Isaac Slade-Matautia isn’t like the rest of Oregon’s linebacking corps in the fact that he wasn’t a highly-rated blue-chip player in high school. He was a fringe four-star guy and he was the second-best prospect from the state of Hawaii in his class, but he didn’t have the All-American hype that some guys like Noah Sewell or Justin Flowe had.
But Slade-Matautia still played right away and had an impact from his freshman year on. He played in seven games as a freshman, recording 20 tackles, two tackles for loss, and a pass breakup.
All he did was get better as a sophomore with 62 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, and 10 pass breakups. He got better against the pass and became one of the better downhill linebackers, getting into the backfield and causing problems for opposing offenses.
In a shortened junior year, he still proved to be one of the better linebackers in the Pac-12, earning honorable mention all-conference honors after recording 49 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, a sack, and five pass breakups in just seven games. He would have smashed his previous career-highs had the season not been shortened due to COVID-19.
Slade-Matautia looks like a Day 3 pick right now but he could improve that stock with an even better final season in Eugene.