Miami football: PFF names Francisco Mauigoa top transfer LB

Nov 12, 2022; Pullman, Washington, USA; Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 12, 2022; Pullman, Washington, USA; Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports /

Upgrading the talent at linebacker and improving depth at the position is important for the Miami football program during the 2023 offseason. The addition of Washington State linebacker Francisco Mauioga through the transfer portal should significantly help Miami entering the 2023 season.

Pro Football Focus ranked Mauigoa as the best LB available in the transfer portal earlier this month. Mauigoa joins his brother, five-star offensive tackle Francis on the 2023 Miami roster. Mauigoa will compete with Corey Flagg to be the starting middle LB for Miami in 2023. Flagg has been the starting MLB the last two seasons.

In two seasons at Washington State Mauigoa had 77 tackles, six tackles for loss, 3.5 tackles for loss, one interception, two passes defended, three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. At 6’3, 230 pounds Mauigoa gives Miami more size at LB. As a true freshman in 2021, Mauigoa had 17 tackles, with 10 on special teams and 0.5 TFL.

Mauigoa had a breakout 2022 season with 60 tackles, 5.5 TFLs, 3.5 sacks and his sole interception, both passes defended, all three forced fumbles and lone fumble recovery. The only interception for Mauigoa was a pick-six.  The three forced fumble by Mauigoa tied for the lead in the Pac-12.

"1. FRANCISCO MAUIGOA (WASHINGTON STATE COUGARS)As just a true sophomore, Francisco Mauigoa was the Pac-12’s second-highest-graded linebacker, earning a 75.8 mark."

Francisco Mauigoa significantly outperformed his recruiting ranking. Mauigoa was a three-star signee with Washington State in 2021 as the 1283rd ranked player, 142nd LB and 105th prospect in American Samoa. Mauigoa signed with Washington State over Army, Hawaii and Utah State.

Mauigoa finished the season fourth on the team in tackles and third in both sacks and TFLs. He tied for the Pac-12 lead in forced fumbles. A dynamic athlete at the linebacker position, Mauigoa returned an interception 95 yards for a touchdown — the second-longest pick-6 in school history — on Sept. 24 against Oregon.

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Colton Clark of the Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington referred to Mauigoa as “a dynamic athlete at the linebacker position.” The pick-six for Mauigoa was returned 95 yards allowing him to show off his athleticism. Mauigoa will have two seasons of eligibility at Miami.