COLBY PRINCE out of Albany took time off from the summer job of hauling around 50 pound bags of grass seed on an Oregon farm 12 hours a day to attend Oregon State's Preview Day last Friday. He also took in UO's Preview Day experience that same weekend. A few days later, Mike Riley and staff offered the tight end prospect and the 6-5, 220 pounder jumped on it. Prince is coming to Corvallis.

Prince didn't take long to make his verbal commitment. When Riley called Wednesday, Prince was ready.

"I committed to Oregon State Wednesday," said Prince. "At their Preview Day, it was just how I felt with the coaches. They came up and talked to me, really seemed like they wanted me there and I really felt like I would fit in."

The recruiting process had heated up considerably for Prince following the Preview Days. Prince said Oregon had significantly ramped up their recruitment the past few days. The Ducks had not offered yet, but asked Prince not to make a verbal commitment until they had a chance to see some of his early senior season. Prince, however, said his decision is final. He's wearing the black and orange from here on out.

"It's solid," he said. "Me, I'm not going to change."

Prince is a wide receiver/free safety for West Albany High but he'll play tight end at the next level for the Beavs. Oregon and Cal were also recruiting him as a tight end. The OSU coaching staff has told him they love his athleticism and hands. He runs a 40 in the 4.7 range.

The fact he plays receiver in high school and therefore hasn't done a lot of blocking from a set position is not a concern. Not after OSU got an eyeful at their camp. Prince put his hand down and showed an elevated natural ability as a down blocker and in max-protect. So imagine what he'll do over the course of his career when he gets some Oregon State coaching at the TE craft.

"They said my receiver skills are great, I'm pretty athletic and pretty big," said Prince. "I've never really been down and blocked before. I stuck my nose in it and they said they really liked what they saw."

At wide receiver in 2005, Prince hauled in 22 receptions for 428 yards and three TDs in West Albany's option oriented attack. On defense, Prince logged 33 tackles (21 solo) with 4 INTs as a junior patrolling the secondary from his free safety position.

The 2005 Valley League All-Star ultimately chose Oregon State because of the feeling he got in Corvallis and the comfort level he immediately felt with the Beaver staff. Jay Locey, new tight ends coach for the Beavers who previously helmed the football program at Linfield, was a big part of that. Prince had been to camp at Linfield previously and he and Locey had hit it off immediately.

"I really liked all the coaches and coach Locey, especially," said Prince. "I'm really excited I get to play for him."

Prince is the sixth known verbal commit for the 2007 Oregon State class, joining RB Ahmed Mokhtar, OL Michael Cole, QB Jake Gelakoska, DE Kevin Frahm and DE Carl Sommer.

Colby Prince

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