Ungas reunite for OSU-BYU game
- Kerry Eggers
- Portland Tribune - Sports
CORVALLIS - Uani Unga will be at Reser Stadium Saturday when Brigham Young visits Oregon State for a nonconference game.
And Unga, a redshirt junior after transferring to BYU from OSU, will be decked in his old school's colors, according to his brother, the Beavers' Feti Unga.
'I'm actually getting him tickets,' said Feti, a 6-1, 245-pound junior who will start for the Beavers at middle linebacker. 'He has to support family, so he'll be doing orange and black - at least that's what his text (message) said.'
The Ungas are identical twins, Feti born two minutes before his brother. Uani might have been a starter this season, too, had he not transferred so he, wife Lachele and their infant child could be closer to her hometown of Orem - near Provo, where BYU is located.
'A lot of it had to do with his new family, and them making decisions on where they're going to raise their child,' Feti said. 'He made a decision on what he thought was best for both him and his family.
'Uani's moved on. He has different priorities rather than just school and football. I'm going to support whatever he does. Since he's not playing this year, he's supporting me on Saturday.'
The Ungas, both members of the Church of Latter Day Saints, were recruited by a number of schools out of high school in Kahuku, Hawaii (the family has since relocated to Rochester, Calif.), including BYU. The Ungas, who were determined to go to college as a package deal, did not have the Cougars on their list.
'They hadn't officially offered, but we told them we weren't interested,' Feti said. 'Nothing against the school or the program, just a personal opinion we both had and they respected. More of it had to do with Pac-10 and staying on the West Coast, playing games closer to family.'
Saturday's game will be a little more meaningful than most for Unga, who in his first season as a starter ranks second in the Pac-12 in tackles. Several of his relatives have played at BYU, including Harvey Unga, the school's career rushing leader.
'It's going to be a big game,' Feti said. 'My brother is on the team, I'm a member of the church and I'm a fan of BYU. They have a great program. I'm proud to say I have family members who went through that program.
'I always want to win, but there will be a little more motivation for this one."