USC landed another target for its 2014 recruiting class when defensive tackle Austin Maloata committed to the Trojans, just a few hours after receiving his offer.
Maloata, a 6-foot-3, 250-pound Centennial High (Corona, CA) is the fifth person to join the Class of 2014, and the third defensive lineman in the bunch. A longtime fan of USC, Maloata wasted no time in pledging allegiance to his childhood team.
The defensive lineman originally hails from Samoa, and looks to follow in the footsteps of fellow islanders Troy Polamalu and Rey Maualuga, two former Trojans that had a major presence in USC’s defense.
With his commitment, Maloata joins defensive tackles Tashon Smallwood (Central East HS, Fresno CA) and juco transfer Michael Wyche–whom the Trojans garned a commitment from on Thursday, May 2–as well as offensive tackles Jordan Poland (La Jolla Country Day, San Diego CA) and Toa Lobendahn (Lakewood HS, Lakewood CA).
The Trojans switched from a 4-3 to a 5-2 scheme when they brought in defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast this offseason, so the recruitment of big guys for the front line is of critical import. Furthermore, USC needs to make up for the fact that it lost four linemen–Kylie Fitts, Eddie Vanderdoes, Jason Hatcher and Torrodney Prevot–right before Signing Day 2013, and so far, the Trojans are well on their way to doing so.