Osa Masina is one of the nation's premier athletes with tremendous physical upside. He has size, athleticism, toughness and plays with a great motor. He's a big time pass rusher but has worked hard in his ability to play in space and has turned himself in to a complete linebacker who will never need to leave the field, in any situation.
This spring, the athlete has stayed on the West Coast and visited UCLA and USC twice, as well as Stanford, Arizona State and California. He has also been to Utah countless times as the Utes are the hometown team for him and he has two older brothers currently on the squad.
"I cut my list to eight a few weeks ago, I was ready and these were the ones that stood out most to me," Masina said. "In no order but Arizona State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Stanford, UCLA, USC, Utah and Wisconsin were the ones who I felt most comfortable with and the ones I had the best relationship with the coaches staffs.
"All of those schools I talk to either every day or every other day and not just my position or area coach but the head coach as well. That was big for me, to be able to talk to the head coach shows me a lot and those were also the schools that I felt I fit in best scheme wise and liked the plan they all have for me and how they want to use me."
All eight schools minus one are recruiting Masina as an outside linebacker right now.
"ASU actually likes me for offense," Masina said. "They have a hybrid running back/tight end role that is kind of intriguing to me. I think my biggest strength as a player is my ability to rush the passer, that's how all the teams see me but I connected really well with the ASU staff on my visit so that's how they still made it for me.
"It's cool, all the schools are comparing me to a former player and telling me that's how I'll be used. With UCLA, they said I'll play the Anthony Barr role and mentioned to me right after the NFL Draft that he went No. 9 overall. Stanford sees me as a Trent Murphy type, Utah is Trevor Reilly. It's good, it helps me see how I would fit in so I'm taking all that in as part of the evaluation process for me."
Masina said no one stands out among his top eight and all are recruiting him equally hard.
"All eight have been by to see me this spring and a few of the schools have been by twice," Masina said. "USC, UCLA, Utah and Wisconsin have been by twice and the others will probably be by one more time before the spring period is over. No one stands out as recruiting me harder than the others, that's why they all made my list, because they're all recruiting me hard and making me a high priority.
"By early June, I would like to cut my list to five. Those will be my five official visits. I'm going to make a pros and cons list of each school and take in to consideration the feeling I had when I was on campus as well as my relationship with the coaches.
"The biggest factors for me will be early playing time, I don't have to start but I definitely want to play. Academics are always big, I want to be able to connect with my position coach and find a school where I'll fit in well with the scheme and have a lot of success."
As for his visits and timeframe for a decision, Masina said he has good idea how that will work.
"We have one bye during the season so I'll take a visit there and then fit in the others after our season is over," Masina said. "It would be fun to commit at the Army AA Game so hopefully I can do it at that time if it all works out. I don't have any idea of where any of my visits will be yet, I still have to figure that all out after I cut the list to five.
"It's going to be incredibly hard because I love all eight of these schools. I had great visits to the three MW schools last spring and have enjoyed all my visits this spring as well. I have family at Utah and love my brothers but that won't play a big role in my decision. My parents and brothers want me to pick the best place for me so location really won't play a big role. It's just wherever the best overall fit is and that's what I'm trying to figure out right now."