Kalil commits to USC

The Trojans of Southern California have gotten off to a fast start with the class of 2007, and found time Monday night to secure a commitment from one of the top juniors in the state, and arguably the nation, for the class of 2008.

Offensive tackle prospect Matt Kalil out of Servite HS (CA.) became the second commitment to SC Monday night for the class of 2008, joining teammate and fellow 2008 commitment DJ Shoemate.

Kalil is the younger brother of current SC center Ryan Kalil, who is widely considered one of the top offensive linemen in the nation. Kalil has been hearing from the Trojans for a while, but was officially offered a scholarship Monday evening.

"It started back at the Stanford Camp. The SC coaches liked me a lot and said that they would be breaking down a lot of film on me. So I ended up calling Coach Kiffin Monday night, and we talked for a bit. He told me how they wanted to bring in more Servite guys, guys who are disciplined and respectful. Then he put Coach Carroll on the phone and he asked me if I wanted to be part of the Trojan family. He told me he was really excited to offer me, and that he would be excited to have me there."

The call was almost surreal to Kalil, who has been dreaming of playing in the Coliseum his whole life.

"I committed right there. They (SC coaches) asked me how I was feeling and I told them I was so excited that my face hurt," said Kalil jokingly.

To Kalil, the decision to commit to SC was a no-brainer. But he felt there were a few factors that played a large role in his commitment.

"I've always liked SC," said Kalil. "The fans there are great and I love the tradition they have over there. I've been to a bunch of practices over there, and everyone is all about competing. I've always wanted to be a part of that, and I don't think there is another program in the nation that can compete with them (SC)."

And while Kalil's decision was made nearly two years before he will step foot at Troy, he is excited to get it over with.

"It was a really big thing for me to get it off my chest and commit early. Now I can really focus on football, and getting after it on the field."

Kalil attributes a good part of his decision to the experiences his older brother Ryan has gone through during his time at SC.

"It's been great watching Ryan go through the program. He just tells me about how competitive the coaches are and how everyone there is all about competition. When I called him after I committed he just told me how proud he was. He has always been a big part of my life and my football career."

Not only did Kalil place a phone call out to his brother, but he also found time to call current Servite teammates and fellow USC commitments Chris Galippo and DJ Shoemate.

"The night I got offered I called up Chris and DJ. We've always talked about playing at the same college together, and it is great that it worked out. We have been playing football together since we were 9 years old, and we want to continue that."

To say the least, Monday was a huge day for the Kalil family, and his parents couldn't be more proud.

"My family was really excited. Everyone was calling the house after and congratulating me. My parents were talking about how they won't have to change clothes now, since they have so much SC stuff."

Although Kalil is only a junior, he racked up quite an impressive list of offers prior to his commitment to USC.

"I had offers from Miami, UCLA, Arizona, Nebraska, Ole Miss, Colorado, and San Diego State. A lot of other schools were recruiting me as well."

While Kalil is fresh off the excitement off his commitment to SC, he is looking forward to one match-up on the field that will place five future Trojans on the same field at once.

"I think it'll be really fun playing against them (Orange Lutheran). I'll be going up against (Michael) Reardon one-on-one, so I'm really going to have to get after it. He is a big strong guy, so I'm going to have my work cut out for me."

Kalil was named an all-state underclass selection as a sophomore, and feels that there are a few aspects of his game that set him apart from the competition.

"Right now, I'm really good at pass blocking and getting to the linebackers. I'm also good at run blocking. The main things I can improve on are my balance and my explosion off the ball."

Kalil had one final message he wished to get across to Trojan fans abroad.

"I just want people to know that I'm going to continue the Kalil tradition at SC. I have a lot of things to live up to, so I'm just going to have to get after it."


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