Iowa State Opens Tongan Pipeline, Gets Commitment from Matt Taufoou

I haven't posted much lately, since, well, it's kind of a dead time for Iowa State athletics. However, the Cyclone football staff has worked overtime in securing another commitment at a position of dire need, as JUCO linebacker Matt Taufoou (6-1, 235) of San Mateo Junior College committed to coach Paul Rhoads and staff over the Tennessee Volunteers.

Rivals Profile / Scout Profile / ESPN Profile

Taufoou averaged 6.7 tackles a game for San Mateo last season as a sophomore, as well as forcing two fumbles.

Randy Peterson's blog discusses how the commitment went down, with Taufoou ending up in Ames instead of Knoxville.

“It was between you guys and Tennessee,” San Mateo defensive coordinator Tim Tulloch told me. “Monte Kiffin (Tennessee defensive coordinator) loved him, but Iowa State got in on him first.”

Matt has three older brothers, including Will, a senior fullback last season at California.

"I have a pretty good relationship with coach Rhoads and coach Bleil," San Mateo head coach Larry Owens said of Paul Rhoads and line coach Bill Bleil. "I got an e-mail, asking if I knew of any linebackers, and I told them to look no farther than Matt. I sent them a tape, and the rest is history.

"They fell in love with him right away."

Taufoou also made the Cal JUCO All-American team.

Taufoou fits an area of immediate need for the Cyclones at linebacker, with the graduation of Michael Bibbs and the transfer of Cameron Bell. There's an opportunity for Taufoou to slide right into the starting lineup by the opener. Jesse Smith has the MIKE position secured, with the two other spots being fought for between Fred Garrin, Justin Rumple, Josh Raven, Derec Schmidgall and Taufoou.

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