On May 7, AllTrojans reported that according to Matt Zenitz of AlDot.com, USC linebacker Palaie Gaoteote was planning on departing USC for Steve Sarkisian's Texas Longhorns.
Read More: USC Bids Farewell to Star Linebacker
However, per Sports Illustrated's Longhorns Country, the dynamic linebacker might be headed to the midwest.
Publisher Matt Galatzan writes,
"The pursuit of Gaoteote may have hit a major roadblock in recent days, when, per a report from Horns247's Mike Roach, the Ohio State Buckeyes became involved in his recruitment.
With the Buckeyes now involved, the Longhorns, per Roach are not only no longer considered the runaway favorites for the linebacker's services, but likely seen as the underdog's in the pursuit behind the defending Big 10 champions."
The 6'2", 250-pound defender is known for his high-impact tackles. In his career at USC he has totaled 105 tackles, including 7.5 for losses for 21 yards (with two sacks for minus 11 yards). He has appeared in 20 games, with 14 starts.
Gaoteote's 2020 season got off to a frustrating start. After starting in USC's first two games, he was forced to miss the rest of USC's season due to laceration across his head which he acquired against Arizona. Gaoteote entered concussion protocol after the injury and was sidelined for the remainder of the season.
Gaoteote, who entered the NCAA transfer portal in December has two years of eligibility remaining.
If he does indeed join the Longhorns, he would become the fifth linebacker transfer Texas has gained since former USC head coach Steve Sarkisian took over the program. However, it seems the Longhorns are no longer a lock to land the Las Vegas native.
Do you think Texas or Ohio State will land the USC linebacker? Comment and join in on the discussion below!
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