As good of a football player as Utah State senior nose guard Gasetoto Schuster is, he just might be an even better cook.
Just ask some of his teammates.
“His cooking will always have you going back for seconds, and even taking containers home when he isn’t looking,” USU junior defensive end Devon Anderson said with a laugh.
Anderson’s favorite dish of Schuster’s consists of cornbread, chicken and white rice.
“I would hire him as a chef,” added junior nose guard Mohelika Uasike. “Whatever he makes, he makes it fine dining. He almost makes it into a restaurant kind of food. At the same time, it’s pretty delicious, and I really like it.”
Like Anderson, Uasike favors Schuster’s chicken – Cajun style.
“I was hungry coming out of class, and he lived at Blue Square at the time,” Uasike recalled. “He told me to come over for lunch, and he made simple, white rice, sticky rice and Cajun chicken. It was amazing.”
Schuster has been cooking for as long as he can remember. He credits his mother, Tammy, and his grandparents for introducing him to the kitchen.
“They’re big-time bakers in the islands,” Schuster said. “My grandpa was a big-time chef, as well, so cooking is big in the family, and there are a lot of recipes that have been passed on from them to me that I like to cook.”
His favorite thing to cook? Steak. Schuster also likes trying new things out.
“Trying new things and tasting new things is always good, but I am a big-time foodie,” he said. “I love trying new foods and going to different places to judge different foods and taste different things. I love doing that stuff.
“One of my good friends that I made out here at Utah State, we sometimes do little cook-offs and see who makes the better dish. We invite other friends over, and they taste the food. I usually win, but we like to cook. I like cooking, and I also like eating. You can never go wrong with some good food.”
Much like he does in the kitchen, Schuster is hoping he and the Aggies can continue cooking up something special for his senior season.
“The season is unfolding the way I thought it would,” said Schuster, who only played in the first two games before suffering a season-ending injury. “So far, good things are ahead. We’ve got a lot of good players, and we’ve got great chemistry on the team – there is good camaraderie. Everyone plays for the man next to them, so it’s coming along just fine. If we keep taking steps to be better each and every week, we’ll meet the goal that we set for ourselves, which is the Mountain West championship.”
Schuster has played in a total of 35 games during his Aggie career, beginning with his redshirt freshman season in 2015. The native of Long Beach, California, has recorded 47 total tackles, including 2.0 tackles for loss, and two forced fumbles.
“He’s done a great job for us and has taken a step forward each year,” said USU assistant head coach/co-defensive coordinator/defensive line coach Frank Maile. “This is the most consistent he’s been, and he took a huge step forward from the spring through the summer and going into the fall. He’s been awesome every step of the way. He has grown a lot, which is normal, but he’s been committed to what we ask him to do and what we need out of him. He’s done a great job for us.”
Schuster was named the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) all-Moore League Offensive Lineman of the Year by the Orange County Register after helping lead Long Beach Poly High School to a 12-2 record during his senior season. He also earned first-team all-CIF Southern Section honors as a defensive lineman that same year after tallying 30.5 tackles, including 4.0 tackles for loss and 1.0 sacks.
The son of Sosene and Tammy Schuster had scholarship offers from Utah State, UTEP and Vanderbilt. The Aggies and Cache Valley won his heart.
“I fell in love with it here,” Schuster said. “The Polynesian culture is strong here. We have a big Polynesian pipeline, and everybody was very real and welcoming, so it felt good to be here. And I knew that we would do something special in the years here, and that’s happening this year. I’m seeing it unfold in front of my eyes.”
Schuster also loved the family atmosphere that Utah State had to offer.
“I saw that the culture here was all about family,” Schuster said. “It’s a family-oriented culture. It’s eye for an eye. Everyone looks out for each other. Sometimes you get caught up in the business aspect of coming here to just play ball and go to school, but when I first came out here, it helped me realize the family aspect with everybody being supportive.
“I’ve had a lot of ups and downs during my career, but it has all been life-preparing. Over the five years that I’ve been here, I’ve learned to mature from a young man to a grown man and look at the bigger picture in everything in life, so it has been a blessing. But, it’s been really life-changing, for sure.”
One of Schuster’s best games as an Aggie came against Wake Forest during the 2017 season as he recorded a career-high six tackles, to go along with one of his two forced fumbles on the year.
“Playing with G-Mac has been quite an experience,” Uasike said. “We have had our ups and downs being together, but when the downs come, he was able to climb and see what was going on with me and was able to help out. I prefer him to be who he is and to come out and be who you are. He’s easy to get along with.”
Schuster will always cherish the summers he shared with his teammates during his time in Cache Valley.
“The summers were awesome being here with the team,” he said. “We really got to know each other. All the new recruits would come in, and the vets would put them under our wings. We grinded together, and we had fun together. We did all the outdoor activities, we did the water sports, but then we also learned something new about each and every one of our new teammates, so I thought it was awesome just to mold together during the summers. The summers are something that are going to be very memorable for me.”
Schuster, who is majoring in general studies, is on track to graduate this December. Once his football career is officially over, he said he would like to go into coaching, whether it be a defensive coordinator or position coach, or even a head strength and conditioning coach.
On top of that, owning a couple of Seafood restaurants is something he would like to do.Comment on this story
“He’s everything you want off the field,” Maile said. “He’s the nicest kid you’ll ever meet. He’s a social kid and outgoing kid. He loves serving, being around people and loves to laugh. Part of his personality is making other people laugh with him. He kind of has the best of both worlds. He can turn it on and off the field. He’s exactly what you want him to be. He’s a great people-person and a loving and caring kid toward anybody and everybody. On the field, it’s a different animal for him. He’s a great guy to have in my room.”
And perhaps, an even better guy in the kitchen.