VERBAL: Salem's Espitia goes black and orange

ON THE EVE of fall camp, Oregon State has landed a verbal commitment from a 6-3, 210-pounder out of Salem. An exceptional all-around athlete at just about any sport and position he's chosen to play, Junior Espitia in the coming years will be doing his work out on the college gridiron at Oregon State.

Junior Espitia and his mom and dad were in Corvallis on Friday on an unofficial visit. The Beavs had offered on June 15, and Espitia had done all the research he needed to do.

"I went down to the campus for a visit and with my parents there..we sat down with coach (Mike) Riley and coach (Jay) Locey. They told me more about the program and then I just told them I was ready to commit...I like the feel of it, it's family oriented, it's just really comfortable there at Oregon State," he said.

Espitia is a very versatile football player and where he lines up at OSU might not be completely determined until next year's fall camp. He's a rising QB at South Salem High, but he won't play under center in the Pac-12. Chances are that wherever he does line up, he'll have plenty of experience at it, though, as he's bounced around liberally to other positions at South Salem in combination with his QB duties.

"We haven't really talked about it, Oregon State recruited me as an athlete..they've said outside linebacker or fullback or slot receiver (are all possibilities). I don't have a preference, whatever they want me to play," said Espitia.

When they offered, OSU said they liked how he moved and how hard he played, Espitia told BF.C. OSU also said they liked that he was a high character guy, that they'd been watching him for a while and "that they would love for me to be a Beaver."

That's now become reality.

What kind of athlete are the Beavs getting?

Besides starring on the football field, Espitia won the OSAA Class 6A state championship in the javelin this year. His personal best of 204-6 was the best mark in Oregon and 16th-best mark in the nation. He's been a starter in basketball and baseball. But football is where his heart is, he gave up baseball so he could focus on his offseason football workout regimen.

"Every night we go out, he's the best athlete on the field," South Salem head football coach Scott DuFault told the Oregonian this past September. The South Salem staff has debated in the past amongst themselves where he'll end up. "The team's quarterbacks coach thinks Espitia is a scholarship quarterback. The receivers coach said he's a scholarship receiver. The linebackers coach likes his chances at linebacker," read the article.

Espitia held other offers from Idaho and Portland State and said that he was "getting close" to receiving one from Cal but it wouldn't have mattered had the Golden Bears offered, he's Oregon State bound.

"I'm really excited about my decision and my parents are really happy about it, too," he said.

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