BALTIMORE -- Osa Masina arrived at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge Presented by Under Armour wearing a UCLA hat and still refusing to name favorites. The whole situation was very 2014. In keeping with the theme, he quickly brushed off the significance of his choice in headwear.
"It's just a hat," Masina said, and his point was impossible to argue.
The four-star linebacker stuck to his usual talking points upon arrival in Baltimore. Again, he rattled off his top eight - a group consisting of Arizona State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Utah, Stanford, UCLA, USC and Wisconsin. Again, he mentioned that he plans to trim his list to five sometime prior to the upcoming season. In a lot of ways, the operation was standard.
The only bit of new information came when he was asked which coaching staff he felt closest to. When that took place, he referenced the logo on his ball cap.
"Probably UCLA coach Jeff Ulbrich," Masina said. "We have great talks. We had a long talk when I was out there last. We talk about football. We're on the same page all the time. We talk about stuff that doesn't football, too."
Masina's last round of unofficial visits was a swing through the west that included stops in California and Arizona. It also seems to have helped shape his recruiting picture.
"It was my second time to UCLA and USC. And my first time at all the rest," Masina. "I didn't really have any interest in Arizona State before the trip. That visit went so well that they jumped up to the top group."
As for upcoming official visits, Masina plans to take just one during the season. The rest will take place following his senior year. And while he's still determining which schools will make the destination list, he's giving careful thought to Utah, the school his two brothers attend.
"My family and I have been talking a lot about that lately," Masina said. "We can't figure out if we want to take one in state or not. I can visit Utah any time I want. But, at the same time, my brother took an official there and says it is definitely worth it. He loved it."
The No. 58-ranked prospect in America, Masina plays his high school football at Salt Lake City's Brighton High School. He has tentative plans to announce a verbal commitment at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in January.
Rob Cassidy is a West Region football recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. You can click here to follow him on Twitter.
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