Taloa'i Ho Ching is a 6-foot, 225-pound linebacker recruit from Alta High School in Sandy, Utah. He has narrowed down his choice to either BYU or Wisconsin and hopes to take an official visit to BYU before making his decision, or at the very least take an unofficial trip to help confirm his decision.
Cougar coaches have been active in their recruitment of him, having consistently sent letters and talked to him almost weekly. Ho Ching is grateful for the contact and had some face-time with two Cougar coaches as recently as this past Monday.
"Coach Doman and Coach Weber came down to my school and I ran into them there," he said. "I got to shake their hands and talk to them a bit and it was great. They let me know how much they wanted me to commit there and we'll see how it works out."
Ho Ching is LDS and has plans to serve a mission after playing a year. Like with many recruits, His attraction to BYU and its program stems from his faith.
"I love how Coach Mendenhall does things there in focusing on you as a person and not just as a football player," he explained. "That's what I want in a school. They'll obviously respect my mission plans and I really like their other players in the program and how you feel when you're down there."
He's also intrigued by the education opportunities at BYU.
"I plan on majoring in business and BYU has a great business school for sure, one of the tops in the country," he said. "Education is big for me, so that's definitely one of the things I like best about BYU."
Wisconsin is also heavy on Ho Ching's mind. After he took an official visit there this past September, the Badger program hasn't let up in its pursuit of him. Wisconsin has sent hordes of letters and has also made numerous phone calls.
"Wisconsin is a neat place," said Ho Ching. "It's really far away, but I really don't care about that. It felt great being there. I love their coaches, they're so enthusiastic and positive. I'd love to play for a program like that and that's why they're one of my top two schools."
Ho Ching showed this past season why he's an athlete worthy of Division I offers. Despite battling through three weeks of pneumonia and other illnesses that kept him out of three games, he improved upon his stats from last year when he played in every game.
"I learned a lot last year for sure," he said. "I learned to play through pain and I think that's important for me as I look to play in college. I'll be deciding on December 7th and I'll choose the school where I feel I can best honor my late brother and his memory."