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Oregon St. Adds Another JC

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Calvin Tonga (99), a defensive tackle from Arizona Western Junior College, has verbally committed to Oregon St. <em>(Yuma Sun photo)</em>
Calvin Tonga (99), a defensive tackle from Arizona Western Junior College, has verbally committed to Oregon St. (Yuma Sun photo)

While Monday's bowl watching was under way, Oregon St. added its' second JC recruit, and their 21st. player overall, to their 2012 recruiting class.

Calvin Tonga, a 6'4", 320 lb. DT from Riverside, CA, who is on track to get his Associate of Arts degree in May from Arizona Western JC, verbally committed to the Beavers, choosing Oregon St. over Arizona St., Colorado, and Colorado St.

Tonga made his choice without visiting Corvallis, in part on the recommendations of several former Oregon St. recruits who wound up Arizona Western instead, including Thomas Molesi, Happy Iona and d'Vante Henry. Tonga does have a visit scheduled on January 20.

Tonga was headed for Arizona St. from Arlington High in Riverside 2 years ago, but didn't qualify academically, and redirected to Arizona Western, where he registered 28 tackles and 2 sacks as a freshman. He upped those numbers to 45 tackles, 3 sacks, and 3 forced fumbles last season. The Matadors went 10-2 in 2010, and improved to 11-1 last fall.

Neither Rivals.com nor Scout.com ranks Tonga with any stars, so its unclear until he appears in summer camp how much impact he will have. He does bring size to a unit that struggled with being undersized in the middle this season.

Head coach Mike Riley had not initially intended to bring in any JC transfers on the defensive line in the 2012 recruiting class, but the unexpected death of Fred Thompson created a need.

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com