The mailman in Isaac Slade-Matautia’s neighborhood is getting a workout.
Colorado and Central Florida made football scholarship offers to the Saint Louis junior on Monday. That increases the standout linebacker’s offer total to seven: Arizona, Arizona State, Nebraska, Washington, Washington State along with CU and UCF.
“It’s nice to know that his hard work and our family’s sacrifices are starting to pay off,” said Julia Pulu, his mother. “You’ve got to sacrifice as a family to get him into great programs with awesome training. It’s helping him get to the next level.”
Slade-Matautia just completed a busy basketball season for one of the state’s top teams. He also participated in the Nike Opening in Los Angeles two weeks ago.
Slade-Matautia is an AP Honors student at Saint Louis, already an NCAA qualifier. That’s one reason why the offer list will continue to grow. So will his opportunities to get exposure.
“It’s usually six days a week for training,” Pulu said. “The only time he will do seven days in a week is maybe for a clinic or a camp on a Sunday if it doesn’t interfere with his school work.”
At 6-foot-1, Slade-Matautia began football season last fall at 225 to 230 pounds, Pulu said. By the end of basketball season, he was much, much lighter.
“In basketball, he dropped a lot of weight. Preparing for the Nike Opening, he was chasing back up to 200. He got up to 205,” she said.
Slade-Matautia was a linebacker with coverage speed and skills last fall. How he projects at the next level is intriguing. He could be a classic rover defender, someone who can play defensive back and linebacker. On the basketball court, his instincts, intelligence, speed and aggression made him one of the most dangerous defenders on the court.
His basketball days, however, are done.
“Next year,” Pulu said, “we’re just going to focus on football.”