Cali LB is one to keep an eye on

OSU THIS PAST February scored one of the biggest recruiting surprises in college football when San Bernardino o-lineman Michael Philipp signed with the Beavs. In this year's class, a former teammate from the same high school as Philipp is on the recruiting radar with four early offers. Could the Beavs, in their '10 recruiting class, pick up a second Arroyo Valley High product in as many years?

The OSU scholarship numbers may argue against it regarding linebacker Ofa Fifita (6-0, 215).

Oregon State is expected to take an unusually small recruiting class this year. High school coaches and players this spring told BF.C that Oregon State coaches told them they planned on taking 12 recruits in February, less than half of the maximum 25 allowed. And the Gazette-Times recently pegged that number at a mere eight.

And Oregon State looks to have higher positional needs in this class than they do at linebacker with a relatively young stockpile in the cupboard at 'backer. Fifita might still be one to watch this recruiting season to see if he earns a Beaver offer, he was a tackling machine in '08, with 137 stops including five sacks.

FIFITA HOLDS FOUR OFFERS, from Nevada, San Jose State, UNLV and Colorado State. Other schools are also showing increasing interest.

The UCLA coaches really love my film...there's a three day camp June 21-23 there and they really want me to come down for one day. Colorado, the linebackers coach called me and I resent my film to them this last week so hopefully they'll like it.

FIFITA PUT HIMSELF on the recruiting map with a strong junior season, racking up 137 tackles and five sacks. As a sophomore, he had 93 tackles, four sacks and an interception and was named First Team All-League as a sophomore for Arroyo Valley.

He also shines off the field, where Fifita has a 3.5 GPA.

Fifita looked to have another offer, he had received a handwritten note from a Pac-10 school saying they were offering him, but later the offer was pulled back.

"The whole UW coaching staff sent me handwritten letters and coach (Demetrice) Martin's said, he's the recruiting coach, his said he was fired up for two reasons and the first reason said they were offering me a scholarship to UW. Coach (Steve) Sarkisian actually talked to my coach a week or two later, saying they loved my film and they wanted to come down in May and there was an offer waiting for me," said Fifita.

"I got a call later saying there was a miscommunication, maybe they found a prospect who fits their system better than me. So the Washington coaches, so that one is still pending...I haven't talked to them in almost three weeks so I really don't know what's going on...That's one school that I hope didn't lose interest in me because I'm interested in them."

Fifita plays at both outside and inside linebacker spots for Arroyo Valley but said he'll likely end up as an outside 'backer in college. He had a strong showing at the Badger/Scout 7-on-7 Passing Tournament earlier this spring.

Ofa Fifita profile

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