Oregon State and South Florida emerged as the two favorites for Cade Cowdin and after an in-home visit with Beavers' coach Mike Riley and some further deliberations the Palm Desert (Calif.) College of the Desert outside linebacker said the Pac-12 school was the right fit.
Cowdin, who just finished finals and has returned home for the holiday break, said meeting with Riley this week really sealed it for the Beavers.
"I really liked the football aspect and the whole living situation and I really liked coach Riley and the coaching staff," Cowdin said.
"Coach Riley came down all the way to my house and then flew right back home and that really meant a lot. None of the other schools were really doing that."
The three-star linebacker visited Oregon State earlier this month and it appeared the Beavers had taken a clear lead in his recruitment but after visiting USF last weekend Cowdin admitted he was torn.
After finals, Cowdin wanted to return home and consider his options but after meeting with Riley the College of the Desert standout said his decision was finalized.
"The whole atmosphere was great there," Cowdin said. "It was a really tough decision because I really, really liked USF and coach (Mark) Snyder. I had to make the decision so it was hard.
"I had more of a personal relationship with coach Riley especially because he came to my house so that was a big deal. I could tell how enthused he was about me and everything he was saying was making sense about where I needed to be."
Getting on the field early was also important to Cowdin but he didn't say that was a major factor when he picked Oregon State because every program recruiting him promised he'd have that opportunity.
In total, Cowdin had offers from Oregon State, USF, Iowa State, Miami, Nevada, New Mexico State, UNLV, Western Michigan and Wyoming. Many other programs were showing interest.
"There is a definite possibility for me to play early," Cowdin said.
"That was definitely a factor but every place that was recruiting me said I could get on the field early because they either lost somebody or there was a spot for me so that was a factor with every school."