Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 8/5/12
LOS ANGELES - Fred Matua, a 3-year starting offensive guard at USC who was a starter on the Trojans' 2003 and 2004 national championship football teams, died Sunday morning (Aug. 5) in Los Angeles due to a heart related issue. He was 28. Matua made the 2005 All-Pac-10 second team as a junior after being a 2004 Sophomore All-American first teamer and a 2003 Freshman All-American second teamer as a redshirt freshman. He left USC after his 2005 junior season to enter the 2006 NFL Draft. He was a seventh round pick by the Detroit Lions, but played that season for the Cleveland Browns. He then participated on the practice squads with the Tennessee Titans and Washington Redskins and was in the United Football League. He was a prep All-American two-way lineman at Banning High in Wilmington (Calif.). "It is incredibly sad that Fred has left us at such a young age," said USC head coach Lane Kiffin, who was an assistant at USC during Matua's Trojan career. "Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time. The Trojan Family has lost a true warrior. He brought a defensive lineman's mentality to our offensive line and was a big reason for the success we had on those national championship teams. He was a loud, passionate and feisty player who competed on every play in every practice and every game. He was the heart and soul of those offensive lines." He is survived by his mother and stepfather, his grandmother, a sister and his daughter, Tiamoni, 4. Services are pending.
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