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June 24, 2008A broken thumb has shelved Gino Simone from action the past few weeks. But that certainly hasn't stopped the savvy 6-foot, 175-pound wide receiver from adding scholarship offers to his total. The Sammamish (Wash.) Skyline High School product has used his down time to make a number of unofficial campus visits, and on his most recent trip on Monday, Simone picked up his fifth and latest full-ride tender.
"I just got offered by Oregon State this morning," Simone said on Monday. "I was down there in Corvallis as me and my dad had flown down for the day. I had called the coaches to tell them that I'd be down there and once I was there they said that I'd have a chance to play for them."
"They showed us around campus for most of the day and I was really impressed," Simone continued. "I was really impressed with the coaches and the facilities down there."
Simone has excelled at Skyline on both sides of the ball, but noted that Oregon State offered him as a receiver. The Beavers join a list that now consists of Washington, Washington State, Boise State, and UNLV and despite making a good impression on Simone during his trip, the wideout is trying to keep things even.
"I'm still pretty open," Simone said. "Obviously, the Pac-10 would be an ideal situation. But it will turn out to be a place that is the right fit for me and wherever I feel that place is, that's where I'll go. There are a lot of things that will go into it and once I figure that out, I'll make a commitment."
Simone recapped what OSU has going for it at this point in time.
"The facilities were great and I like how everything down there is close and it's a family environment," Simone said. "But what probably impressed me the most was the chance to meet a lot of the players that are there now. Being around them, everyone of them were awesome - they're great guys and great people. They didn't treat me like I was just another high school recruit, they treated me very good. I really enjoyed hanging out with and talking with the guys."
Simone will continue his unofficial visits this week, hitting Washington State on Tuesday and then Washington on Thursday. Next week, his cast will come off of his thumb and he'll get back to working on his craft.
"I'll be getting my hands back to full strength and keep running my routes and catching balls," Simone said. "I'll be working on reading defenses, because at the next level you've got to be able to read things."