Pointe Made: Pola-Mao Picks USC

The football bloodlines run deep with the Pola-Mao family and USC so it didn’t surprise many when Mountain Pointe High School four-star safety Isaiah Pola-Mao made it official early Friday morning committing to play for the Trojans in front of an overflow crowd at the school gym lobby in Ahwatukee.

The 6-foot-4 rangy athlete picked USC over ASU and Washington. Pola-Mao’s uncle is former SC and Pittsburgh Steelers star safety Troy Polamalu. The two share a unique bond. His dad played football at San Diego State.

Pola-Mao said his official visit to SC helped solidify his decision, as well the close bond he built with the head Trojan.

“The biggest thing to me was [head] coach [Clay] Helton,” Pola-Moa said moments after his announcement. “He was really genuine and he showed me love from the heart. He treated me just like he treated his wife and his sons. I really love that man.”

The three-year varsity ball-hawk had a jaw-dropping 10 interceptions last fall for the Pride. He also had 198 tackles the past two seasons, including an even 100 last fall. Pola-Mao was also MP’s second-leading receiver (646 yards) and caught a team-high nine touchdowns for the state semi-finalists.

He was a bit taken back by the support and turn out as his classmates stood in support just feet from the podium and even gathered from the lockers one floor above as Pola-Mao took the podium.

“It’s insane, I did not expect that many people from Mountain Pointe,“ Pola-Mao explained with a wide smile. “It just shows how much I mean to them and I really appreciate it.”

Pola-Mao is the number two-rated player in the state behind five-star North Canyon offensive tackle Austin Jackson who the Trojans are also courting.

Jackson will announce his college destination Wednesday morning on signing day at North Canyon. His final three (USC, ASU, Washington) mirror Pola-Mao’s.