Scholarship offers pour in for Brighton's Osa Masina
Brighton's Osa Masina suited up with the varsity and took the field, oozing with potential. At the ripe age of 14, he made the first tackle of the season under the glow of the stadium lights. On the next snap, he nabbed a second; then a third.
After a quick sideline, he took down three more.
Six tackles. Time clock: 7 minutes, 30 seconds left in the first quarter.
"We just looked at each other and all we could say was, 'Wow,' " Brighton coach Ryan Bullett said. "We knew he was talented, but we didn't realize how much."
It didn't take long for word to get out.
But Masina kept his nose to the ground, chalking up an impressive sophomore season before being sidelined in the playoff play-in game. He did it all, from running back to quarterback to linebacker to kickoff receiver.
"He had more touches than anybody," Bullett said. "The key this year will be keeping him healthy for when it matters most."
His final stat line: 108 carries for 706 yards and nine touchdowns, 37 tackles and 9 of 13 for three touchdowns as quarterback. A well-edited highlight reel backed up his impressive sophomore stat line.
Then the phone started to ring.
"It's been a bit overwhelming, but a lot of fun for everyone in my family," Masina said. "I'm just trying to enjoy it."
It helped that his brother, current Utah linebacker Uaea Masina, proved to be one of the top recruits in the state last year.
But Osa was rumored to be just as talented as, and even bigger than, his older brother. Coaches started to flock to Utah to see it for themselves.
According to Bullett, it only took one look at Masina's 6-foot-4, 210-pound frame and his footwork for Michigan coach Brady Hoke to put an offer on the table.
"And he only started lifting weights last year," Bullett said.
His list of suitors is growing even more quickly than his stature.
Masina visited a trio of Northwest schools last week: Washington, Oregon and Oregon State. He'll travel from coast to coast this summer, from Oregon to Notre Dame, and a handful of national-championship-caliber football programs in between. He holds offers from 10 schools: Utah, Brigham Young, Utah State, UCLA, Washington, Oregon, Michigan, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Stanford.
Not bad for someone still a few weeks from a driver license.
"It still seems far away, but I know it'll be here before I know it," Masina said. "I'm just looking for a place where I can see myself living and going to class. I'm just looking for whatever fits me best."
Bullett hopes Masina will be able to narrow down the long list to a half-dozen within the next year, if only to reduce distractions.
"It's hard to focus on football, school and homework when you've got 40 guys still trying to chase you down," he said.
Masina, too, is doing his best to focus on the present.
"We have a great team this year, and our goal is to establish that we are here, competing for a state title," he said. "We've got all the pieces to make it happen."