In retrospect, narrowing his recruiting focus to include just eight schools was the easy part. For four-star linebacker Osa Masina, the tough stuff comes next.
The Salt Lake City Brighton High School standout tossed aside most of the schools interested in his services, leaving just Utah, USC, Arizona State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Stanford, UCLA and Wisconsin standing. Dwindling that list of eight down to one will be significantly more difficult that his initial cut.
Masina knows that. But before he worries about making those kinds of choices, he'll enjoy the relative peace and quiet.
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"Only having the eight schools is a lot easier on me with the social media and the phone calls," Masina said. "It's just better to handle. It's easier on my mom and I."
The initial cut, as is the case with all of Masina's recruiting choices, was a family decision. It was also based on a number of factors. Still, the importance of relationships is a common theme for Masina. So while depth charts played a part , the men recruiting him were also a driving force.
"It just kind of came down to me and my mom talking about position-wise, if I could play coming in and how much I liked the coaches - the head coach and my position coach. That's kind of what it came down to."
Now finished with unofficial visits for the offseason, Masina plans to make yet another cut in the near future. At the start of his senior season, just five schools will remain alive in the hunt for his commitment. From there, the official visits will take hold.
"Once I cut it down again, I'll try to do maybe one official during the season," Masina said. "If not, I'll just do the visits after the season. I won't do it during.
Masina says he would ideally like to announce his choice at the U.S. Army All-American Game in January but has not totally committed to doing so as of yet. If he needs more time, he'll push his decision back until signing day.
What he does no for sure, however, is that geography won't play much of a role in his choice. According to him, nor will the fact that his brothers both attend Utah. If the Utes land his commitment, it will be because of the program's merit alone.
"Utah is just kind of with everyone else," Masina said. "It's even right now. In state and out of state is all the same to me. That's not some huge factor for Utah or anything. It's going to come down to more than one thing. It's going to be about if I get a good feeling."