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Arizona football recruiting: 3-star athlete Malone Mataele has high interest in Wildcats

Tucson is on Malone Mataele’s radar

Student Sports | Malone Mataele at the 2016 Nike Football The Opening Regional Los Angeles.

Over the last two recruiting cycles, the Arizona Wildcats have been looking for more and more athleticism. They have done a decent job filling that need but every team needs more.

Malone Mataele has what the ‘Cats are looking for.

The 5-foot-11, 170 pound athlete from Santa Margarita Catholic (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA) is a playmaker in all aspects of the game. Whether it’s in the secondary, running back, or on special teams, he is a force.

As far as his recruitment goes, it looks like it will pick up in the future.

“I have ten right now,” Mataele said on how many offers he holds. “Stanford, UCLA, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, Colorado State, Hawaii, BYU, Virginia, and Washington State. (I feel) Oregon, California, and Alabama are the next closest to offering.”

“Pretty much all the schools are recruiting me as an athlete,” he added. This includes the Wildcats.

When it comes to visits, Mataele has not taken any yet, but he will have a busy spring and summer.

“I plan on sitting down with my parents and making a plan,” he explained. “I want to visit all of the schools this spring and summer.”

As for communication with Arizona’s staff:

“I mainly talk to Coach (Scott) Boone,” Mataele stated. Boone is Mataele’s lead recruiter.

The interest that Arizona has in Mataele is reciprocated as well.

“(I have) a lot of interest in Arizona because of the opportunity that the coaches on staff would give me from a playing standpoint if I do end up going to Arizona.”

Mataele also knows a few players currently on the Wildcats’ roster. They are former teammates of his or players he played against when he was at Orange Lutheran (Orange, CA) as a freshman and sophomore. J.J. Taylor is one player he singled out and rightfully so.

“(Taylor) was always that guy,” Mataele joked.

This weekend, he will be participating in the Under Armour All-American Camp in Mission Viejo, CA as a running back. Also of note, he committed to play in the 2018 Polynesian Bowl in Hawaii.

Mataele finished his junior season with the Eagles with 45 carries for 245 yards and five touchdowns on the ground while procuring 106 yards and a touchdown on nine catches through the air. On defense, he finished with 31 tackles, 5 PBUs, and a quarterback hurry.

His junior highlights are below.