Talanoa Hufanga commits to 2018 USC Football recruiting class over Oregon

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 07: Chris Hawkins
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 07: Chris Hawkins /

Four-star athlete Talanoa Hufanga announced his commitment to the 2018 USC Football recruiting class on Thursday, picking the Trojans over home-state Oregon.

USC Football’s 2018 recruiting class got even stronger on Thursday as Talanoa Hufanga committed to the Trojans.

The four-star athlete announced his choice on Twitter.

USC announced his signing on Thursday night as well.

Hufanga rates as the 88th prospect in the nation in the 247Sports composite, but he is much more highly-regarded by the independent 247Sports ranking, rising to No. 16. He is widely regarded as one of the best athletes in the class, ranking first in the 247Sports measure and second in the composite.

As the No. 1 recruit in the state of Oregon, USC did well to pry Hufanga from the hands of the Oregon Ducks, who were favorites to sign the player early in the fall. He also considered Michigan, Nebraska, UCLA and Utah as potential destinations.

The 6-foot, 193-pounder projects as a safety in college, adding another player with top-level physicality to the Trojan secondary.

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The graduation of starter Chris Hawkins and contributor Matt Lopes, plus the potential NFL departure of Marvell Tell could create a clean slate for the safety position in 2018. USC pulled in two top safeties in the class of 2017, with Bubba Bolden and Isaiah Pola-Mao signing on in the spring. In 2016, they also added Jamel Cook and C.J. Pollard.

With the addition of Hufanga, the Trojans will have plenty of options to fill open spots with talent underclassmen. And Hufanga should have as much of a shot as anyone to jump right into the starting lineup.

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USC’s 2018 class is now 14 strong, including nine early signees who the Trojans secured signatures from during the Early Signing Period last week. Five-star linebacker Palaie Gaotote was among those who signed early, as the headliner in the class for the Trojans. With 2019 quarterback JT Daniels reclassifying to the class of 2018, Hufanga is the third-highest ranked commit on the board.