#52 John Kanongata’a

Class: Junior
Hometown: Bellevue, Washington
High School: Bellevue HS
Height / Weight: 5-11 / 230
Position: Linebacker
Experience: 2V

2012 All-American Candidate

Montana: John will start again in 2012. He is the team’s leading returning tackler.

2011: He played in all 14 games and started in the last 11 in a row. He was thrust into a starting role when Jordan Tripp was injured in the Eastern Washington game, and the results were exceptional. He was Montana’s second leading tackler with 93 stops, and was a second team All-Big Sky Conference pick. He led the team with 12 tackles for loss.

2010: He played in all 11 games as a true freshman. He was 16th on the team with 16 tackles.

High School: He was a two-year team captain on Bellevue High School’s back-to-back state championship teams in 2009 (12-2) and 2008 (14-0)…his sophomore squad was a state semifinalist, going 11-2…he led his league in tackles as a senior, and also had seven forced fumbles and four interceptions…won “sportsmanship award” in state title game his senior year…lettered four times in football and once in track and field…a two-time all-state and all-conference selection at linebacker…named the state’s defensive player of the year following his senior campaign.

Career Highs: Last season he had 12 tackles in the Grizzlies 17-14 victory over Eastern Washington, and also had a game-ending interception in that contest. Also in 2011, he had 2.5 tackles for loss against Northern Iowa in a FCS quarterfinal game, and he had 8 solo stops in a FCS semifinal game at Sam Houston State.

Personal: His major is business administration. His parents are Taina and Loka Kanongata’a of Bellevue. Birth date: June 22, 1992.

Quoting Coach Delaney: “John is another young man who has great football instincts. He’s in the top six or seven guys on the entire football team speed-wise. Again, his profile maybe doesn’t fit the 6-2, 230-pound linebacker, but he is very physical and very strong, and in addition to that he’s just a really smart, instinctive linebacker.

“`JP’ has a way of getting to the football, knowing where his fits are and being able to play uninhibited on every single snap. We look forward to John Kanongata’a being one of the premier players in our division.”