The USC Trojans recruiting efforts during the global COVID-19 pandemic have been nothing less than outstanding. Talk about making the best of a bad situation, head coach Clay Helton and Co. have made a truly terrible situation into almost a record-breaking set of commitments.
This past weekend, they received commitment No. 13 for the class of 2021 and the ninth commitment since the coronavirus pandemic shut down sports across the country.
Saia Mapakaitolo, an offensive tackle from Bishop Alemany High School in Mission Hills was that 13th commitment, pulling the trigger on his decision on Twitter.
COMMITTED✌ ✌ pic.twitter.com/eRk1zL8bgs— Saia (@curlyheadtsaia) May 22, 2020
He held offers from several Pac-12 schools including Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon State and others, but chose YOUR USC Trojans as the third offensive tackle commit of the class.
He’s a 6’5, 280-pounder who has let his play do the talking, ranking as a top-50 tackle prospect for his class. Mapakaitolo grew up a USC fan, and according to 247Sports, this race was all but over for his services when he received his scholarship offer earlier this year.
Still, Helton and his staff kept the pressure on him and secured his decision to keep firm grasp of their fifth-ranked recruiting class nationally. They’re the clear leaders in the race for best class in the Pac-12 and have the next recruiting class outnumbered by at least five commitments as the Oregon Ducks have just eight players committed for the class of 2021.
He joins Mason Murphy and Maximus Gibbs as tackle prospects committed to the Trojans for 2021.
Welcome to Trojan Nation, Saia! Fight On!