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Soni Fonua is from Utah originally, so a January snowstorm is nothing new.

The junior college outside linebacker, though, couldn’t help but be impressed by what he saw during his official visit to Nebraska this weekend.

Fonua, a 6-foot-4, 265-pounder currently at Mesa (Ariz.) Community College, made the trip with his brother and said he interacted most with outside linebackers coach Jovan Dewitt and running backs coach Ryan Held.

“Those coaches are amazing – two of the best coaches I’ve ever talked to and it was great to actually get to know them,” said Fonua, who in nine games for Mesa C.C. had 51 tackles (16.5 for loss) and a half sack.

He also said he left campus with an understanding of how he could fit in the Husker defense.

“(Coach Dewitt) sees the vision for me,” Fonua said. “That’s what he told me. He said he wants me to come in and get the job done and do what’s right.”

The Salt Lake City native and relative of senior defensive tackle Vaha Vainuku has three years of eligibility to play two seasons and is planning on signing with a team in February. He is currently slated to visit Central Florida next weekend and then Oklahoma State and Kansas in the final two weekends before signing day.

It’s no secret the Huskers are looking for help at outside linebacker and also that scholarship numbers are already getting tight. NU has between four and six spots available depending on what happens with verbal commitments Dedrick Mills (Garden City C.C.) and Desmond Bland (Arizona Western). Fonua and high school outside linebacker Steven Parker (Dallas) were both on campus this weekend, and the Huskers are slated to host Dylan Jordan (Pittsburg, Kansas) later this month. Only time will tell how those number shake out and whether NU is willing to take one or two pass-rushers with their remaining spots.

The Huskers also hosted four-star wide receiver Charles Njoku (Wayne, New Jersey) and three-star cornerback DJ James (Spanish Fort, Alabama) this weekend.

Contact the writer at or 402-473-7439. On Twitter @HuskerExtraPG.


Sports writer

Parker joined the Journal Star as the University of Nebraska football beat writer in August 2017. He previously covered Montana State athletics for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 2012.

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