Malone Mataele (Brandon Huffman)

4-star ATH Malone Mataele Has UCLA On Short List

Mar. 22 -- Santa Margarita (Calif.) four-star athlete Malone Mataele has a few Pac-12 schools standing out to him, including UCLA...

Santa Margarita (Calif.) athlete Malone Mataele is in double-digits when it comes to offers, Arizona State the most recent school to offer Mataele, doing so on Monday.

And the four-star has high interest in the Pac-12, with four other schools from the conference standing out to him early on.

"The ones standing out to me are StanfordUCLAArizona and Washington State," said Mataele.

Stanford signed former Santa Margarita quarterback K.J. Costello just before Mataele transferred in, and while they didn't play together, Mataele said Costello has talked up the Stanford program.

"I've talked with K.J. a lot and he really has broken down to me what to expect and a little bit more about the coaches," said Mataele.  "Coach (Duane) Akina and Coach (Mike) Bloomgren are the coaches recruiting me at Stanford. With Stanford, it's not just about what you do as a football player but how you do in the classroom and that offered showed my hard work in the classroom paid off."

UCLA was one of his earlier Pac-12 offers and they too see Mataele as an athlete.

"Coach Meat (Demetrice Martin) offered me in December and they're recruiting me as an athlete and think I can help them on both sides of the ball," said Mataele.  "I like that UCLA is a local school and close to home.  I'm going to go up there when they start spring practice and spend more time with the coaches and see how they'd want to use me."

Washington State got involved early for Mataele.

"Washington State is recruiting me as an athlete but they like me a little more for offense," said Mataele.  "Coach (David) Nichol is recruiting me for Washington State."

New Arizona linebackers coach Scott Boone is recruiting Mataele for the Wildcats.

"I've been talking mostly with Coach Boone at Arizona and he seems like a really cool guy," said Mataele.  "Arizona likes me as an athlete too."

The versatile Mataele is hearing a number of positions when he talks to coaches.

"I'm pretty much being recruited as an athlete," said Mataele.  "Its a little bit of defense and a little bit of offense.  Some are recruiting me as a running back or a slot.  Some are recruiting me as a cornerback or a nickel."

Mataele said he's open to either side, even if his heart is on offense.

"I just feel a lot more natural on offense," said Mataele.  "I put a heavy emphasis on offense but I'll go play whatever coaches ask me to play."

Mataele said there is no reason for him to rush a decision.

"I won't decide until after my senior year," said Mataele.  "I'm going to take my time and take my official visits before I decide."

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