The stark environment change that Fangupo is enjoying isn’t just outside of the football facilities, either. Through his time at BYU, he’s found a unique environment provided by his coaches and teammates that has been beneficial.
“This team is a lot more close than we were at USC,” he explained. “It was amazing after the Ole Miss game and at halftime how no one was complaining about their playing time or anything like that. It’s all about the team, and that is what helps us be successful. There is a great attitude here that’s an unselfish attitude.”
Fangupo will finish up this season and then move on to other things. Given how well he’s taken to BYU, one would think that he regrets not having arrived earlier — but he doesn’t see it that way.
“All I can do is rely on the Lord,” he said. “I prayed about where I should go after junior college, and even though BYU was sort of my dream school, the Lord told me that I needed to go to USC. I met my wife there at USC, the love of my life, so how could I regret that? It was meeting my wife at USC that got me to come here to BYU, along with prayer, and I couldn’t be happier with how things have worked out.”
Other players seeing their first action against Ole Miss:
- Houston Reynolds, 6-foot-2, 296-pound sophomore OL. Reynolds saw almost every rep at left guard after having won the spot during fall practices. It was assumed that there would be a lot of rotation at the OG positions, but the youngest Reynolds brother saw almost every rep at his position during the game.
- Preston Hadley, 6-foot-0, 200-pound junior CB. Hadley accomplished what any incoming JC player aims to do, which is to earn a starting spot. He won the starting boundary corner position during fall and provided very good coverage and run support against Ole Miss.
- Joe Sampson, 5-foot-10, 213-pound junior CB. Sampson rotated with Hadley at the BCB position and, like Hadley, he proved to be very effective throughout the course of the game.
- Ross Apo, 6-foot-3, 206-pound freshman WR. Although Apo saw limited time on special teams against Washington last year, Ole Miss was his first game playing reps at wide receiver. He responded well in catching the first touchdown and accounting for four receptions for 46 yards on the day.
- Uona Kaveinga, 5-foot-11, 236-pound junior LB. Kaveinga started at middle linebacker and recorded five total tackles against the Rebels.
- Austin Heder, 6-foot-1, 241-pound freshman FB/LB. Heder saw limited reps playing fullback during short-yardage situations.
- Jordan Johnson, 5-foot-10, 175-pound freshman CB/KR. Johnson returned one kickoff for 28 yards.
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