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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

JR Tavai to USC

Mira Costa's "Incredible Hulk" has decided where he'll flex his muscles next season.
Defensive lineman J.R. Tavai committed to USC on Thursday after an in-home visit from Trojans defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin.
USC extended a scholarship offer to Tavai in late November, although Tavai said the Trojans had been recruiting him since the summer.
Sitting face-to-face in his home with with a Super Bowl-winning defensive coordinator like Kiffin, however, was all it took to seal the deal.
"I've always liked USC and always respected the success they've had in football," Tavai said. "Plus I love and respect Coach (Monte) Kiffin and (defensive line coach Ed Orgeron)."
Serra defensive end Jason Gibson reportedly committed to California, though the Daily Breeze could not confirm those details on Monday.
The 6-foot-2, 260-pound Tavai, led Mira Costa to a third-straight Bay League title in 2010 with 12 sacks. He also saw time as a ballcarrier, racking up 262 yards and three touchdowns on 52 carries.
"Coach O wants me on D and (running backs coach Kennedy Pola) wants me on O, so we'll see," Tavai said, laughing. "Mira Costa showed me that I can be effective playing both ways, so I'd love to get a chance to do that."
Playing close to home was a key selling point for Tavai.
"USC is like the backyard college right here that my family and I always watched on TV," Tavai said. "So it's very important to me to have my family next to me while I go there and be able to come see my games." Tavai said he hopes USC coaches were impressed by his unrelenting attitude on the football field.
"They told me I had great quickness and give everything to chase down the ballcarrier," Tavai said. "A quote from Coach Kiffin about watching me was that I will not be denied."

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