BYU's depleted defensive line got a big boost Saturday when a top-rated lineman in Southern California pledged to sign with the Cougars on Feb. 1 during his official campus visit to Provo.
Romney Fuga, a 6-foot-3, 290-pound defensive tackle from Edison High in Los Angeles, became BYU's 18th oral commitment over the weekend when he joined 20 other recruits making a visit to Provo.
BYU is also in the running for one of the top defensive linemen in northern California in 6-2, 250 defensive end Matangi Tonga of San Mateo, younger brother of fullback Manase Tonga, a freshman returned missionary on the Cougar squad this past season.
Fuga was named this past week by the Los Angeles Times as the Southern California Lineman of the Year. Fuga played in the prestigious Florida-California All-Star game last weekend.
The Cougars, who lost senior starters Manaia Brown, Daniel Marquardt and Vince Feula, appeal to defensive recruits because of a need to replace players immediately. Key reserves Justin Maddux and T.J. Sitake also graduate, leaving a big void for the Cougars.
The commitment by Fuga could prove key in decisions made by other linemen, including Tonga and other players on BYU's list, such as Cottonwood's Stanley Havili, who has been offered by Southern Cal. Havili, who has stated publicly he wants to serve an LDS mission, was told by Trojan coaches they did not want him to take that time off from their program.
BYU also received a commitment from Riverside Junior College cornerback Andre Saulsberry. The 5-foot-11 175-pound defensive back is a former teammate of current BYU linebacker Chris Bolden. Saulsberry and Fuga made recruiting visits to BYU this weekend.