San Diego (Calif.) Mt. Carmel three-star outside linebacker Andrew Mata’afa has committed to the Utah Utes tonight on his birthday. He is the cousin of the Washington State Cougars defensive lineman Hercules Mata’afa, a first-team All-Pac-12 performer as a redshirt junior. Mata’afa held offers from Oregon State, Vanderbilt, and Washington State among others.
Mata’afa, like his cousin, is a terror for opposing offenses. At 6’ 3”, 200 pounds, he is quick off the edge and has great instincts. He always seems to be around the football making plays. In high school, he played on offense and defense, and it is clear he loves to hit people. He suffered a knee injury at USC’s Rising Stars Camp in the spring that caused him to miss his entire senior season. Had the injury not occurred, I would not be surprised if Mata’afa would have been even more highly recruited and possibly been a four-star recruit. He was getting rave reviews from scouts based on his play in the spring camp circuit prior to his injury (you can read more on all this in this Scout.com article).
I am excited to see Mata’afa play in Utah’s defense. I think he has the skills necessary to be a great player for Utah. My biggest question is what position he will play. His cousin Hercules came to Washington State with a similar build (6’ 3”, 225) though slightly heavier. Mata’afa could be a great pass rushing linebacker for Utah, or I wonder if he can add enough good weight and slide down to the defensive line
Here are Mata’afa’s junior Hudl.com highlights