Phoenix (Ariz.) four-star safety Isaiah Pola-Mao has strong connections to USC, but has yet to connect with the current USC coaching staff.
With his height and length, the 6-foot-4, 196-pound safety fits the mold of what USC has been targeting at defensive back under new defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast.
“They offered me as a safety, but I think if I grow, I could drop down to outside linebacker,” said Pola Mao. “But after they came to the school, they haven’t really been talking to me a lot.
“I think the last time I spoke to USC was when the defensive coordinator (Clancy Pendergast) came to my school. He’s brand new I guess, so yeah it’s been a while since I’ve talk to them.
“They’re sending a lot of mail, but they’re not pressing as hard as I would want them to. But you don’t always get what you want.”
As it turns out, Pola Mao has multiple ties to USC.
“It’s a family school,” said Pola Mao. “I’ve had a lot of family go through there and I just love USC, pretty much.
“It’s always been USC, USC.”
Pola Mao is a USC legacy or sorts. His uncle, Kennedy Polamalu played and coached at USC before more recently being hired by Jim Mora at UCLA. His other uncle, Troy Polamalu, was an All-American at USC before becoming Pro Bowl safety with the Pittsburg Steelers.
Hypothetically, if USC was to increase communication with Pola Mao, the Trojans coached potentially soar to the top of his list of college options.
“Oh definitely, they’re really high up,” said Pola Mao. “Like I said before, they’re not really pressing that hard, but I definitely want to take a visit there.
“Right now, I’d say Arizona State and Washington are recruiting me the hardest.”
While Arizona State, Washington and USC have all put themselves in a good position to receive official visit from Pola Mao, he has yet to set dates with any schools officially.
“I’m not quite there yet,” said Pola Mao. “It’s coming up soon. I think I’m keeping it open for now. Everybody is doing a great job recruiting me, so I’m good.”
However, Pola Mao admits that family is a factor that the Sun Devils and Huskies have used in a positive way to lure him.
“I just feel like ASU and Washington are doing the best job connecting to me through my family,” said Pola Mao. “It’s a big thing to me.
“Being Samoan and having some of the coaching that are recruiting me being Samoan is a great thing.”
Pola Mao was a stand out at The Opening Finals passing tournament with two interceptions in pool play. One of those interceptions was a pick six.
“I could ask for anything better,” said Pola Mao. “Being able to compete against some of the nation was great. After The Opening, I’m settling down and just getting ready for the season.”