Utah football has added a commitment for the 2018 class with Malone Mataele, a 6-foot running back prospect from Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., on Friday afternoon, bolstering the future of the backfield for Utah and earning running backs coach Kiel McDonald his first big recruiting get.
He's a four-star Scout and a three-star Rivals recruit who plays both ways for Santa Margarita Catholic. Mataele made his biggest impact as a returner last year, with 711 kick return yards and 1341 all-purpose yards. He also had 31 tackles and five passes defended as a defensive back last year.
Mataele tweeted "COMMITTED. #UBOYZ #GOUTES" with a Utah logo, signifying his commitment. He was not immediately available for The Tribune, but spoke with Scout.com about his decision.
"I knew Utah was the best place for me so I figured, why wait and put it off," Mataele said. "I think when you know, you know and I knew Utah was the best school for me. I never really cut my list down or anything and I didn't have a final five. When I was walking off the campus with my parents after the spring game, I decided then that I would be going to Utah.
"I came home and went over all the pros and cons with my parents and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that there wasn't another school I would feel better about. There were a lot of schools I was still talking with, Arizona, Notre Dame, a lot of others but I feel really good about my commitment and my decision. I feel at peace knowing where I'm going to be going to college and happy to have this decision behind me."
Mataele joins two other high-profile commitments for Utah in the 2018 class, which also includes four-star quarterback Jack Tuttle and three-star lineman Hunter Lotulelei.