CHALK UP YET ANOTHER verbal commitment for the Beavers. Oregon State received more good recruiting news last night on the heels of the official visit weekend when they received a verbal commitment from a 6-3, 245 pound defensive line prospect out of Hawaii. And his prep coach says he's a player who hasn't yet scratched the surface on his playing, or physical, ability.

Castro Masaniai, who is as humble off the field as he is physical on it, gave his verbal commitment in person to Oregon State assistant Mark Banker on Monday evening.

"He was actually down here so I told him last night," said Masaniai. "He was really excited to have me commit but...to tell you the truth, I'm still shocked that a big program like Oregon State noticed me. I really have to thank all my coaches here.

"I have a coach here who is an alum from Oregon State (Patrick Ena) and he really put in a good word for me. Without those guys, I wouldn't be here right now."

Masaniai, offered last week in person by Mike Riley, had planned on taking one more visit before making his decision but that's now been cancelled.

"I'm not going to New Mexico State," said Masaniai.

MASANIAI SAID the official visit to Oregon State and meeting the coaches and his future teammates played a big role in his decision.

"The environment is really nice, it reminds me of back home. The academic program is really good and I know they're going to take care of me in the future. The coaching staff is great, they remind me of my coaches back at Waipahu."

THOSE PREP COACHES also include Sean Saturnio, who says Masaniai hasn't scratched the surface yet on his potential.

"He's always been the type of player that whatever role we needed him to play, he always fulfilled it. I think Castro could have been extraordinary as an offensive lineman if he only played that position, and I think Castro could have been extraordinary as an defensive lineman if he only played that position. There were times where he went well over 100 snaps a game for us," said Saturnio.

Where Masaniai lines up at Oregon State is to be determined, with Saturnio saying the Beavs might be leaning towards the defensive side of the ball, and possibly on the inside.

"What's great for Castro is the opportunity he has, is that he's marketable on both sides of the ball," Saturnio said. "Coach (Mike) Cavanaugh really likes him on offense and coach (Joe) Seumalo, who was a teammate of mine back in the day, really likes him on defense."

Saturnio said after Masaniai gets to Oregon State and in a Pac-10 level weight program, he could easily end up an athletic 300-plus pounder.

"But he could go to whatever weight they want him at," said Saturnio. "I think right now they might be leaning towards him playing d-line. He's 6-3 and 245 pounds but he's very lean, almost lanky right now."

Saturnio says the Beavs are also getting a great locker room presence in addition to a player with loads of potential.

He's a good leader. He works hard, he's humble and he loves his teammates. For the first time in the school's history we made it to the state semifinals and guys like Castro led us there. There was such a family atmosphere here, it raised the level of the play of the people around him," said Saturnio.

Castro Masaniai profile

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