Alex Toailoa, a 6-0, 255-pound standout with 4.69 40 speed, was an All-CIF (Div. 9) selection from Los Amigos High School (Calif.), recorded an impressive 17 sacks and 60-plus tackles last season in a very competitive Orange County league. He was also named the Garden Grove Defensive Player of the Year; First Team All-League; and Second Team All-County.
Toailoa, who is non-LDS, spoke with TBS this evening shortly after returning from a weekend recruiting visit to Idaho. He and new Idaho Vandals head coach struck a quick bond when Nick Holt was a Trojan assistant coach last summer at the USC summer camp.
“I verbally committed to BYU before the Idaho visit. I talked to Steve Kaufusi (BYU defensive line coach) when he came by the house last Wednesday. That’s when I committed. He was real happy,” Toailoa said.
Toailoa noted the Idaho visit was his last and no longer plans a visit to Oregon. He was offered a scholarship also to Arizona State, but the offer was withdrawn.
BYU has been recruiting him since his sophomore year and offered him a scholarship when he was a junior.
Toailoa will now focus on passing the SAT test next Saturday. He is very close to qualifying academically, scoring a 790 on his last SAT test. He will also retake his ACT test on Feb. 7. He currently maintains a 2.5 GPA on his core subjects.
Asked what finally won him over to the Cougars, Toailoa said, “I found it a great place with a positive influence all around. It’s a good program and the people were unbelievable.
“My visit was really cool. It’s just the program, the academics, the environment and the people,” he added.
He said he also met individually with defensive coordinator Bronco Mendenhall on his visit. “I liked him. He was happy I made the trip.”
Toailoa said his parents “are really happy for me. They supported me in whatever decision I made.”
His official visit Jan. 9 to BYU culminated, in an interesting way, the unfulfilled hopes of his father, Falevi, who had planned to take a recruiting trip to BYU in 1991 as a defensive lineman at San Bernadino Junior College with teammate and future BYU star Mike Ulufale.
Falevi was already married with Alex and his younger brother at the time. Fate, however, intervened when he suffered a career-ending ACL knee injury and he never made the visit. “I really like BYU and I grew up as a BYU fan,” Falevi said before his son’s visit to Provo.
Despite the fact Toailoa is not LDS, he commented on the school’s unique Honor Code policy. “I’m all for the Honor Code. I totally agree with that and I don’t have a problem with it at all. That should make me a better person. I respect the fact that if you’re not Mormon, they don’t press you.”
© copyright by TotalBlueSports.com