Saturday, May 4, 2013
USC hauls in another defensive lineman
By Blair Angulo
Austin Maloata (Corona, Calif./Centennial) didn't need to think about it long.
Just hours after learning he had landed a scholarship offer from childhood favorite USC, the defensive end sat down with his family to discuss the plan of attack.
As it turned out, there was no need for a discussion. The 6-foot-3, 250-pound transfer from Samoa decided to commit to the Trojans, becoming the fifth member, and third defensive lineman, in USC's 2014 recruiting class.
"It's a real blessing," Maloata said. "I talked to coach Ed Orgeron and he told me how much they liked me. I told him how I love USC. ... I always used to watch Troy Polamalu and Rey Maualuga. They inspired me, so I want to follow them and be great just like they were. My dad loves USC, so this is great for him as well."
Maloata met with Centennial football coach Matt Logan after fourth period on Friday. It started innocently enough, with a simple question that eventually brought Maloata to tears.
"Coach Logan asked what school, if I could have any offer, would I want one from," Maloata recalled. "I told him USC. Then he goes, 'What if I told you the Trojans have just offered?' I broke down. I never thought I'd be in this situation. I broke down in tears. ... My dad was a big Trojan fan and I want to make him proud."
Maloata's cousin, ESPN 150 offensive guard Viane Talamaivao, is also coveted by a large contingent of schools.
"I saw V in the locker room and I told him I had something to share with him," Maloata said. "I told him I had an offer, and he almost cried. He was so happy for me."
Maloata joins tackle Tashon Smallwood (Fresno, Calif./Central) and juco tackle Michael Wyche (Chesapeake,Va./East Los Angeles College) on USC's commit list.