Last weekend, Sione Takitaki took an official visit to BYU. It was a trip that helped him know that BYU is the place where he needs to be.
“It was just really good to be out there last weekend and I felt the love out there with the coaches and the community,” said Takitaki. “They took us snowmobiling and paintballing when we were out there and that was a lot of fun. It was just a really great trip and one of the best I’ve been on. It really helped me to know that BYU is where I needed to be.”
One of the highlights for Sione Takitaki was simply being around the other 2014 recruits that have also chosen to sign with BYU. Takitaki got a great feel for the caliber of players he would be calling brothers at BYU next season.
“Man, it was great to hang out with all my future teammates,” Takitaki said. “It was just great being out there with everyone that one day having fun and getting to know one another. They’re all great kids and we just really bonded and got to know each other over those two days. I can’t wait to get out there and play with those guys.”
Why did Takitaki decide to choose BYU over the six other colleges that offered him a full ride scholarship? For him it’s simple. He knows he needs to be at a place where the influences are those that are more conducive to his LDS faith.
“Yeah, a big part of me choosing BYU is because I know it’s a place where I can focus on football and school,” Takitaki said. “I won’t have many distractions and can just focus on what important like getting right with the Lord and everything.”
However, the one who is probably the most excited about Sione Takitaki’s decision is his mother. Having grown up in a rough part of Southern California, Takitaki sees BYU as a place where he can grow as a man while living his faith.
“My mom and sister, when they were out there with me on my trip, loved it at BYU. She’s a strong lady in the church and really wanted me to go there. She loved it out there and came home and couldn’t wait to tell all my family about it.
Takitaki continued about why his mother played such a big role in his decision to go to BYU.
“I think one reason why she’s happy for me about my decision is because BYU is a school where you can get a great education while growing in your faith. It’s also a great program where the defense is a great scheme for me to become a better football player. I also know that BYU is a great place for me because of the atmosphere. It’s a great place for me to grow. I know I need help in growing in that area with the church, so I want to go to BYU so I can be surrounded by greatness so I can become great myself. It will be good for me to go and see where it takes me. I’m excited about my future.”
The reason Takitaki is choosing to sign tomorrow with BYU is for reasons that include more than just football. He knows the influences found around BYU will help him become more than just a great football player but one that will help him walk the straight and narrow long after he leaves.
“The reason I’m choosing to sign with BYU is because BYU is a special place and can take you from a young man to a man,” said Takitaki. “I think that’s key for every young man looking to become a man. BYU is a place that will get you ready to be better than what you are now, whether it’s for your future wife and your kids. BYU will help you become better for the future.”
Sione’s father Vai Takitaki passed away when he was just a little boy, so to sign his NLI at a university that not only focuses on developing outstanding football payers but outstanding men is something Sione knows his father would be proud of him for.
“I think my dad is happy with me and very happy with my choice,” Takitaki said. “I think right now my dad is my biggest fan because of the decisions I’m making. I know he’s smiling down on me right now.”
Tomorrow, Takitaki will be signing his national letter of intent at Heritage High School.
“I think I’m signing tomorrow at school sometime between 10:00 and 12:00, so I’m planning on signing sometime around then,” he said. “Yeah, I think around noon or so. I’m really excited about it too.”