HawgBeat - Georgia 4-star DE Mataio Soli Signs Arkansas NLI
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Georgia 4-star DE Mataio Soli Signs Arkansas NLI

Name: Mataio Soli

Position: Defensive end

School: Douglasville (Ga.) Douglas County

Height: 6-4 | Weight: 230

Committed: June 9, 2018

Rivals: 5.8 four-star, No. 22 DE

Other offers: Alabama, Appalachian State, Auburn, Cal, Clemson, Duke, FAU, Florida, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, Oregon, Pitt, Rutgers, South Florida, Stanford, Syracuse, Troy, Utah, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Wake Forest, Western Kentucky, Wisconsin

Recruiting Battle: Mataio Soli was one of the most heavily recruited 2019 commits but as an Arkansas legacy, he was pretty much required to give the Hogs a fair shot. It was a three-way battle between Arkansas, Florida and Auburn and while his family was very intent on letting Soli choose wherever his heart led him, after an official visit to Arkansas, the family environment and his bond with current players on the team won him over.

2018 stats: 84 tackles (60 solo), 29 TFL, 22.5 sacks, 4 QBH, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery

Notable: Finalist for the Mr. Georgia Football award presented by the Atlanta Touchdown Club … Son of former Arkansas second-team All-SEC nose guard Junior Soli, who was selected by the San Diego Chargers in the fifth round of the 1996 NFL Draft

Quotable: “I started watching football when I was about six years old and I’d say Arkansas was my favorite team. My dad told me that’s who he played for and when you are a little kid, you want to be just like your dad. We were always rooting for Arkansas.” - Mataio Soli

Coach Speak: “The thing I like about Mataio is he understands that he still has work to do and he’s trying to fine-tune the specifics of the position, trying to get his fundamentals as well-rounded as possible. … He’s definitely a leader. He’s very energetic and his did not only was a great football player, but his did is an unbelievable coach. As long as he listens to his dad, the sky is the limit for him.” - Douglas County head coach Johnny White

Scouting Report: “Absolute wrecking ball of a defensive end. Sheds blocks like they are an afterthought and punches with ferocity to keep linemen off balance. Incredibly high IQ, stunts and swims around blocks frequently, not to mention he recorded not one, but two interceptions in this film, one of which he returned for a touchdown. Needs to add weight, but if he can maintain that explosion through the weight gain, we might be talking about him as the most disruptive defender of this entire class. Makes a living in the opposing backfield.” - HawgBeat contributor Jacob Carmichael

Take me to HawgBeat Early Signing Day Central!