The 2015 recruiting class for Oregon State head coach Wayne Tinkle has received a great deal of praise, with his son Tres and guard Stephen Thompson Jr. (son of Oregon State assistant Stephen Thompson) being the headliners for a group that prior to Tuesday night consisted of five players.
That number increased to six late Tuesday evening, as 6-foot-5 tight end/small forward Noah Togiai announced via his Twitter account that he will attend Oregon State. Oregon State announced Wednesday morning that he’s sent in his National Letter of Intent.
Togiai was originally a Utah commit, but his desire to play both football and basketball and Oregon State’s willingness to allow him to do so is what made the difference. Togiai discussed his decision with Andrew Nemec of The Oregonian:
But the X-factor? The Beavers were quick to agree to let Togiai play both sports in college – an opportunity the Utes didn’t offer as freely.
“It seems like a great place,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to go to a school that will allow me to play football and basketball. They went out of their way and said I can.”
Togiai, who attends Hunter HS in West Valley City, Utah, also discussed his relationship with Tres Tinkle in the story linked above. That, along with the move of two assistant football coaches from Utah to Oregon State to work for new head coach Gary Andersen, also impacted his decision to leave his home state for college.
Oregon State doesn’t have a single senior on its current basketball roster, with leaders such as guards Gary Payton II, Langston Morris-Walker and Jarmal Reid all being juniors. While those players have helped Tinkle establish a solid culture (and surprise many by having already won 14 games this season), there is the depth issue that they’ve worked hard to navigate this season.
The recruiting class that Oregon State has lined up will help in that regard. When Togiai joins the basketball program will in all likelihood depend upon when the football season comes to an end (since he’ll be on a football scholarship). A second-team all-state basketball selection last season, Togiai (22 ppg, 6.8 rpg) has the athleticism and talent needed to help the Beavers in the future.