both could be on the verge of an offer.

Tonga Tea


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