OSU in the hunt; BYU looking in

Oregon State offered linebacker Bernard Afutiti of Henry J. Kasier H.S. a scholarship way back in May. The coaches have stayed with the talented prospect through nine months and hope to add Afutiti to the 2005 class.

OSU was the first school to offer Afutiti a full ride with Michigan, USC and Oregon following. The 6-foot-1, 240-pound player is a member of the Church of Ladder Day Saints and will be taking his two-year mission when he graduates from high school.

Despite the reported written offers from USC, Michigan and Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Oregon State round out his top three with BYU looking in.

He wanted to attended BYU and would have verbaled if the Cougars would have offered him a scholarship. But BYU did not show him very much interest, until now.

"With BYU, I don't even know," Afutiti told Scout.com. "They actually called me Tuesday.

"They just wanted to see if I was interested. It's kind of late though. It's kind of late for all that. Like they're just barely starting to show attention."

Afutiti will be making a trip to Utah this weekend and he hopes to swing by a couple of Pac-10 schools during the next few weeks.

"I'm heading up to Utah next weekend," Afutiti said. "For Washington it's not official yet and I'm still waiting for Oregon State."

Afutiti is a gym rat as he bench presses 360 pounds and squats around 600. "I dead lift 660 and I've got a 32-inch vertical; I run a 4.2 shuttle and I benched 185 about 37 times at the Stanford NIKE camp," Afutiti said.

His time in the weight roam paid off on the gridiron as he earned All-CIF, All- State, and All-County honors as a linebacker as a senior and defensive lineman as a junior.

He ended his junior year with a team leading 17 sacks and 136 tackles. Affutiti added 20 pounds for his senior campaign and moved to middle linebacker where he grabbed 79 tackles and a team leading 14 sacks.

He also helped on the offensive side of the ball as he led his team in rushing with 967 yards and 12 touchdowns on 141 carries (6.86 ypc). In early November he had his best game of his rushing career racking up 216 yards on 11 carries versus Romona.

The Kasier Cats finished the 2004 season with a 10-2 record and a perfect 5-0 conference slate.

The Beavers like Afutiti's aggressiveness and are projecting him as an inside linebacker. When asked who he mirrors his game after a certain mean NFL linebacker was mentioned.

"If I had to compare my game to an NFL player, I would say I play like Ray Lewis. Just ask rival quarterback Deon Morrin, (who is at Colorado).

"I took him out of the game. It was his shoulder blade or something. When I hit him, I slammed him into the ground and dug my shoulder into his chest. I knocked him out of the game."

His dream is to play on both sides of the ball (fullback and linebacker) in college and with the fullback becoming a larger part of the orange and black attack Afutiti could provide the versatility that the Oregon State coaches love.

Affutit wants to major in business and has no problems leaving the usually sunny Southern California weather.

"I actually prefer playing in the cold rather than where it's hot," said Scout.com's 45th best prospect in the West.

He reports a 3.0 grade-point average.

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