USC Football Recruiting: Maninoa Tufono names Top 14

Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy
Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy /

Four-star linebacker Maninoa Tufono named his Top 14 schools on Sunday evening, listing USC football among his favorites.

As the end of spring and the beginning of summer approaches, it’s the time of year when more and more recruits begin to pare down their college choices into lists.

Unfortunately, many of those lists still include a great deal of options, as is the case with four-star linebacker Maninoa Tufono, who dropped his Top 14 on Sunday night.

The 6-foot-3, 225-pound inside defender from Punahou in Hawaii included USC football in his list, along with a wide swath of other schools. He is also considering Michigan State, Nebraska, Florida, Washington, Stanford, LSU, Notre Dame, Texas, Florida State, UCLA, Texas A&M and Oregon. Even Idaho State got a mention.

“First I must give glory and praise to my lord and savior Jesus!” Tufono wrote on Twitter. “I would like to thank my family who have supported me all my life. I would like to also thank every coach and program that has given me a chance to play at the next level.”

An early projection in the 247Sports Crystal Ball gives Washington the edge, but with less than a year to go before he puts pen to paper, the race for Tufono’s signature does appear to be wide open.

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Ranked 48th nationally in the 247Sports composite, and third among inside linebackers, it’s easy to see why Tufono is being pursued by so many major programs.

When it comes to USC, it will be interesting to see how the recruitment unfolds. The Trojans aren’t exactly hurting for linebackers having signed six in 2018. That includes highly-rated inside linebackers like Palaie Gaoteote, Solomon Tuliaupupu and Raymond Scott.

At the same time, the Trojans will be losing Cameron Smith to graduation and will see redshirt junior John Houston depart after the 2018 or 2019 season. Another highly-touted linebacker would not be unwelcome.

USC is still in the very early stages of forming the class of 2019. The Trojans have just two commits: offensive tackle Jason Rodriguez and wide receiver Munir McClain. This summer should see those numbers bolstered, but Tufono’s fate will likely be decided further down the line.