Alabama's vaunted recruiting class just got a little lighter as Viane Talamaivao, one of the top guard prospects in the country, just flipped his commitment from 'Bama to Southern California.
According to BamaOnLine.com ($), Talamaivao wanted to be closer to his family. He's from Centennial HS in Corona, CA, which is right outside of Riverside in southern California, and his other finalists were UCLA and Washington. So he's a west coast kid and he's staying true to that without having to lose a year of eligibility getting away from Alabama.
This obviously isn't going to break Alabama's recruiting class, but it does create a hole at guard. Alabama's in on Damien Muma, the top-rated guard in the class according to 247Sports.com's composite rankings, at the very least, and Muma has some similarities with Talamaivao. They're both southern Cal natives—Muma's from Bellflower, smack-dab in the middle of the LA conglomerate—and he's a heavy USC lean (91% on 247's Crystal Ball). Like Talamaviao, Muma also visited Alabama two weekends ago, and he recently put Bama on his final list of four schools. There's also third-ranked guard Braden Smith, who has Alabama in his top three, but we'll see how far that goes.
And then after that, there are a lot of committed players, so much so that Alabama's best course of action may be to try to flip one rather than pursuing the uncommitted guards left. And on either front, well, good luck with that.
As for USC, this is a coup, as the Trojans' recruiting class gains its highest-rated player of the year thus far. So it goes when you're working with an interim coach for most of the season, to say nothing of the sanctions currently in place, but if Talamaivao starts a trend of top prospects coming back to the fold (and we'll see if there's still room for Muma in the class with Talamaivao committed) that bodes very well for the Trojans, who have been waiting for good news in recruiting for a while now.