This will be the biggest day for our family. – Sam Tofa

WEST JORDAN — When a recruit signs with a college program, it's often a bigger day for the parents of said recruit, rather than the recruit himself.

A humble and immensely grateful Sam Tofa stood behind his son, Alden Tofa, as he formally announced for, and then signed a National Letter of Intent to play for BYU on Wednesday morning.

After all the cheers and photos were snapped, Sam spoke softly, yet resolutely about what the day meant for the Tofa family.

"This will be the biggest day for our family," Sam said. "We're so grateful for our Heavenly Father and for the blessings he's given us and for Alden — he's worked so hard to get to this point. We're truly blessed today."

Alden put four hats on the table (BYU, Utah, Oregon and UCLA), as he sat in front a good portion of the West Jordan student body, along with media, friends and family. He ultimately rested on BYU, after strongly considering Utah.

"BYU just felt like home. It's where I needed to be...it felt natural," the 6-foot-5, 250-pound defensive lineman said.

Alden received his first offer during the spring of his junior year, from Oregon State. The offers then started flowing in, and although he felt he'd eventually end up at one of his would-be suitors, BYU rose to the forefront, late in the process.

"When I started out, I thought for sure I was going to Utah, but BYU really emerged, late in the process," Alden said. "I came to realize that BYU is where I needed to be."

What turned Alden's attention from Utah to the Cougars involved a feeling of comfort, with the school and with the coaching staff.

"Coach (Ilaisa) Tuiaki is really close to me and coach (Steve) Kaufusi — they've been talking to me ever since I started going to their games," Alden said.

According to Alden, he didn't firmly rest on the Cougars until about two nights before signing day.

"All the schools were relentless, which made it so hard," he said. "I don't think 'stressful' is a big enough word to explain how hard it was...but as soon as I got down on my knees in prayer I found comfort and it's when I figured out BYU was where I needed to go."

Alden plans on serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints prior to enrolling at BYU. Doing as much wasn't an easy decision, but the right course of action, according to Alden and his family.

"We're so proud of his decision to serve a mission, more than anything," Sam said. "We always wanted him to serve a mission and sign with BYU, but we left it totally up to him. So now — we couldn't be more proud. Like I said, this is the biggest day for our family, so far."