Recruit to watch: DL Matt Malele

WeAreSC caught up with Matt Malele, the 6'2, 312 pound defensive tackle from Carson. He gives an updated list of schools he's looking at and talks about a recent Trojan practice he attended.

Considered to be one of the top defensive tackle prospects on the west coast, Malele first burst onto the scene when he started as a sophomore for the Carson Colts and displayed big time skills. He followed that up with a great junior year that saw him pick up 42 tackles and 1 PAT block. He was also awarded All-Area honors that year as an offensive tackle, although he's being recruited exclusively for the defensive line. He's pretty much a prototypical defensive tackle, with the size, tremendous leg drive, and surprising speed (4.91 forty at the USC Nike Camp). Add to all of this the fact that he's already academically qualified and you've got quite a prospect.

Determined not to rest on his laurels, Malele was hard at work this summer working on his game, "I didn't go to any college camps," he explained. "But we've had our two-a-day practices for school for about a month and a half, and I work out with my cousin. He works with our speed training. In the morning, we lift and run, and in the afternoon we do our position fundamentals. The last time I maxed was two weeks ago, I did 415 on bench and 650 on squat."

This came after a very impressive Nike Camp showing at USC. At that camp, Malele was a marked man and came within one vote of MVP honors after going 6-0 in the one-on-one's, "I was hearing that a lot of people wanted to see me at the camp," he explained. "So, I went over there and whoever wanted to come, I went against them." He also put up 26 reps of 185 pounds on the bench, jumped 26.4' on the vertical leap, ran 5.03 on the shuttle, and ran the already mentioned 4.91 in the forty.

Being a local player, Malele took out time to head over to the first Trojan practice to see the new team and check out how some friends were doing, as he explained, "It was really nice to see where SC is at right now, and I went to go see how some of my boys are doing, Hershel [Dennis] and Fred [Matua]. They were looking real nice amongst all those big guys out there. I also talked to Coach Carroll. Basically, he just wanted me to get a feel of the team and practice environment." The Trojans have been a constant on Malele's list of favorites for a few reasons, including a certain assistant coach, "SC is close, the coaching staff is real nice, and I know a lot of people on the team," he said. "And, Coach Orgeron, he's a good coach, he knows what he's doing, and he expects a lot of his players."

In addition to USC, Malele is looking at Tennessee, Oregon, Washington, Stanford, and Notre Dame. He isn't leaning toward any school right now and has offers from each of his favorites. He also plans on taking all of his visits before making a decision and already has an official visit set to Tennessee for the week that they face Miami. Also on that trip will be one of Malele's friends in Junior Lemau'u of Long Beach Poly. Malele does not plan on taking official visits to either of the local schools due to the fact that he's already familiar with them.

Another one of Malele's good friends is A.J. Tuitele from Banning High School, who is verbally committed to Oregon. Although there are rumors that this may have a big impact on his college decision, Malele admitted that it was a positive, but that it's not "too big of a deal." Of greater interest might be that Malele's parents have a definite preference on where he go to school, although he's not sure if that will be any kind of factor, "They want me to go to Stanford," he said. "Basically for the educational opportunities."

At the present time, Malele is pumped for the upcoming season and is looking for his Carson squad to take the city crown, "Our talent level is really high," he said. "It's just if everybody is willing to put the work in. We look real tough to take city though."


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