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OAHU, Hawaii — BYU’s coaching staff was watching the first-ever Polynesian Bowl late Saturday night with anticipation, and a number of potential recruits were set to announce their commitments.
The Cougars weren’t disappointed.
Bingham defensive end Langi Tuifua announced his commitment to BYU on the late-night broadcast on ESPN3.
Tuifua, a four-star recruit, helped the Miners to their third Class 5A state championship in four years this fall when he notched 69 tackles and 15.5 tackles for loss. Just moments after making his decision official, he re-entered the game and notched a tackle-for-loss for Team Stanley.
“They have the greatest coaches down there,” Tuifua said. “It feels like family when I go there. They have a program I want to major in, and it’s close to my family.”
Tuifua, who previously committed to Oregon, chose the Cougars over offers from Utah, Michigan, Boise State and Utah State, among others.
Ridgeline linebacker Levani Damuni spurned hometown Utah State, where his father is on the administrative staff, in favor of a scholarship offer from Stanford. The 6-foot-2 back who also ran for 730 yards and 10 touchdowns for the RiverHawks also considered offers from Utah and Virginia.
“The tradition to football and academics — it’s an unbelievable opportunity that I couldn’t pass up,” Damuni said.
Another BYU target, Hawaii’s Charles Moku Watson, announced his commitment to Oregon State during the broadcast.
Desert Hills running back Nephi Sewell, who committed to play at Nevada with his older brother Gabe, defended a pair of passes at defensive back for Team Stanley.
Timpview four-star safety Chaz Ah You hauled in an interception in the game, but did not announce his college intentions. He’s considering offers from BYU, Utah, Stanford, UCLA and Washington, among others.
Hunter defensive end Lorenzo Fauatea, who recently decommitted to Oregon State, also picked off a low pass in the second quarter. Fauatea visited BYU last week.
Other local players who were featured at Aloha Stadium included Brighton fullback Sione Heimuli-Lund, who has committed to Stanford; Alta linebacker Mata Hola; East defensive end Jordan Lolohea; and West Jordan tight end Jack-Eli Tufono.
The 2018 Polynesian Bowl will be played Jan. 20, 2018, at Aloha Stadium in Oahu. Desert Hills’ lineman Penei Sewell, Brighton linebacker Salua Masina and Hunter offensive lineman Hunter Lotulelei are among the early commits for the second-ever game.