Big-Time San Clemente (CA) Linebacker Matai Tagoa'i Commits to USC!

On3 imageby:Scott Schrader04/01/24


One of the top linebackers in the 2025 recruiting class Matai Tagoa’i had locked in an official visit to the 2023 national runners-up, but he committed to USC on Monday and it wasn’t an April fools joke.

He visited USC three times in the last week and we submitted a USC prediction on Saturday.

Tagoa’i has visited USC five times, with two of three of those trips happening in a five-day span between March 23, March 28 and April 1. The 6-foot-4, 185-pound recruit will be going back to Los Angeles many more times, as he announced his commitment to head coach Lincoln Rileyand his staff on Monday. 

“I like the entire atmosphere of the school, the players, the coaches and the culture that they’re building,” Tagoa’i told On3. “From the way they practice, work out and carry themselves off the field, I like them a lot. I’m a West Coast kid, so I feel like I’m at home there. Then, I like how I fit in schematically with their defense. I feel like I could be dangerous.” 

Tagoa’i is the nation’s No. 68 overall prospect and No. 11 linebacker in the 2025 cycle according to the On3 Industry Ranking — a weighted average that utilizes all four major recruiting media companies. He is also the No. 7 recruit in California.

Tagoa’i discusses USC

 Tagoa’i is excited to play for Entz and Lynn, who came to USC in the offseason as part of the Trojans’ overhauled defensive staff. He has “100% confidence” that USC will be a contender for a national championship in the near future under Riley. 

“It definitely shows me that he wants to put an emphasis on the defensive side of the ball because I think he knows that to have a winning team, you need a defense that can stop different types of offenses that they’re running in college football,” said Tagoa’i, the No. 81 overall prospect and No. 11 linebacker in the 2025 On3 Industry Ranking. “It’s definitely big for me to see that.” 

Tagoa’i has also received offers from USC, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Georgia and Oregon in addition to numerous other major programs.

The top-100 prospect listed at 6-foot-4, 185 pounds confirmed with Inside Texas that he’ll be taking his official visit to Texas during the weekend of June 21. 

Tagoa’i reportedly has a trip set up to Washington at the end of May. Whether those visits happen is unknown.

He was offered by the Longhorns in January. USC, Oklahoma, Georgia, Oregon, Notre Dame, Auburn, Michigan, Alabama, Utah, Washington, and Texas A&M have all offered.

Tagoa’i is ranked as the No. 81 overall recruit, the No. 11 linebacker, and the No. 7 prospect in California in the On3 Industry Ranking.

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