The BYU football program has received a commitment from a returned missionary who could both help the Cougars on the field and in other recruiting efforts.
A.J. Lolohea, who prepped at West High School in Salt Lake City and committed to Weber State before serving an LDS Church mission to Tonga, will enroll at the Provo school in January and be part of the Cougars' 2017 recruiting class, he confirmed with the Deseret News on Friday.
Total Blue Sports first reported Lolohea's commitment.
The 6-foot-2 Lolohea wasn't recruited by BYU during high school, but Cougar coaches learned about the linebacker/defensive end prior to his return home from his mission in July. He gained approximately 45 pounds while gone, and now weighs about 230 pounds.
"I just kind of had to make a decision between Weber State and BYU, and I just felt like I needed to be at BYU," he said. "I wasn't just thinking about the school. I was trying to think about the area I'll be living in, and I felt like Ogden wasn't really my kind of scene, and coming back from the mission, I just kind of felt like Provo would be more of a help to surround myself with people who kind of know what I went through and what I'm trying to get."
Lolohea, who becomes the 15th player to commit to the Cougars as part of their Class of 2017, is the older brother of East High School linebacker/defensive end Jordan Lolohea, a highly touted prospect who is considering BYU, Utah and Washington.
"I never talk down on any other schools, but I talk big about BYU, so I hope that kind of helps," A.J. Lolohea said.
The younger Lolohea is on an official visit to the Provo campus this weekend.
Official Visit:— JRoCC (@JordanLolohea) December 10, 2016
1st Stop -
Ryan McDonald is a sports reporter at DeseretNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @ryanwmcdonald.