Five-Star Defensive End Matayo Uiagalelei Commits To Oregon

By December 21, 2022 (12:17 pm)Early Signing Period, Football

Ohio State lost out on one of the nation’s top remaining prospects on Wednesday as Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco five-star Matayo Uiagalelei (6-5, 265) signed with Oregon on the opening day of the Early Signing Period.

Uiagalelei is the No. 31 overall prospect and No. 5 defensive end in the class and would have been the second five-star recruit in the cycle for Ohio State, joining Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) American Heritage five-star wide receiver Brandon Inniss (6-0, 190).

Uiagalelei mostly kept his recruitment under wraps, taking official visits to his top three schools over the summer but largely leaving his recruitment in the background as he played through his senior season.

In addition to his visit over the summer, Ohio State head coach Ryan Day made a recent in-home visit to help secure the commitment over Oregon and USC, Uiagalelei’s other finalists, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Ducks. Ohio State was largely viewed as the team to beat for Uiagalelei considering his relationship with defensive line coach Larry Johnson, though late pushes from Oregon and USC left this one a question until the bitter end, with Oregon eventually winning out.

Viewed as one of the top edge rushers in his class, Uiagalelei racked up 47 tackles – 10.5 for loss – and 7.5 sacks this past season for St. John Bosco en route to a state title, and also hauled in five receptions for 53 yards and three touchdowns.

Even with Uiagalelei having signed with Oregon, the Buckeyes still have a grouping on the defensive line that includes Indianapolis (Ind.) Lawrence Central four-star Joshua Mickens (6-5, 225), Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha Catholic four-star Jason Moore (6-6, 255), Dublin (Ohio) Coffman four-star Will Smith Jr. (6-3, 260) and Suwanee (Ga.) North Gwinnett four-star Kayden McDonald (6-3, 310).

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