Roosevelt High School dual-threat quarterback Kimane Domena has been devoting a lot of effort to doing well in the classroom this year.
“It was either pass these classes or hang up the cleats, and I didn’t want to hang up the cleats, so I just buckled down,” said Domena. “I got rid of the extracurricular activity after school and really just hit the schoolwork to finish up strong.”
A member of the LDS faith, Domena joined the Church after teammates such as Sione Taumoe'anga and Semisi Kofe – who are also being looked at by BYU – invited him to church.
“Yeah, I'm still strong in the Church and had a really long conversation with my bishop about school and what’s going on outside of school,” said Domena. “He’s taken a real strong interest in me and making sure I do what is right off the field and to be accountable. It’s a good thing.”
“He was baptized into the Church after a few of our Tongan boys here at Roosevelt invited him to church,” said Coach Swain. “I think it was a great experience for him and the Tongan community really accepted him and brought him into the community. I think that was something he’s never had before and so he really gravitated towards that. It’s been a very positive experience in his life.”
On Friday BYU will host many young men on campus for Junior Day. Just finishing up his sophomore year, Domena won’t be attending Junior Day this week, but he will be visiting the campus later on.
“I'm getting ready to go see the coaches at the end of the month,” said Domena. “I’ll be down there on the 20th of June to go down to the camp. I want to see what the facilities are like, and all of my decisions are going to be made based on all my visits. Going out to BYU won’t be my first visit to a college but it will be my first visit to a camp.”
Domena has made an effort to keep in touch with BYU’s coaches.
“Me and Coach Poppinga have a great relationship given the fact that we can’t really talk that much, but he’ll check in on me and talk to my coach and things like that,” said Domena. “I’ll call them up and talk about everything like life and school, so me and Coach Poppinga and Coach Mendenhall have a really good relationship. I really like Coach Mendenhall a lot. I also have a really good relationship with Coach Beck too.”
Domena also has taken the time to speak with Coach Mendenhall.
“Coach Mendenhall is a stud and he doesn’t play any games, but at the same time he’s caring and understanding,” said Domena. “As long as you do your part, he’ll do his.”
BYU quarterback coach Jason Beck has been out to Roosevelt High School to watch Domena in person.
“I haven’t been able to talk to him really because it’s not legal to talk to him right now,” said Domena. “When I saw him I came up to him and said hi and introduced myself. There was a time when Coach Beck came up to watch me throw, and then the second time he came up to watch me do my workouts with Coach Lomax and told him that my arm strength has improved. I'm just a natural athlete and need to keep getting stronger, and I need to work on my footwork a little more.”
BYU was the first college to extend an offer to Domena.
“I think BYU would be a great place for me to play sports,” said Domena. “There is so much structure, a lot of discipline up there, and rules that the team knows they have to follow. It would be a place that would keep me in line and out of trouble.”
“Everything that we do here at Roosevelt is to help him develop strong leadership and character,” said Coach Swain. “He’s had a lot of positive influences here and I know BYU is a place that would help him to grow as a young man and in other areas.”
BYU is recruiting Domena as an athlete, and apparently the offensive coaches have big plans for him. If Domena decides to play college ball at BYU, the future would be very bright.
“They said they want to really build their offense around me and stuff like that,” said Domena. “They just want to know what type of offense that I'm comfortable with, so they can run that offense and feel comfortable with that. They said they like me as a real dual-threat quarterback to run the team and be really successful. Coach Anae wants to build his whole offense and program around me, so it really makes me feel good that they think that highly of me. That’s really cool.”
“The BYU coaches have told me that they have big plans for him,” said Coach Swain. “They’ve expressed the kind of plans they have for him, and I’ve spoken to Kimane about that and what that means for him. It’s actually pretty exciting, but he needs to do his part.”
So, the young but talented Domena will be heading up to Provo, Utah this month to better understand the great opportunity that lies before him.
“I just want to see what it’s like up there to get a better idea of what to expect,” said Domena. “I want to go up there to get a feel for what it’s like in person. I want to go up there and be surprised by my experience. When I go up there for the camp I’ll be able to get a better idea of what BYU is all about.”
Domena has offers from BYU, Colorado State and Portland State. He’s hearing from Clemson and Oregon consistently, and has also heard from Washington, Alabama, Florida, Texas A&M and UCLA. When it comes to BYU, Domena doesn’t view his church’s college as just another program.
“No, they’re not just another college to me,” Domena said. “I’m taking them seriously and highly considering them. They show me love, and I always want to show those that show me love the love. BYU is on the top of my list of colleges. My thoughts on BYU are they’re a really good school. I just want to see if BYU is a good fit for me, and if they are, then that will be the decision for me to make.”