The Trojans badly need offensive line depth, and this could be the class to get it, as Steve Sarkisian’s staff finds itself as a finalist with one of the nation’s top linemen, four-star guard Damien Mama.
Mama is set to decide between USC, Alabama and BYU on Wednesday morning around 8:30 a.m. on ESPN, and we think we have a hunch of where he’s going. Here’s our staff’s picks to click:
Matthew Moreno: USC
Damien Mama’s recruitment has been interesting, to say the least. His Latter-day Saints roots and desire to take a season off from football for a mission has kept BYU in the conversation for his services. Mama has of course visited USC’s campus officially and several times unofficially, which is obviously considered a positive for the Trojans. But then Mama was set to visit UCLA before ultimately deciding against it. Perhaps it was going to be nothing more than due diligence on Mama’s end, but given the Trojan’s recent history with recruiting (last season), any rumblings of a recruit looking around does cause concern. When it’s all said and done, I think Mama becomes a Trojan.
Alicia de Artola: USC
The safest bet of any of the remaining uncommited USC targets has to be Mama. He has been around USC more than any other school, with more than a few unofficial visits to campus over the past few months and his “Uce Crew” connections to fellow Polynesian Trojan commits Toa Lobendahn and Viane Talamaivao can’t be denied. There’s a reason nearly every observer has locked him in as a Trojan, despite interest in Alabama and BYU.
Michael Castillo: USC
As of right now, it looks like Mama to USC is a no-brainer. He’s been on campus numerous times and as recently as yesterday for the Trojans’ Super Bowl party. With St. John Bosco connections in Nico Falah and Malik Dorton, plus Viane Talamaivao of the Uce Crew committed to USC, it would be a major upset if Mama went anywhere else. Alabama was USC’s big competitor for Mama, but that subsided after Talamaivao de-committed in November, and UCLA departed the picture last week. That leaves BYU as the big threat, and not much of one, it would seem. Mama liked the roses, to quote Elvis Presley, and he’ll be across the street from the Rose Garden come the fall.
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Now it’s your turn to make a prediction. Vote in our poll below and sound off in the comments on where you see Damien Mama going for college ball.