One of the nation’s top inside linebacker recruits has pledged his future to USC.
Maninoa Tufano, a top-10 inside linebacker recruit and top-three prospect from the state of Hawaii, committed to USC on Monday. He announced his decision via a video released on Twitter by Logan Latevi. Tufano picked the Trojans ahead of fellow finalists, LSU, Texas, UCLA and Washington.
“The big thing about my decision is that it’s based off where my heart was,” Tufono told 247Sports. “I had a feeling about the school for a long time. I’ve been talking with my family about it and praying about it, and God kept pointing me to USC.
“All five of the schools that I narrowed my choice down to were a good fit for me. USC covered all the bases and was the best fit for me overall. And then the biggest thing for me above all was the fact that I can get a great education.”
247Sports also claimed both USC’s defensive scheme and the strong base of players of Polynesian descent both played a role in his final decision.
Whatever the full composite of his decision, Tufono will be a huge addition to USC’s Class of 2019. The 6-foot-3, 225-pound linebacker is a Polynesian Bowl commit and an enormously athletic leader in the defense. He also suits up for the Punahou basketball team, and has the size and athleticism to contribute early in his USC career.
That’s all assuming he does end up on the USC side of Los Angeles. There’s still plenty of time for him to change his mind, though that doesn’t seem to be on the cards.
“I am going to talk about every option with my family and, after this decision, we’ll decide if we’re just going to take that one official or if we’ll also take a few others,” Tufono said. “I haven’t really decided when I’m going to sign. It could be during the early period in December or, if we play it safe, probably just sign in February.”