Matua was a fierce competitor, arriving at USC with an air of uncertainty around him regarding where he would make the best fit; however, once the coaches saw the fire in his belly, they knew they had to have him for the offensive line. He stepped up and made the game his own, bringing with him a defensive attitude and power to every game. He was unapologetic about his personality and seemed to mold it to fit each play.
"I can't change," Matua said. "Same volume every day -- loud. You've got to be loud. It's a street attitude. The way I act is in a defensive manner. Defense was my identity when I came here, that's just me."
The loss of that spirit is hitting the sports world hard today as friends and colleagues offer their thoughts and prayers to Matua's family, including four-year old daughter, Tiamoni.
RIP Fred Matua former college teammate and friend. You gonna be missed bro. Way too early...
RIP to another Polynesian Soldier.FRED MATUA! Sad news.My heart n prayers to the family. #TeamPolyLove
Prayers up to College teammate Fred Matua who passed away this morning. Please pray for his family at this tough time. #trojanforlife
So sad to hear that my friend and teammate Fred Matua has passed. Words just can't describe it. RIP brother! You will be forever missed
RIP to the uso Fred Matua. Keep his family in prayer.
Fred Matua! Love this man taught me how to play guard and also brought that nasty mentality that couldn't be http://t.co/C6YeROGz
My thoughts and prayers go out to the Matua family, we lost a great Trojan today. RIP Fred Matua. #trojanforlife
So saddened to hear about Fred Matua passing away at age 28. Very tough news this morning. #FightOn