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#21BuiltStrong: MSU gets HUGE flip-commitment from four-star linebacker Ma’a Gaoteote

Mel Tucker gets a massive prospect from the west side

Ohio State v Michigan State Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images


Mel Tucker just reeled in his first big flip of his MSU tenure, going all the way to Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas to pull four-star linebacker Ma’a Gaoteote out from underneath the University of Southern California.

This one is a stunner for a few reasons. First off, Gaoteote has been committed to the USC since his sophomore year of high school. Second, it immediately makes him the top recruit of the 2021 class as he hails in as the No. 155 overall recruit in the country per the 247Sports composite.

His .9318 rating on the 247Sports composite also makes him the No. 11 outside linebacker prospect in the country and the No. 2 prospect out of Nevada.

This also marks the first the linebacker rated higher than a .9000 in the composite to commit to MSU since Jon Reschke in 2013.

Gaoteote is now the second linebacker in this class, joining Troy flip and three-star linebacker Carson Casteel.

Another nice wrinkle to this news? Well, his brother and former five-star linebacker Palaie Gaoteote put his name in the transfer portal recently, leaving USC. While he’s had injuries throughout his career, there’s no doubt his skill and leadership at that position would be welcomed in Michigan State’s linebacker room.

Is the brother a for-sure transfer? Too early to tell, but for now let’s enjoy this massive flip created by Tucker and Co.