BEAVS LAND FIRST VERBAL

IT'S NOT OFTEN you come across an offensive lineman who's also an outstanding soccer goalkeeper, a big man with the feet and lateral movement to fence off the net. But that's the case with OSU's first known verbal commit in the class of 2006 -- two sport state champion Ryan Pohl of Honolulu's Kamehameha High. And as good a goalie as Pohl is, he's even more impressive knocking pads out on the gridiron. Beaverfootball.com talks to both the newest member of the OSU family and his prep coach.

The OSU summer camp is among the best tools the coaching staff has to evaluate prospective talent and this year, was instrumental in helping to net the first known verbal commitment of the 2006 class -- Ryan Pohl. He made his pledge a few days after the camp.

"Yes, I committed to OSU," Pohl told BeaverFootball.com. "The first (July 1) was the official day that I committed."

Pohl (6-4, 245) said he mailed the OSU staff a letter, and also emailed coaches Mike Riley, Mark Banker and Mike Cavanaugh to let them know he was coming to Corvallis.

An excellent student with a 3.0 GPA, he's already achieved a qualifying score on the SAT with an 1860.

The new SAT is on a scale of 2400 points. According to the NCAA Clearinghouse website, however, it's been determined by the NCAA that the writing component, while mandatory, should not count towards initial-eligibility requirements at the present time. In other words -- it has to be taken by the student, but it isn't taken into account. Bottom line on Pohl, 1860 is one heck of a score.

THE HAWAIIN HOSS chose Oregon State over interest from a number of schools, including Oregon, where he was named the top offensive lineman at the Ducks' summer camp.

"I was also talking to Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, UNLV and Washington," said Pohl. "Those were the main ones."

Pohl helped power Kamehameha to the state championship in football last season -- the school's first in 25 years -- and he was also the goalkeeper on Kamehameha's state championship soccer team, earning individual honorable mention all-state honors.

"Work ethic and athleticism," Kamehameha coach Doss Tannehill said are two things that set Pohl apart. "He's a man of few words but he's a do-er. He leads by example."

POSSESSING A GREAT pair of feet, Pohl could play either tackle or guard at the next level for Oregon State.

"They're going to work with me and get me bigger and stronger," said Pohl. "I think coach Mike (Riley) said tackle, but I'm not too sure about that."

AMONG THE FACTORS Pohl mentioned that put Oregon State on top were the family atmosphere evident at the summer camp, and the level to which the Beaver program supports it's student athletes in both academics and athletics.

"The coaching staff," added Pohl. "It was the right fit for me. They're really smart, really intelligent. And you can tell their program is running in a good direction. And of course the facilities are nice, and all the OSU players there (at camp) I connected with."

Although the OSU summer camp was the impetus behind the offer and subsequent verbal, defensive coordinator Banker and Oregon State have had their eye on Pohl for a long time.

"I was talking to coach Banker before and he said he was looking at me while I was a sophomore," said Pohl.

LOOKING FORWARD to his senior year, Pohl also had a message for the Beaver Faithful.

"Oh, I'm extremely excited, you have no idea," he said. "All my family is happy for me, and now I can focus on my football season...Just let them know I'm going to work hard for them."

The Hawai'i connection
Tannehill was named the interim varsity coach at Kamehameha in March. A graduate of Kamehameha, he's been the Warriors' head coach for their intermediate football and JV team, as well as most recently the varsity defensive line coach and special teams coordinator.

The one-season appointment comes as coach Kanani Souza is on a leave of absence serving as a graduate assistant at Oregon State for the next nine months. Following that, Souza will return to Hawai'i and Kamehameha.

Banker and OSU defensive line coach Greg Newhouse have significant ties with Souza -- and with Hawai'i -- having all served on the UH staff during their coaching careers. Souza was at UH under coaches Dick Tomey and Bob Wagner from 1984-95, serving as graduate assistant, then offensive line coach and offensive coordinator. Since 1996, he had served as head coach at Kamehameha. Cavanaugh also begins his first year at Oregon State this season, coming over from the University of Hawai'i where he coached the offensive line.

We'll be profiling more Kamehameha, and Hawai'i, prospects here in the coming days and weeks on Beaverfootball.com.

Ryan Pohl, by the numbers
Squat: 225 x 39
Bench: 225 x 13
40 time: 5.1
Pro Agility (shuttle): 4.78
L-Drill: 8.09
Verticle Leap: 28"

Photos used with permission. MetzPhotography.com specializes in sporting events around Hawaii, with vast photo libraries of high school athletics.

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