The Oregon State coaching staff is getting good at this.

An hour after arriving home from this weekend’s official visit to Corvallis, Rivals two-star running back Zachary Lopini Katoa had visitors.

It was Oregon State head coach Gary Andersen, linebacker coach Ilaisa Tuiaki and offensive line coach T.J. Woods, hoping to close the all-purpose back with an in-home visit.

The Beavers coaches took the same approach last week, arriving to recruits’ houses the day they got back from trips, and it worked, as both three-star cornerback Jay Irvine and three-star running back Taylor Thomas committed.

The strategy again paid off Sunday, as Lopini Katoa committed to Oregon State.

“That was huge,” he said. “For them to come right out here and visit, that was huge and made my commitment even more solid.”

The seed of that pledge was first planted at the Oregon State basketball game Saturday, as Lopini Katoa saw Beavers fans at their best.

“It really felt like the place. The coaching staff is amazing there,” he said. “Going to the basketball game, experiencing the fan stuff, it was a great environment, a great atmosphere.”

Landing Thomas last week gave the Beavers a speedy ball-carrier, but Lopini Katoa is a do-everything prospect that can complete a formidable future 1-2 punch.

As a senior, he rushed for 1,655 yards and 25 touchdowns with another 575 yards and five touchdowns receiving.

“I don’t like to be a one-dimensional back,” Lopini Katoa said. “I like to do everything – running, receiving, passing, blocking. I like to be the best of all of it that I can be.”

The 6-foot-1, 200-pound back out of American Fork, Utah said he will attempt to sway his cousin, Rivals two-star defensive standout Thor Katoa, into joining him in Corvallis.

“That’s the plan,” Lopini Katoa said. “We’re going to get Thor. We’re going to get as many as we can.”

— Andrew Nemec | @AndrewNemec

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