Masifilo chooses Farm

Matthew Masifilo to Stanford (Scout.com)

He's known for a while what school was probably the right fit for him, but Matthew Masifilo wanted to make sure it was the best fit. And after official visits and careful deliberation, the 6-foot-3, 270-pound defensive tackle from Campbell High School in Ewa Beach, Hawaii has made his decision.

In a phone call Monday morning, Masifilo gave the go-ahead on the news we expected to hear for months - that he was going to verbally commit to Stanford. One of the reasons we felt confident that Masifilo was going to play next season for the Cardinal was that he took an official visit to the school when they were still looking for a head coach.

"I had to get a quick feel for what the new coaching staff at Stanford was like," Masifilo told Scout.com when he made his decision. He chose the Cardinal over offers from California and Washington, among others. He eventually pared his list down to those three schools, and now his list is at one. "My first impression of Coach (Jim) Harbaugh and his staff is that they are high-energy, fiery guys...high-tempo guys. Coach Harbaugh, he has so much energy and charisma, he could still be playing in the League."

Masifilo broke down what he was looking for in a school, and also why he ultimately chose the Cardinal.

"One of the things I was looking at was, if I wasn't able to play football anymore, which school would I choose? And that school was Stanford," he said. "It was just about the academics and the overall philosophy there, but I felt like I also had more in common and got along better with the players at Stanford than anywhere else, especially the underclassmen and the recruits. I just seemed to have more of a connection with them."

Masifilo, Scout.com's 21st-ranked defensive tackle nationally, will actually be starting out at defensive end for the Cardinal. "Stanford told me that I'd be starting out there," he said. "The new staff is going to be putting in a 4-3, so the ends that were playing in last year's defense will move inside to tackle and I'll be at end. I just have to work at getting my speed up."

Even though Masifilo had a hundred reasons for choosing Stanford just based on academics, he didn't leave out the football aspect of the equation. "I'm going there for football too," he said. "I've been following their program since last spring, and this past season they had so many major injuries that it's tough to really judge that season. Their record definitely was not an image of the talent that they have there."

The other major factor that played into Masifilo's decision was family. Masifilo, who is half-white, half-Tongan, will have the Tongan side of his family very close to him when he shows up to enroll in the fall. "Basically my whole Tongan family lives about five minutes away from Stanford," he said. "So knowing that my family could see me play was very important."

Now that his decision is settled, it's time for Masifilo to relax and enjoy the fruits of a successful recruiting process. He wanted all the schools that recruited him to know just how much gratitude he has for them and how tough it was to only be able to choose one college.

"The decision was really hard for me," he said. "I feel very blessed, but at the same time you have to get it done. I have so much respect for the coaches at California and at Washington, and I'd like to thank all the coaches that saw something in me.

"It's just that, in the end, Stanford was the place for me. It's the place I know I'm going to be the happiest."

Matthew Masifilo Scout.com Profile

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