PROVO — For Hawaii junior wide receiver John Ursua, playing BYU at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday night will be both a dream come true and a homecoming of sorts.
Ursua played at Westlake High and Cedar High before moving to the Islands and eventually joining the Warriors. He has plenty of family members who live in Utah.
"This is a dream game for me," he said. "Playing in LaVell Edwards Stadium was always a dream of mine since I had gone to high school in Utah.
"My high school, Westlake, that I attended is about 10-15 minutes away from Provo and so I got all my best friends coming up and my family coming up, and just to be able to play in that environment where I know a lot of people, it's going to be a lot of fun and exciting for me.”
The 5-foot-10, 175-pound Ursua has caught 55 passes for 801 yards and 12 touchdowns this season.
“I love him. I coached his older brother at Southern Utah. His older brother and (wide receivers coach) Fesi (Sitake) are like brothers; they’re best friends. I know the family really well,” BYU coach Kalani Sitake said of Ursua. “He’s a great player. He was injured last year so coming off the injury, I’m really impressed with what he’s been able to do on the field. He’s scary. We’ll have to defend him. Looking forward to the challenge.”
Ursua can’t wait to play at BYU.Comment on this story
"Just to be able to have these games being played out again is just so special for the state of Hawaii and for Provo,” he said. “This game went away for a long time and I think it shouldn't have ever done that. I think this rivalry is too big for us to not play this game, and so to be able to be back on track to play and have a contract with them to play them is just going to be huge, and I think we're very capable of going up there and getting that first win in Provo.”
GHANWOLOKU BACK?: BYU junior safety Dayan Ghanwoloku has been sidelined the past three games due to an injury.
But he is expected to return to the field against Hawaii.
“He’s back in the lineup. He’s a little limited but he’s looking better and better each day,” said safeties coach Preston Hadley. “It’s a day-to-day thing. As of right now, I anticipate him being in the lineup. He’s a starter so anytime you get a starter back in the lineup, it’s good news for your defense.”