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Sabers' Masifilo picks Stanford
The final frontier, for most upper-tier football recruits, is a national championship.
For Matthew Masifilo, there is also a dream of space, the other final frontier. Masifilo, a scholar-athlete at Campbell High School, gave Stanford his oral commitment to play football.
"I'm a Cardinal," he said. Masifilo, who carries a 4.0 grade-point average, plans to major in aeronautical engineering.
"Only 20 colleges in the country offer that major," he noted. "I like the challenge over there. You have to apply like a regular student."
Masifilo made his decision Thursday, but didn't disclose it until yesterday. The 6-foot-3, 270-pound senior wanted to contact the coaches at the schools he turned down first.
His final list included Cal and Washington, though Oregon was still willing to save him a scholarship, Masifilo said.
Before going public about his choice, he wanted to talk with other local recruits he befriended during visits to those campuses like Kalani Aldrich of Kamehameha-Hawaii (Washington), and Scott Smith and Solomona Aigamaua of Saint Louis (Cal).
He was not deterred by Stanford's struggles. The Cardinal went 1-11 and brought in a new coach, former Chicago Bears quarterback Jim Harbaugh.
"At Cal or Washington, it's a guarantee you're gonna win. But I like the idea of going in and helping turn the program around," he said. "It was tough, especially with two other great schools. It was really hard. In the end, my gut feeling, it came down to where my heart was at, and it was at Stanford."