IT WAS A VERY GOOD weekend for Oregon State as the Beavers topped Washington State and received two verbal commitments. One of the pledges is from Joe Halahuni, considered among the top receiver/tight end prospects from the Evergreen State. The Flyin' Hawaiian , who could play a number of positions at OSU, becomes the third verbal from the state of Washington in the 2006 Beaver class.
Halahuni (6-3, 230) verbally committed to Oregon State this morning over an offer from Utah, plus interest from WSU, Oregon, ASU, Cal, Idaho, Montana, Boise State and Eastern Washington.
"I verbally committed to coach Riley this morning," said Halahuni. "He seemed pretty excited about it."
Also making the decision to attend Oregon State this weekend according to his father, Oseni Nomani, was Mau Nomani
, the 6-5, 290 pound offensive tackle from Tigard.
Halahuni said he just knew it was the right fit for him. The game, facilities and player and coach interaction were among the highlights of the weekend visit.
"The whole atmosphere, I just felt really comfortable there," said Halahuni. "I just pictured myself there and just knew it was the place for me."
Defensive end Eric Moala
was among the Beaver players with whom Halahuni said he felt a strong connection. Oregon State was the first to offer Halahuni and had stayed in close contact ever since. The Beavs have talked to him about playing receiver, tight end or H-Back.
"His athleticism and hand-eye coordination is unbelievable," says Orting High coach Marty Parkhurst. "He can catch better with one hand than anyone I've had with two."
The Orting, Wash., native joins Nomani, DE Dorian Smith
: DT Joel White-Frisbee
, OL/DL Alex Linnenkohl
, DT Mitchel Hunt
, TE Howard Croom
, WR Casey Kjos
, LB Alfred Rowe
and OL Ryan Pohl
as the known verbal commitments in the 2006 class.
Halahuni is actually Tongan, but the Flyin' Hawaiian nickname has stuck.
So far this senior season, Halahuni has already crossed the goal line 13 times --- four on kick returns, five rushing and four receiving. "I have about 20 catches for over 400 yards, about 20 carries for 350 yards," said Halahuni.
Last year, Halahuni nabbed 38 receptions, piled up nearly 1100 receiving yards and scored 18TDs (15 receiving). On defense, he tallied about 50 tackles with 3 INTs, 2 defensive touchdowns, including a 100-yard plus interception return, and a fumble recovery. In one game last year, he racked up 324 yards of total offense. For his efforts as a junior, Halahuni was named to the Class 2A all-state team by the Associated Press. In track earlier this year, Halahuni clocked an 11.4 in the 100 meters.
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