A 19-6 win over Washington State didn't define Samson Faifili's weekend visit to Oregon State. It wasn't the crowd noise at the game or the Beavers' undefeated start that will stick with him. Instead, it was a walk through the streets of Corvallis.
Football is important football players. That probably doesn't need pointed out. But for the American River (Calif.) Community College linebacker, there are more important factors. So what was the weekend's lasting impression?
"When one of the coaches took us down to one of the main streets and we just walked," Faifili said. "People knew we were recruits and would come up to us and talk to us about anything. They were introducing us to their families and everything. It was just real nice. You can tell it's a family atmosphere up there."
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Faifili participated in the usual official-visit fare, too. There was the campus tour, the meals with players and coaches and the Saturday win over the Cougars. All of it resulted in Oregon State seizing the top spot on his list of possible destinations.
Still, the race to secure the linebacker's commitment is far from over. He says he won't make a decision until late November, but the Beavers, at least for now, have staked claim to the inside track.
"Right now, Oregon State is probably my favorite," Faifili said on Sunday. "They're right there in the top spot because it's the only official visit I've taken."
Major threats to knock the Beavers from the that pedestal include Kansas and Iowa State. Faifili says he hopes to take officials to both next month, though, dates for the trips have not been nailed down as of yet.
There's a certain level of anticipation at work. His recruitment is far from finished. So as he sat in the airport preparing to fly back to California from the Northwest, he turned his attention toward the future.
"I really want to see what Iowa State and Kansas have to offer," he said. "Those are the two visits I'm for sure going to take."
Faifili says he hopes to set dates for his next two visits in the coming week.