VERBAL: California workhorse to OSU

AHMED MOKHTAR IS A BEAVER

NOT QUITE TWO WEEKS AGO, running back Ahmed Mokhtar said he felt he would verbally commit before the fall in order to focus on his final prep campaign. But he needed to be sure he was making the right choice, too. A visit this weekend to Oregon State provided all the evidence he would need, and he made his pledge to Lee Hull and Mike Riley.

Mokhtar was in Corvallis Friday for the Beavers' Preview Day and by the time he left, had made the call on where he would spend his college years.

"I committed to Oregon State," said Mokhtar.

At the Preview Day, the 6-0, 215-pound running back out of Santa Ana, Calif., asked recruiting area coach Hull if he could have a few additional words with Riley before leaving for home. After the trio had talked a bit, Mokhtar produced an Oregon State sweatshirt, pulled it on and told the coaches he was ready to be a Beaver.

"Coach Riley came out of his chair he was so excited," said Mokhtar. "He was going crazy -- it was a good feeling."

Mokhtar chose Oregon State over offers from Colorado State and Washington, along with interest from UCLA, Cal, Notre Dame, Penn State and USC. He said a planned visit to the UW the first week in August has been cancelled, the recruitment process over for him.

"I'm done, I'm a Beaver," said Mokhtar.

Mokhtar said the OSU coaches were huge in his decision and an up-close look at the facilities and campus helped seal the deal.

Give an assist to former Mater Dei teammate and Oregon State receiver Kyle Brown as well.

"I've felt really comfortable with the coaches, I love the whole staff," said Mokhtar. "The facilities and the whole school, I didn't really expect all that. It was a lot nicer than I thought. I also have a friend on the football team (Kyle Brown) so it will be good to be there with someone I know."

His junior campaign, Mokhtar was selected All-Orange County first team, All-CIF Division I and co-Offensive Player of the Year in the Serra league. He racked up 1,498 yards on 254 carries with 15 TDs.

A workhorse with a big motor, Mokhtar shouldered the offensive load in 2005 with a freshman QB in the Mater Dei backfield. Some of his best work came in a playoff match-up against Loyola, as Mokhtar almost single-handedly kept Mater Dei in the game earning tough yards.

In a word, the Orange County Register summed up Mokhtar as "resilient", as he pounded out 120-plus ground yards a game in '05.

Ahmed Mokhtar profile

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