Jim Jensen
Dax Harris of Syracuse is tackled by Brighton's Jackson Kaufusi. <img src="http://beacon.deseretconnect.com/beacon.gif?cid=220792&pid=7" />

Just 20 days ago, Brighton High football player Jackson Kaufusi revealed to the recruiting service Scout.com that he had whittled his choice of where he'd be playing college football down to three schools — Utah, Cal and Washington State.

Fast forward to late Tuesday night. With the clock just minutes from midnight, Kaufusi posted a tweet that caught many by surprise given his previous declaration.

He had chosen to commit to Kalani Sitake and the BYU Cougars.

Kaufusi said by phone on Wednesday that he held a scholarship offer from BYU until early in the winter, when former coach Bronco Mendenhall's staff told him they were pulling it.

That led Kaufusi to look elsewhere, and he eventually zeroed in on the Utes, Golden Bears and Cougars of WSU.

Still, Kaufusi felt like he needed to end up in Provo. A short time later, Mendenhall left to coach the Virginia Cavaliers, and Kalani Sitake was hired to replace him.

Nothing happened on the offer front, though, so Kaufusi tried taking matters into his own hands. With some help from his uncle, BYU defensive line coach Steve Kaufusi, the Bengal tried contacting Sitake, but didn't hear back.

As fate would have it, Sitake was at the Brighton basketball game Jan. 20 to see Bengal Simi Fehoko play, and Kaufusi introduced himself. Sitake and Kaufusi chatted more the next day, and a scholarship offer soon followed.

The choice from there, Kaufusi said, was easy.

"It's one of those things, as recruiting goes, I realized the important things I want in my life are my family members and obviously the (LDS) Church," he said. "It just seemed like the best fit for me and just logical to go there."

The 6-foot-2, 195-pound Kaufusi tallied 100 tackles during his senior season for the Bengals.

While he's committed as part of the 2016 class, Kaufusi won't see the field for a few years, as he's planning on leaving on a mission sometime during the summer. When he returns, he'll be on the BYU roster with his brother Isaiah, who is currently serving a mission in Tonga.

"I'm just super grateful for the opportunity that the coaches have given me," Jackson Kaufusi said. I'm just glad to be a part of this family and Cougar Nation."

Ryan McDonald is a sports reporter at DeseretNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @ryanwmcdonald.