Riley's in-home, push for sought RB/LB

MIKE RILEY AND linebackers coach Trent Bray had an in-home this week with Devante Downs, a sought linebacker/running back prospect out of Mountlake Terrace, Wash. Here's what he had to say about Oregon State, recruiting, his timetable and more..

If Devante Downs (6-3, 230) were to flip from Cal to Oregon State, it sounds like the Beavs would want to use him in a similar way to how UCLA used Myles Jack this season.

"At Oregon State, they talked about linebacker and then some packages to play running back," said Downs about his in-home this week with Mike Riley and Bray.

Downs took an official visit to Oregon State last month.

"Basically during (the in-home) they were talking everything about the visit, and they talked a lot with my parents... that's a good lifestyle they have on campus… and a good coaching staff," said Downs.

Downs also mentioned some other topics the Beavs covered during the in-home: the longevity of the coaching staff, that the Beavers are the third winningest program in the Pac-12 since 2000, have been to 10 bowls since 1999 (also third most) and that Oregon State's home record of 61-24 this century at Reser is third best in the Pac- 12.

Downs is listed as a three-star fullback prospect by but everyone is recruiting him as a linebacker or running back.

OREGON STATE ALSO talked about the Pharmacy program in Corvallis, which is a key selling point to Downs.

But the Beavs and everyone else have ground to make up. Downs is a soft verbal at Cal. And after in-homes this week from OSU, WSU and Cal, plus strong interest from ASU, who will come by next week, Cal still remains in the driver's seat.

"Knowing what I know now, Cal is where I'll end up," said Downs. Downs qualified that a bit by saying he still has more to learn about other schools, and so things could still change.

"As I learn more about these schools, it is increasing my interest in them," he said.

But the time frame for that is short.

Downs has one more official visit scheduled for Dec. 13 to WSU and a decision could come not too long after that.

Downs said he will graduate from Mountlake Terrace this month, and then embark on his college career and enroll early in January.

DOWNS RACKED UP a ton of offers this recruiting cycle, with most of the Pac-12 jumping on board.

The reason you haven't heard much about him is because, as the Seattle Times and other newspapers reported, he injured his knee in June and sat out his senior season. But Downs says he'll be back to 100 percent soon.

The fact that four Pac-12 schools are coming after him as strongly as they are this first week in December, as the in-homes begin, is a solid indicator his stock is as high as ever.

As a junior, Downs racked up 17 tackles-for-loss with six sacks. He also added 1,270 ground yards with 23 touchdowns.

JUNIOR highlight reel

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