Stockton (Calif.) St. Mary's defensive tackle Popo Aumavae (6-4, 305), got a chance to hit the road this month to check out the two Los Angeles schools.
The four-star started out the day checking out UCLA for a spring practice, and he'll return again this spring for a full campus tour.
"We got down there early that morning but we hit some traffic so we were rushed a little so we only got to watch the practice," said Aumavae. "I was right next to Coach Angus (McClure) the whole time."
Aumavae said the Bruin practices looked and felt familiar to him.
"I love the way they have everything set up, it's really cool the way everything is run," said Aumavae. "It reminds me of practices at St. Mary's, where they start with team warmups and then go from there. I liked the whole vibe there."
Aumavae also got to talk with offensive line coach Adrian Klemm and strength coach Sal Alosi.
"We got to talk with Coach Alosi for a bit and then I got to say hi and talk with Coach Klemm," said Aumavae. "But it was mostly Coach Angus I was with the whole time. He's the one recruiting me and we have a real good relationship."
While the Bruins had previously offered Aumavae during the season, the trip to USC landed him an offer from the Trojans.
"I went to USC and took a tour and they offered me in person," said Aumavae. "Coach (Clay) Helton himself offered me and that was pretty exciting."
Aumavae said he had a good idea an offer was in the works, but was still a bit surprised it came that day.
"I could kind of feel a connection when me and Coach KU (Kenechi Udeze, USC's defensive line coach) were talking," said Aumavae. "I wasn't really expecting it but it was pretty cool."
USC offered Aumavae primarily as a defensive lineman but they like him on both sides of the ball.
"They offered me as a defensive lineman but they also said I could choose whatever position I wanted to play if I go there," said Aumavae. "Coach Helton and I talked for a while and he said his dad was an offensive line coach and always said play the position where you're happy. I also talked with Coach (Neil) Callaway and he's a great guy. I really liked him."
Aumavae was impressed by the USC facilities and campus.
"It was really nice and I wasn't expecting it to be that nice," said Aumavae. "I saw their facilities and was really impressed."
"I'm going to the Oregon spring game and then they're going to have me do an unofficial visit the next day," said Aumavae. "If we have time, my dad said we'll go check out Oregon State."
With the USC offer, Aumavae now has offers from 11 of the 12 schools in the Pac-12, Stanford the only one he hasn't received from the conference.
But it's a Big Ten school that Aumavae said has been on him the hardest.
"Pretty much from all of the schools that have offered me, Michigan has been recruiting me the hardest," said Aumavae. "They really like me and I'm hoping to get out there for a visit and definitely an official visit."
Next month, Aumavae will be at The Opening Oakland, his first camp of the spring.