Brandon Pili (Westview HS Football)

Bruins Evaluating DT Brandon Pili

Oct. 15 -- UCLA has been keeping a watch on Portland (Ore.) Westview defensive tackle Brandon Pili since his move from Alaska...

When Portland (Ore.) Westview defensive tackle Brandon Pili made the move from Alaska to Oregon, he did it knowing it would be a big change for him, but also knew it may be his only chance to draw the attention of college coaches.

Scout saw Pili at Washington's Rising Stars Camp in July. He participated in their lineman camp, but also in the skills camp as a tight end when he was killing time until the lineman camp the next day. 

The 6-4, 310-pound Pili, working as a tight end, caught just about every pass thrown to him and moved pretty well for a guy his size.

The next day, though, Pili was much more in his wheelhouse, working as a defensive lineman.

He did well at Washington's camp, but the lack of space in their class kept an offer from coming.

"I had only done the Washington camp because it was the cheapest camp I could afford in the area, so I went down there just to hopefully catch someone's eye.  I knew no one looked to Alaska because of the competition so I went to the UW camp," said Pili.  "Coach Ikaika (Malloe) said if they had another spot for the defensive line that he would have offered me."

With Washington out as an option, Pili decided that he still needed to get that first offer, so he moved with family down to Portland.

An offer from Oregon State came quickly at the start of the season.

"I knew right when Coach (Gary) Andersen offered me, I had made the right move," said Pili.  "It was a dream come true."

Colorado and Hawaii followed suit with offers for Pili and then last Friday, USC offered him.

"That was a surprise for me because I never expected a big time school like USC to offer me like that, especially being in Alaska," said Pili.  "Coach (Johnny) Nansen had been in contact with me and he came by the school on Friday and told my coaches that it was looking good and I'd know in the next 2-3 days if I'd get an offer.  But then he called me and offered me right after that."

Pili said he thinks more offers could be coming in soon.

"UCLA contacted my coaches and (defensive line coach) Angus McClure texted me and they're really interested so we'll see what happens with UCLA," said Pili.

In fact, McClure attended Pili's game Friday night, and a Bruin offer could probably be expected to be extended soon. 

California was in Oregon last weekend to play Oregon State and stopped by the school too.

"Cal came by on Friday, Coach (Fred) Tate and I think they came to our game on Friday night too," said Pili.  "So we'll see if they offer."

Boise State has also been watching Pili as well as Baylor and Washington State.

Pili said that Oregon defensive line coach Ron Aiken has been talking with him too.

"I've been in constant contact with Oregon's defensive line coach but I don't know, it doesn't seem like they're offering anytime soon that I know of," said Pili.

Pili plans to be in Corvallis this coming weekend when Utah visits Oregon State, and if his family can make it down from Alaska, it will likely be an official visit.

"I'm going down to Oregon State this upcoming weekend and I'm hoping my family can come because we'll definitely do an official with them if they can," said Pili.  "I'll definitely do an official visit with Oregon State."

He also plans to get down to USC in November for an official visit and as of now, plans to visit Hawaii and Colorado officially, leaving his last visit open.

Overall, Pili said the move has been great for his recruitment as well as his play improving on the field.

"The biggest thing from moving from Alaska is the speed of the game," said Pili.  "The offensive linemen in Oregon are quicker and the speed is faster, but it's hard to find big, quick moving defensive linemen.  That's why schools said they really like me as a defensive tackle."

Academically, Pili has a 2.9 and scored a 1220 on the SAT and plans to take the ACT in November.

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