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USC impresses Tufono

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Before this weekend, Maninoa Tufono was an under the radar linebacker from Punahou HS in Honolulu. Despite not being a huge name, he managed to gather a collective list of scholarship offers, including offers from a few Pac-12 schools.

But after visiting USC, Tufono will now be known as a big time recruit. That's because he impressed in a camp setting and came away with a scholarship offer from USC.

"I got to participate in the Rising Stars USC camp on Sunday," Tufono told "I got to compete in that and I got the MVP award in that. And then Coach Clay Helton and Coach Johnny Nansen invited me and my brother and my dad to come back today on an unofficial visit. We got to tour the campus, check out the school and then we had a sit down and talked with Coach Helton. And he offered me the scholarship."

The 6-foot-3 and 220-pounder also credits his resume and his approach to life for helping him achieve that scholarship offer.

"They just love my film and they know that I live my life how Coach Helton likes to preach it," Tufono said. "It's always going to be my faith first and always putting God first. And then having my family second and always having football last."

It's clear that the USC staff fell in love with Tufono's ability after seeing him perform in person. It's also clear that Tufono fell in love with what he saw at USC.

"After the visit and the camp and everything, I'm speechless," Tufono said. "I love it. I love the campus. I love everything USC has to offer education wise and football wise. They just set the bar for me and what they have to offer education wise that will set you up for life."

And even before Tufono set foot on campus, he was already high on USC.

"USC has always been one of my dream schools," Tufono said. "That tradition they have and growing up watching Reggie Bush and Troy Polamalu and looking up to all those guys. Rey Maualuga and Su'a Cravens and JuJu Smith-Schuster. That tradition and that family and the Polynesians that went there, there's always been a part of me that's always dreamed of going there."

Just don't expect him to make a commitment anytime soon.

"I'm not ready or even close to making a commitment to any school," Tufono said. "But I really enjoyed and loved what USC had to offer today."

Tufono also doesn't expect to take any other campus visits in the very near future. He says that as of right now, he doesn't have any other visits set.

USC offered Tufono after he stood out at the Rising Stars Camp.
USC offered Tufono after he stood out at the Rising Stars Camp.

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