Solomon Tuliaupupu to sign with USC over UCLA on Signing Day 2018


Four-star linebacker Solomon Tuliaupupu chose USC over UCLA and Notre Dame on Signing Day 2018, adding to the Trojans monster LB class.

Making his pick live on ESPN2, Solomon Tuliaupupu announced his decision to join USC’s class of 2018 on Signing Day, becoming the Trojans —- commit.

The four-star linebacker also considered UCLA and Notre Dame, but USC won the day over their rivals by completing the Mater Dei trifecta; Quarterback JT Daniels, wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown and Tuliaupupu will all be Trojans.

The Skinny

Tuliaupupu is a 6-foot-2, 220 inside linebacker who looked right at home wearing the No. 55 jersey during his official visit at the end of January.

He also took visits to Notre Dame, UCLA and Hawaii, but considering the Mater Dei connection, USC seemed to have an advantage going into the final stretch of recruiting. That paid off, helping the Trojans landing the nation’s No. 3 inside backer.

Nationally, Tuliaupupu bolsters USC’s recruiting ranking as the No. 86 player on the board. He also ranks as the 10th-best player in California.

Where He Fits in 2018

With Cameron Smith returning for his senior season at USC, Tuliaupupu is less likely to see major playing time as a freshman, though he could compete with fellow linebacker signee Palaie Gaotote for a spot in the rotation at inside linebacker.

That possibility could be amplified if Jordan Iosefa remains on the outside, where he filled in for the Trojans out of necessity in 2017.

MORE SIGNING DAY: Tracking All of USC’s Class of 2018 Signings

Tuliaupupu could also get a look at outside linebacker, since USC has made a habit of “double-training” linebackers for both roles. He’s versatile enough to do it, but sorting out his true position would go a long way towards figuring out how much of an impact he will be able to have in Year 1.

It’s a stacked linebacker class for USC, so the competition should be fierce.

High School Highlights

He Reminds Us Of…Rey Maualuga

The Mater Dei defensive talisman is an aggressive inside linebacker who plays a physical, smash-mouth game. There’s only one Trojan who comes to mind, and it’s Rey Maualuga. The 2008 Bednarik Award winner signed with USC in 2005 as the nation’s 10th-ranked recruit. Tuliaupupu may not have that type of fanfare, but Maualuga’s game will be one to emulate.