Westview High School in Portland hasn't always been a hot spot for finding future college football players. But that appears to be changing, thanks in large part to a budding star at defensive tackle and a fresh coaching staff.
Former Oregon State Beaver defensive lineman, Ryan Atkinson, was named the head coach at Westview in 2015 and he quickly built a staff that includes other former Beaver athletes Alex Linnenkohl, James Dockery and Matt Davis. With a strong staff surrounding him, Coach Atkinson has done well in developing athletes for the next level. None more so than three-star defensive tackle, Brandon Pili.
Pili moved to the Portland area earlier this summer from Anchorage, Alaska and the 6'4" 295-pounder has made the most of the new exposure. In his first game at Westview in early September, all he did was get everyone to take notice of his play; including Beavers' Head Coach Gary Andersen, who had originally been there to watch his two committed players on the opposing team, David Morris and Josh Bowcutt of Sherwood. Pili's 13 tackle, 2 sack and 2 fumble recoveries were enough to earn an offer on the spot from Coach Andersen.
Pili has since gone on to receive offers from several programs, Colorado, Hawaii and Southern California and, his latest, Central Florida. "I haven't been offered by Washington yet (after taking an unofficial to Montlake last month), but I was just offered by UCF. I think all the schools are currently recruiting me pretty equally too." The humble linemen continued, "All the schools that have offered are stand outs alone and I really appreciate the coaches for giving me that opportunity."
As for his upcoming visit to OSU, it will actually be a return visit, just in the official capacity. Earlier this fall, Pili took in the Beavers when they hosted Boise State. On this visit though he hopes to see more of ins and outs of the program and all of the things Oregon State has to offer to student athletes. But mostly, he admits "I just want to see the coaches and players again and see them get a win."
While some might think that being an in-state recruit with former Beavers coaching him, the Beavers would be a slam dunk choice for Brandon. While Atkinson and his staff have pointed out some of the benefits of staying in state and going to OSU, they have reinforced that the notion that Brandon needs to make the best decision for him and that they will support him however they can in the decision he makes.
Brandon knows what he is looking for in a college program. "I'm looking for a great coaching staff and a family oriented team that has each other's backs and a school with a great academic program so that I can get a good degree and be successful even after football."
After his visit to OSU, Pili does intend to plan some more official visits to the schools that have offered and will probably hold off on committing until after his season so that every school can get an opportunity to see him play.
Stick with BeaverBlitz for more updates as the Beavers host another group of official visitors for the Utah game this weekend.null