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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Tonga Tea signs to play at Oklahoma State

Tea signs to play at Oklahoma State

In the span of just three seasons, Tonga "Junior" Tea of Anchorage has gone from football newcomer to Big 12 Conference up-and-comer.

Tea -- a former East High all-state standout and junior college All-American -- signed with Oklahoma State on Wednesday's National Letter of Intent Day, joining a long list of Alaskans to graduate from the ranks of junior college to Division I.

The 6-foot, 309-pound defensive tackle played just one season of high school football and was selected first team all-state in 2003.

At Snow Junior College, Tea helped the Snow Badgers go 11-1 and win their first Western States Football League title in 10 seasons.

Individually, he emerged as the nation's top junior college defensive tackle, as rated by one scouting service, according to the Oklahoma State Web site.

"We want junior college players that can make an impact," Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy was quoted as saying in a press release. "Tea can help us immediately."

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