Scout 300 ATH Malone Mataele Breaks Down His Commitment To Utah

Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.) Santa Margarita athlete Malone Mataele made a surprise commitment on Friday, announcing for Utah.

Utah landed a big commitment on Friday from one of the nation's most versatile athletes when Malone Mataele announced for the Utes. 

"I've been to Utah two or three times and it always just feels right there," Mataele said. "I was just there last week for the spring game with my parents and I knew then that Utah was the place for me. I have a great family feel there, I love the comfort level I have and I think it's just the best overall fit for me."

Mataele has the ability to play on either side of the ball, as a running back or safety but said he was recruited to play on the offensive side of the ball.

"They talked to me about coming in as an athlete but the focus will be at running back," Mataele said. "Coach (Kiel) McDonald (RB coach) is my main recruiter and we have a good relationship. I like the offense a lot and how I fit in there. Utah is known as a power running football team so I think that will fit me well.

"I like the whole coaching staff a lot. I've been able to sit down a few times with Coach (Kyle) Whittingham (head coach) and I like him a lot as well. He's a great guy and a great coach and I'm looking forward to playing for him."

It wasn't a surprise that Mataele chose the Utes as they have been on his short list for some time. The surprise was the timing as he had never indicated in the past his desire to make an early commitment.

"I knew Utah was the best place for me so I figured, why wait and put it off," Mataele said. "I think when you know, you know and I knew Utah was the best school for me. I never really cut my list down or anything and I didn't have a final five. When I was walking off the campus with my parents after the spring game, I decided then that I would be going to Utah.

"I came home and went over all the pros and cons with my parents and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that there wasn't another school I would feel better about. There were a lot of schools I was still talking with, Arizona, Notre Dame, a lot of others but I feel really good about my commitment and my decision. I feel at peace knowing where I'm going to be going to college and happy to have this decision behind me."

The athlete chose the Utes over offers from just about the entire Pac-12 plus schools like BYU, Purdue and Virginia. We'll have a breakdown on what Mataele brings to the table and how he'll fit in at Utah shortly. 

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