Following up on yesterday's verbal commitment from JUCO defensive tackle Michael Wyche, the Trojans went back to the defensive line well when Centennial High School (Corona, Calif.) end Austin Maloata gave his pledge to play for the Cardinal and Gold, per a report by Scout.com.
Maloata is somewhat of an unknown commodity because he played his junior year in Samoa. This will be his first year playing in the states.
However, he wasn't a mystery for long.
In March, San Jose State offered the 6'3", 250-pound Maloata, and that was quickly followed up by another offer by Ole Miss last Friday.
For Maloata, it didn't take long for him to jump on the offer by the Trojans.
According to ESPN's Blair Angulo, Maloata has been a lifelong Trojan fan, and he had this to say about the offer from USC,
Coach Logan (his high school coach) asked what school, if I could have any offer, would I want one from. 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.
And there is another interesting twist to the Trojans' offer to Maloata.
Viane Talamaivao, an ESPN 4-star offensive guard ranked seventh in the nation at his position, is Maloata's cousin, and they are very close.
So close that, when young Maloata advised his cousin of his offer from USC, Talamaivao almost cried himself.
Could this wind up being a two for one for USC when all is said and done?
Time will tell.