One of Utah’s most in demand athletes made his way to Oregon State’s campus last weekend for an official visit and came away very impressed. When we spoke with Taniela Pututau prior to his visit, Beavers’ Offensive Coordinator, Kevin McGiven, was on his way for an in-home visit.
The Thursday night visit went well, as Coach McGiven was able to spend some time with Taniela’s family prior to them arriving in Corvallis. While most of the conversation was around the Oregon State football program and how the staff is righting the ship, there was a good portion of discussion about what they would see around campus and Corvallis. His trip lived up to the hype.
“Corvallis gave me that small college-town vibe, it was different than Utah, but at the same time it was a good experience. Coach McGiven had talked about what to expect so when we got there, it lived up to it. I would definitely say that following my visit to Oregon State, they are now right up there with Utah,” Pututau told BeaverBlitz.
One of the main reasons he is so high on the Beavers is the relationship that he has developed with the Oregon State coaching staff. Their ability to connect with not just him but his family and lay out their plan of how they’re wanting to build the program over the next few years has intrigued the three-star athlete, even though he is still a couple years away from arriving on campus as he will serve his LDS mission upon graduating high school.
“I have been able to develop a really good relationship with the coaches, especially for just being there for such a short amount of time. Coach Andersen is a great guy; straightforward with everything he has to say and definitely has the program on the rise. I would not be surprised that if in a couple years they’re going to be working their way up in the Pac-12 towards the top.”
“Then I also spent some time with Coach Brennan and Coach Baldwin. It was kind of funny in that Coach Brennan wants me to play the X-receiver position but Coach Baldwin wants me at tight end, so they were kind of fight over me throughout the weekend,” he added.
Other than the infighting over where Taniela would play should he choose to be a Beaver, one of the biggest points that the staff drove home was the shifting of perception of the Beavers’ program. The win over Oregon in this year’s Civil War is already being looked at as the turning point in Gary Andersen’s tenure as the Head Coach of the Beavers.
“Following their win over Oregon, they were telling me that momentum in the state was starting to shift towards the Beavers. The town’s attitude was starting to shift as well, as people both on and around the team have noticed that there is a different attitude around campus. Now this momentum and attitude has carried over into the off-season for them, they want to already get after it. I have no doubt they’ll have a big season next year.”
With his first official visit now out of the way, up next will be January visits to the Naval Academy and the University of Utah. Brigham Young and Colorado are also still under consideration, however visits have yet to be set up.