THE TIES BETWEEN the state of Hawaii to Oregon State have always been strong but these days, the pipeline from Honolulu's Kahuku High to OSU is flowing at a fever pitch. The Beavers have received verbal commitments from three -- count 'em, three -- Kahuku standouts with brothers Kevin and Devin Unga, and Suaesi Tuimaunei, becoming the newest members of the Oregon State 2006 class.

The brothers Unga, along with Kahuku teammate Suaesi Tuimaunei, tripped to Oregon State this past weekend and fell in love with program at OSU -- they'll all be wearing the orange and black next year.

Kevin Unga is a 6-2, 222 pounder who was named a first team All-State linebacker. Devin Unga was named first team All-State on offense as a tight end. He checks in at 6-1, 201 pounds. Tuimaunei is a very quick 6-1, 190-pound safety who took second team All-State honors.

"Coach Banker was recruiting me, and coach Riley came down as well on a visit," said Kevin Unga. "And then when I went down to Oregon State, I told coach Riley during our one one one talk. Both me and my brother Devin were in at the same time along with my father. When we told him we had decided to commit, he was very happy about that."

Kevin said the chance to play big time college football was a definite selling point but getting a feel for the players, coaches and Beaver program as a whole on their trip cinched it for the twins.

"When they first offered that was big on me, being a Pac-10 school," said Kevin. "The whole team was great. Every time we walked past one of the players on campus they were welcoming us to the school and greeting us. That was really good. It's a (close-knit) town, they have nice facilities, and it's a great coaching staff."

Kevin and his brother, who spent some quality time with Eric Moala and Al Afalava, both had received offers from Utah and UNLV. But Kevin said he and his brother are done with visits -- they're Beavers.

"I had planned on going on the trip to Utah but when I went to Oregon State, everything was good over there."

TUIMAUNEI GAVE coach Riley the good news this weekend as well.

"There are some trips but I don't know if I'm going to take them anymore because I committed to Oregon State," said Tuimaunei. "I committed when I was up there. I was talking with coach Riley and he asked me if he should save me a scholarship and if I was coming, and I said, 'Yes.'"

Besides Oregon State, Tuimaunei held offers from San Jose State and New Mexico State. He said he'll likely know by Thursday if he's going to take a trip to SJSU or NMS. The facilities and players were among the determining factors for Tuimaunei.

"The facilities were very nice," said Tuimaunei. "And the people were great. It's a good school. Al Afalava, Jeremy Perry and there were some other great guys I met on the team."

OUT ON THE GRIDIRON, Tuimaunei can fly.

Among the 120-plus high school players from all throughout the Hawaiian Islands who participated in the combine, none was faster in the 40 than Tuimaunei, who clocked a 4.52 on the field turf at the Saint Louis School.

Kevin Unga, Devin Unga and Suaesi Tuimaunei become the 25th, 26th and 27th known verbal commitments in the Oregon State 2006 class, joining LB Mana Lolotai, CB Coye Francies, LB Tom Hansen, LB Joey LaRocque, LB Michael Sipili, DT Ismail Abdunafi, LB Keaton Kristick, RB Clinton Polk, DE/LB Marquez Herrod, DL Alex Fa'agai, S/WR James Dockery, P/K Kyle Loomis, TE John Reese, DE Keith Robertson, TE/HB/WR Joe Halahuni, OL Mau Nomani, DE Dorian Smith, DT Joel White-Frisbee, OL/DL Alex Linnenkohl, DT Mitchel Hunt, TE Howard Croom, WR Casey Kjos, S/LB Alfred Rowe and OL Ryan Pohl.

  • Oregon State will oversign this class with some players, such as JC transfers, counting against the 2005 class while others could possibly grayshirt and count against the 2007 figures. How the numbers all shake out will likely not be known until sometime in late July but the players who have already signed or will sign on Feb. 1 currently number 27 strong. Schools are allowed to take a maximum of 25 each year.

  • Afalava and Perry each starred at Kahuku during their prep days.

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