The Brigham Young Cougars had one representative in the 2013 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, which was played last Saturday, January 19, in Carson, California: middle linebacker Uona Kaveinga. The Hawthorne, California native was one of the leading tacklers in the game. He showed good athleticism and strength as he battled for the American team.
In the official stats, Kaveinga was credited with 4 tackles (3 solo, 1 assist) and one tackle for loss. No player on either side had more than 6 tackles or two tackles for loss. He was involved in several other tackles.
Wearing number 59, Kaveinga looked fast as he covered a lot of ground and made plays from sideline to sideline, and in the backfield as well as downfield in pass coverage. He also looked strong as he shed blockers on several occasions to stay involved in the play.
Kaveinga's most impressive sequence of plays came in the third quarter as the American defense made a goal line stand. An interception gave the National team the ball just six yards away from the end zone. On first and goal, Kaveinga ran through a blocker and tackled the ball carrier near the sideline. On third and goal, the National team threw a screen pass to the sideline. Kaveinga recognized it and made a touchdown saving tackle. A holding call on the screen pass negated the tackle from the official stats, but the NFL scouts watching saw the nice play that he made.
Later in the game, the National team completed a touchdown pass to a tight end that Kaveinga was covering, but it didn't appear that Kaveinga played poorly that down. The American defense looked like it was playing some type of zone defense. As the tight end came into his zone, Kaveinga jumped on him. As the tight end continued across his zone, Kaveinga positioned himself inside the receiver, but stayed with him stride for stride, and trusted that the outside linebacker would pick him up on the outside as he entered into the zone. The National quarterback threw the ball high and to the outside as the tight end neared the far sideline.
Kaveinga also played on the punt coverage and return teams.
The Nationals won the game 34-0.
Former BYU linebacker Kurt Gouveia was also involved as the linebackers coach.
Quarterback Brad Sorensen, brother of current BYU defensive back Daniel Sorensen, was a member of the BYU team in 2009 before transferring to Southern Utah University. He played in this game for the American team. He completed 8 of 16 passes for 78 yards and threw 2 interceptions.
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