Cougars add JC player to '08 Class
Hola, who prepped at Granger High and grew up watching former Cougars Fahu Tahi and Manaia Brown play there, said he committed to BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall this week, making his decision a week after he was offered a scholarship.
"I know it is early in the process, but this wasn't something for me to think about," he said. "I've always wanted to play at BYU. I knew I would get offers from other schools, but this is where I want to play."
Hola, who is ranked as a four-star recruit by Scout.com, is 23, and will enroll at BYU in January. He served an LDS Church mission to South Carolina.
Hola has older brothers who earned championship rings at Skyline High.
"They all wear rings around showing their title experience," Hola said. "I went to Granger instead of Skyline, however. My older brother Chris played with Brandon Doman in 1993, but I am the only member of my family who has played college football."
Committing early, Hola said he has received recruiting contact from Texas A&M and Oregon State heading into the summer before his sophomore season.
"I like getting the attention but BYU has been on to me the longest, since I came back from my mission," he said. "It's a matter of loyalty, being at a place I want to play at."
Hola says he's received compliments from coaches on his technique and ability to play noseguard or tackle.
"I'm pretty good with my hands, getting off blocks and I'm strong," he said. "I can handle two gaps, if needed."
Last week, BYU offered Hola, and he was "shocked" the Cougars made a move so early.
"I wasn't expecting to be offered this early in the season," he said. "My first reaction was gratitude to have this attention and a scholarship this early. Bronco Mendenhall was blunt and straightforward and that's one of the things I liked about him is he told me that all aspects of my life from football to education and spiritual growth would be a priority."