OREGON STATE has received a verbal commitment from Mitchel Hunt, a Tempe, Arizona hoss who could line up at either defensive tackle or center for the Beavers. The Corona Del Sol High standout gave OSU his pledge this weekend, and his prep coach says Oregon State got a steal. Hunt becomes the fifth known verbal commitment in the Beavs 2006 class. talks to both Hunt and his coach.

Corona Del Sol coach Gary Venturo said Monday morning that Mitchel Hunt is headed to Oregon State. Venturo said the 6-3, 260 pound lineman verbally committed to OSU this weekend during an unofficial visit he and his family took to Corvallis, and that the Beavs had landed a good one in Hunt.

"Yes, he did," said Venturo. "He's an unknown quantity. Last year he ended up being (on the radar) for some colleges as a smart, athletic talent but not many people knew about him. And I think that's a plus for Oregon State and a plus for us."

Hunt, reached Monday afternoon after he finished the school day, said the Oregon State coaching staff was the deciding factor.

"I knew it was the right place for me," said Hunt. "They treated my family so well and the coaching staff was so open and honest. They're so down to earth. Coach Riley and his staff are a great group of guys that know the game of football and treat their players like human beings."

Venturo, an All-American offensive lineman at Arizona State during his playing days, has been in the coaching game for 32 years. He says one of Hunt's best attributes is that he goes full out each and every play.

"I think you talk about kids who have a motor that always runs -- his always runs," said Venturo. "He doesn't stop. And I think college coaches look for that. You might get beat on a play or whatever, but if your motor is always running, you're not accepting that defeat and you have the ability to get up and move and (make a play). And that's what he does well."

Hunt chose Oregon State over interest from Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Utah, Northwestern, Nevada, UNLV, UCLA, Cal, ASU, and others.

He had a breakout camp at OSU in late June, making a splash out of the gate on Sunday and received the college scholarship offer from Riley on Tuesday.

"I particularly enjoyed this camp because of the instruction I received," said Hunt at the time. "Coach Newhouse, the way he taught us, it was above some of the other camps. Some other camps, the head d-line coach wasn't teaching, it was high school coaches."

Hunt, who has a squat of 530 pounds, could play either center or defensive tackle for the Beavs, having said Oregon State is leaving it up to him. All things being equal, Hunt looks to prefer to play defense but said he's certainly open to playing either.

"They want their players to go to a position they love to play," said Hunt. "I think d-tackle would be a good fit, but if I'm a better center, then I'll play center. Whatever the team needs."

Hunt racked up 50 tackles with 4.5 sacks and 9 tackles for loss totaling 49 yards at Corona Del Sol in 2004. He also recovered three fumbles with one forced fumble. Because Corona Del Sol crushed many of the teams they played last season, Hunt regularly found his night's work done by the third quarter. Hunt estimates he only played in 26 out of 48 quarters.

For his efforts, he was named second team All-region as a defensive tackle. His sophomore year, he was also selected All-region as a defensive end.

Hunt said he's thrilled to be a Beaver and will be bringing intensity and a strong work ethic to Corvallis.

"He works hard at what he does," said Venturo.

Hunt joins tight end Howard Croom out of Long Beach, Calif., wide receiver Casey Kjos out of Tacoma, linebacker Alfred Rowe also from Long Beach, and offensive lineman Ryan Pohl out of Honolulu as the five known verbal commitments for Oregon State in their 2006 class.

Mitchel Hunt profile

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