The offers are starting to come in for T.J. Mauga.
The junior Greenwave defensive end, who secured the game-ending fumble in the state championship against Moapa Valley in November, received verbal offers from Louisville and Nevada, according to Fallon coach Brooke Hill.
Although verbal offers are not binding, it marks the beginning of Mauga seeing Division I schools show interest by leading into his senior season when he puts on the helmet and pads this summer.
“He got an offer but he’s not made any commitment yet, not even a verbal,” Hill said. “Most kids have this opportunity to let them pile up.”
Mauga’s older brother, Josh, a starting linebacker for the Chiefs, went through a similar experience during his time with the Greenwave. Josh Mauga received offers from Pac-12 schools as well as Nevada and Fresno State when both competed against each other in the Western Athletic Conference. Mauga ultimately chose the Wolf Pack where he had a strong career, despite a couple nagging injuries that were minor setbacks.
The Nevada offer is also the first verbal offer for a Greenwave player since Josh Mauga received multiple offers.
“There’s others that will be coming in shortly with the year he had,” Hill said of the younger Mauga. “It’ll probably just open up real soon for him. His lineage doesn’t hurt with his brother in the NFL.”
With Nevada, ex-Fallon coach Chris Klenakis helped in recruiting the older Mauga last decade and is back at it again with T.J. Mauga. Klenakis is an assistant coach with Louisville, which competes in the ACC.
“That played a role and being a Fallon guy,” said Hill, who quarterback for Klenakis’ teams in the 1980s. “He obviously thinks a lot about this town. Knowing him and having some connection, we’re going to do whatever we can to get our players to the best possible place we can.”
All Mauga can do is let the offers pile up as more schools begin to show strong interest in the Greenwave star.
“He right now is very grateful and excited he’s getting these offers,” Hill said. “He knows it’s a process and will let the process play out. It’s good to have a brother who’s gone through this.”