Not So Fast: Michigan Target Stays Out West

It looked like things were trending in the right direction for Michigan to land another massive defensive tackle from the transfer portal.
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Just as it looked like Michigan was set to add another massive defensive tackle from the transfer portal, true freshman Jay Toia announced that he would be remaining home in the state of California.

The 6-2, 315-pound true freshman announced that he would be transferring from USC in a tweet posted on Memorial Day.  The news came as a bit of a shock to USC, especially when considering the fact that Toia - a member of the 2021 recruiting class - spent only one semester with the Trojans before entering his name into the portal.

In fact, Toia had such a good spring camp with USC that he was a legitimate threat to earn a starting position in his first season with the Trojans.

"The other guy that really stood out to me was Jay Toia and just how far he has come from day one. I wish everybody could have seen him day one, when he stepped on campus compared to where he is at right now. It is literally night and day," said USC head coach Clay Helton during camp. "But he is somebody that you know, when he is put in a competitive drill or live drill, you're talking about off the field is the sweetest human being you'll ever meet. I don't know who he becomes, when it's a competitive situation. He is a different person and it's been really neat to see how talented he is but also the unbelievable sense of urgency that guy has to help this team next year."

Though Toia was clearly making a great impression with the folks at USC, he felt that the COVID-19 pandemic prevented him from fully exploring his options at the collegiate level.

"For me and especially my parents we felt forced to make a major decision signing with USC based on limited information based on COVD-19 restrictions," he wrote. "We were not able to to take any official visits to any of the other schools on our short list such as Michigan, Utah, UCLA and Miami among others."

After taking his official visit to Michigan on Saturday, it seemed like it was only a matter of time before Toia announced that he would be committing to the University of Michigan.  

That obviously didn't happen.  

Adding insult to injury, the UCLA graphics team apparently used Toia's photoshoot from his Michigan visit to announce his commitment to UCLA.