Where are Cougs with 3-star prospect Maloata?

THE COUGARS HAVE 26 known verbal commitments -- but additional crimson targets in the 2014 class are still in play. One of them is Austin Maloata, the 6-3, 248-pound defenseman out of Centennial High in Corona, Calif., by way of American Samoa. The Cougs were in his living room this week.

It's been awhile since Austin Maloata tripped to Pullman (Nov. 23) but that visit still resonates.

"Absolutely, I can see myself up there with all the Polynesian brothers up there and Coach Joe (Salave'a)," said Maloata.

WSU assistants Joe Salave'a and Ken Wilson had an in-home with Maloata on Sunday night.

"My latest visit was from Washington State, it was great with Coach Joe and Coach Ken," said Maloata. "We just talked about what they had to offer and everything was great… we talked about them moving on to greater things… about how the defense at Washington State is moving up and about (academics).

"The one thing I liked about Washington State was the atmosphere up there, and how they were all on the same page as I was," said Maloata.

Maloata, who prior to his senior season was at Leone High in Pago Pago, said ASU is scheduled to come by later this week for an in-home.

MALOATA CONTINUES TO say he'll make his decision on Signing Day and that he's open to a great many schools. In reading between the lines, it sounds like Washington State and Arizona State are the primary contenders, with Oregon (no offer) just recently beginning to lurk.

The one-time USC commit parted ways with the Trojans after the new coaching staff came on board and Maloata said he knows time is getting short – he plans on sitting down soon with his family and hashing things out.

"It was a pretty good process to going through the USC thing and just in coming from Samoa… I'm trying to stay humble and at the same time see which school fits best for me the next four years… I'll talk soon with all my brothers and sisters… my uncles, my aunties, my dad and we'll see what we're thinking," said Maloata.

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