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2025 Four-Star LB Matai Tagoa’i Commits to USC

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© Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Who is Matai Tagoa’i

Matai Tagoa’i is a consensus four-star linebacker from San Clemente High School in San Clemente, CA. The 6-foot-4, 185-pounder chose the Trojans over Texas, Oklahoma, Washington and Utah. Tagoa’i also plays basketball at San Clemente.

What is the Impact of the Commitment for USC

The commitment of Tagoa’i gives USC its seventh commitment for the 2025 class, which is ranked second in the Big Ten and third overall. Tagoa’i is the first linebacker committed to USC in the class.

How Quickly Can Matai Tagoa’i Contribute at USC?

The two-deep depth chart for linebackers at USC currently has four seniors, one of which is a transfer from Oregon State, Easton Mascarenas-Arnold. With Tagoa’i being the lone linebacker committed so far for 2025, it can be assumed that coach Lincoln Riley will be looking for linebackers both on the recruiting trail and in the transfer portal. Knowing the depth chart will be depleted some in 2025 enhances the chances of Tagoa’i to see the field next season.

Scouting Matai Tagoa’i

At 6-foot-4 Matai Tagoa’i is a tall and lengthy linebacker. He is explosive off the line, VERY fast and shifty. Tagoa’i slides past blockers into the backfield with relative ease. When chasing down ball carriers Tagoa’i’s speed is a weapon in pursuit. He is a good tackler but will need to bulk up some if he is going to pose a threat to the bigger Big Ten skill position players. That said, he is strong enough to get past offensive tackles with more than just his speed. In high school, he is versatile enough to play both inside and outside linebacker. How much he bulks up will dictate whether he will begin his time at USC on the outside or the inside. His height and speed also play a role in Tagoa’i being very good in coverage. When covering a back on a swing pass Tagoa’i’s closing speed has contributed to the 40 solo tackles he accumulated in 2023. Tagoa’i finished his junior year with 59 total tackles, 8 tackles for loss, 7 sacks and 1 interception.

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