Line prospect pledges elsewhere

Arizona made a last ditched effort to land big lineman Tavita Thompson. The former Colorado commit made final visits to Tucson and Corvallis and of all things weather played part of the difference. Weather being a factor in recruiting, Arizona had to win out right? Not so fast…

Tavita Thompson, a 6-foot-5, 290-pound lineman from Honolulu (Hawaii) Saint Louis, has verbally committed to Oregon State and will sign with the Beavers Wednesday, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin said Tuesday.

Thompson had verbally committed to Colorado, but backed out and looked farther west. Thompson indicated that the recent sex scandal was a major factor in Thompson dropping the Wildcats. Utah and Arizona were also possibilities, but in the end the Beavers won out over the Wildcats.

"The family sat down and decided it was a better fit at Oregon State," Crusader assistant coach Skip Akina told the Star-Bulletin. "It's a lot easier for them to travel and see him play, and it's a Pac-10 school, which gets a lot more TV attention here (than the Big 12)."

So what about the weather? Could weather have actually benefited the Beavers? It sure seems that way.

"Arizona has nicer facilities but I am not too sure about practicing in 110-degree weather in the summer. I like the weather better in Oregon."

Thompson is an intriguing line prospect who has the ability to on play on either side of the ball. The Cats wanted him on defense but he believes his future is on offense, which could have been a major factor in choosing the Beavers.

"A lot of people tell me that in the long run I will be an offensive tackle," Thompson said.

This leaves the Wildcats with four players to fill four open scholarships. It looks like the only players the Cats are really pursuing are four linemen, offensive linemen Terrence Apted and Jeremy Perry, and defensive linemen Byron Smith and Shannon Tevaga.

Brad Allis contributed to this story.

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