Gerard Martinez

Linebacker Sampson Niu with a big offer from LSU

Sampson Niu (pronounced new) now has more than 20 scholarship offers from schools in the Pac-12, SEC, Mountain West and Ivy League.

San Diego (Calif.) linebacker Sampson Niu doesn’t hide his affinity for USC since being offered a scholarship by the Trojans in March, but since then, several other major college programs have caught his attention. 

Those programs have been stopping by Madison High School the past two weeks to evaluate the 6-foot-1, 210-pound linebacker further. 

“You can’t complain,” said Niu. “The process has been amazing for me. 

“I get three or four coaches a week coming by to see me. It’s cool, and it also opens up opportunities for my teammates to get looked at too. It’s the best of both worlds. 

“Vanderbilt, Wisconsin, Cal, Washington… a bunch of schools have been by.”

That includes an SEC power, which offered Niu a scholarship last Thursday. 

“It was kind of crazy, and hit me by surprise,” said Niu. “Their defensive coordinator hit me up on Twitter. The next thing you know, I get a call on my way home from working out and I’ve got a scholarship from LSU. “

The Tigers don’t recruit the West Coast much, and are rarely seen in San Diego. Yet, LSU’s reputation alone still holds weight for Nui.

“What sticks out is that it’s LSU — SEC,” said Niu. “That in itself is kind of crazy. I’m definitely looking at them.”

While Nui was blindsided by LSU’s scholarship offer, he was also stunned when USC offered him a scholarship after one of the Trojans' spring practices. 

Since then, Nui has been building his relationship with his position coach, Johnny Nansen, and USC head coach Clay Helton.

“We’ve been talking mostly on Twitter,” said Niu. “I mostly talk to Coach Nansen and sometimes Coach Helton. 

“I like everything about USC. That’s my dream school and I really like what Coach Helton is doing with the program. I truly believe what he has going on I want to be a part of.”

While Nui connects with the new USC coaching staff, he also has a connection to USC’s football past. 

Nui wears the No. 55 for Madison, which is a number automatically linked with former USC and San Diego Charger great Junior Seau.

“Junior Seau played with my dad at Oceanside,” said Niu. “That’s why I wear this number. That’s kind of the reason I became a big USC fan.”

But as of now, Nui is nowhere near making a commitment to any school. 

“I’ll narrow it down some time in the summer, but right now, I’m still open,” Niu. “I might have some visits coming up this summer, but right now, I don’t have anything planned.” Top Stories