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Saturday, December 28, 2013
Irish TE commit Luatua wants to see USC

By Mitch Sherman

ORLANDO -- Let the season of indecision begin.

Tyler Luatua (La Mirada, Calif./La Mirada), the No. 1-rated tight end nationally who committed to Notre Dame on Dec. 16, said he’s interested in looking more closely at hometown USC.

Tyler Luatua
TE Tyler Luatua made an impression on and off the field with Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly.
During check in on Saturday for the Under Armour All-America Game, Luatua said he lost interest in the Trojans, who offered him a scholarship two years ago, as the school’s coaching situation appeared uncertain.

USC hired Steve Sarkisian in December, nearly two weeks before Luatua announced his intention to sign with the Fighting Irish.

“With Sarkisian,” Luatua said, “I’m just waiting to see if they come after me.”

Luatua, No. 76 in the ESPN 300, is Notre Dame’s second-highest rated recruit. USC’s 15-member class does not include a tight end.

The opportunity to “stay home with family” makes USC more attractive, Luatua said.

“I’ve got family all over California and Utah,” he said. “It’s hard for them to come out East.”

If possible to arrange, he would like to visit USC with third-ranked athlete John Smith of Long Beach (Calif.) Polytechnic and No. 3 offensive guard Damien Mama of Bellflower (Calif.) Saint John Bosco.

Both are uncommitted. Smith is set to make an official visit to the school on Jan. 17.

Alabama also remains an option, Luatua said. His brother, Isaac, plays guard for the Crimson Tide. Luatua visited Alabama in November and said he stays in touch with secondary coach Greg Brown.