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USC adds offensive tackle Saia Mapakaitolo to 2021 recruiting class

Los Angeles Times — By Ryan Kartje Los Angeles Times

May 22-- LOS ANGELES_In February, at the end of a frustrating recruiting cycle, USC announced a small class of 13 commitments for 2020 that would universally rank among its most disappointing in recent history.

Three months later, with its recruiting operation rebuilt, USC added its 13th commitment to its 2021 class, as three-star Mission Hills Bishop Alemany offensive tackle Saia Mapakaitolo committed on Friday.

Mapakaitolo is the third offensive lineman to commit in the class, as the Trojans aim to fortify their future up front. USC signed six offensive linemen in its 2020 class, just as left tackle Austin Jackson declared for the draft and right tackle Drew Richmond exhausted his eligibility. Eight of those nine linemen are considered three-star recruits, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.

The 6-foot-5, 280-pound Mapakaitolo is the lowest-rated recruit to commit so far in USC's 2021 class, according to 247Sports. Mapakaitolo's cousin, four-star linebacker Niuafe Tuihalamaka, is the only player committed to the Trojans in the 2022 class.

Mapakaitolo and Tuihalamaka could play a role in helping persuade other USC targets at Bishop Alemany, a group highlighted by four-star quarterback Miller Moss.

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