Hercules Mata'afa's decision-making process has become methodical. There won't be favorites named and he'll hide whatever lean exists in his mind for the time being. The Lahaina (Hawaii) Lahainaluna defensive end already has two visits in the book.
The first went to Washington State, where he saw the sights and watched a game. The visit was standard and so were his post-visit remakes. He followed that up by traveling to Oregon State over the weekend and returned from that trip with more of the same canned opinions.
Don't expect to get a read on which school he may favor. For whatever reason, he's doing everything he can to hide that from the public.
"Both of those schools seem very family orientated, they way they come together as a team," Mata'afa said after returning from Corvallis. "They're both in a small town, but close to everything. They're both pretty much the same. "
Fellow Hawaiian and current Beaver defensive end Titus Failauga hosted Mata'afa's Oregon State trip. Failauga, it seems, played a large role in the visit. Still, Mata'afa's public take and description of the ordeal are cliché. There are no lines to read between here.
"Titus and the coaches, they showed me around," Mata'afa said. "Titus is from the big island … he's from Oahu. It was the first time I met him, but I've played against him before. It was really nice having him there, though. It was a good trip."
According to Mata'afa, Washington State and Oregon State are the two schools currently recruiting him the hardest. That's all the insight he offers, though. He'll save most of his findings for after he finishes up taking visits.
This is they way he drew it up, and this is the way things are unfolding.
"I don't know yet about the rest of my visits, but I'll probably be going to San Diego State for the next one. I'm going to take all my favorites … before I can even start to decide who I like most. After I take all my visits, I'm going to discuss it with my family and decide."
The checklist Mata'afa has in place, on the other hand, remains both public and unchanged. On that front, he doesn't mind sharing his feelings.
"A place that has good mentors that are actually going to push me to better my education," he said. "I want coaches that care about me as a person, not just a football player."