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  • 2006 USC News
  • He's a sociology major at USC. His uncle is former 3-year (1990-92) letterwinning USC offensive guard Titus Tuiasosopo, while another uncle, Navy Tuiasosopo, played offensive line at Utah State and later with the Los Angeles Rams, another uncle, Mike Tuiasosopo, is the defensive line coach at Arizona (he was a defensive tackle at Pacific Lutheran from 1985 to 1988), and a distant cousin, Manu Tuiasasosopo, was a 3-time All-Conference defensive lineman at UCLA (1976-78) who then played with the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers.

    He made the 2001 Super Prep All-American, Prep Star All-American, Tom Lemming All-American, Super Prep All-Farwest, Prep Star All-Western Region, Long Beach Press-Telegram Best of the Rest, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100, Las Vegas Sun Super 11 honorable mention and Orange County Register Fab 15 second team as a senior two-way lineman at Banning High in Wilmington (Calif.). He missed all but 3 games in 2001 with a broken leg.

    As a junior in 2000, he was named to the All-L.A. City second team, Long Beach Press-Telegram Dream Team first team and All-Marine League first team while getting 75 tackles, including 15 sacks, 5 forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and an interception. Banning won the 2000 L.A. City title.

    Matua was set to start the opener against Auburn at offensive guard (he also was available at center) as a freshman in 2002, his first year at USC. But he sprained his right knee in 2002 fall drills and that kept him out of the lineup against Auburn (he did see backup action in that contest). He then aggravated the injury prior to the Colorado game and missed that contest, returned to see brief action at Kansas State, then had arthroscopic surgery on the knee prior to the Oregon State game and was sidelined the rest of the season. Because of the early-season injury, he was allowed to redshirt. After the season he had hernia surgery.

    Matua started the first 6 games of 2003 at right offensive guard as a redshirt freshman, then backed up John Drake for the next 5 contests (seeing action in each game) before re-entering the starting lineup against Oregon State and Michigan in the Rose Bowl when Drake suffered a season-ending injury against UCLA. He made the 2003 Freshman All-American second team and The Sporting News Pac-10 All-Freshman first team.

    Matua started for his second season at right offensive guard as a sophomore in 2004 and performed solidly. He recovered a fumble following an interception at UCLA. He played most of the season with a tender left ankle and back, both of which he sprained in fall practice. He made the 2004 Sophomore All-American first team.

    Matua, who brings a defensive lineman's mentality to the offensive line, returns for his third season as the starting right offensive guard as a junior in 2005.

    He was drafted on the second day by the National Football League Detroit Lions.



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