Beavers Losing DB Recruits

With National Letter of Intent Day now just 2 days away, Oregon St. is seeing what was looking like a deep class at DB thinning out.

Chris Young, a JC DB from Arizona Western Community College in Yuma, AZ, but originally from Auburn, WA, who originally verbally committed to the Beavers last week, apparently decided he likes the dryer weather of the southwest better. After visiting Arizona St. last week, Young announced he's changed his plans, and will become a Sun Devil.

This is a significant loss for Oregon St., as Young is a Junior College All-American and was the National Junior College Athletic Association's Defensive Player of the Year.

The news comes on the heels of the defection of cornerback Kentrel Bryce, who verbally committed to the Beavers over the holidays, but has now decided to stay home in Rushton, LA, and attend Louisiana Tech.

Brice and safety Cyril Noland played together in high school, and had indicated they would stay together, and both attend Oregon St. Noland hasn't given any indication of changing his mind, but since the pair are close, it will bear watching.

4 star DB Devian Shelton announced he's still leaning toward Oregon St., but also said he won't make a final decision until signing day. Nebraska, where Shelton just visited, and Washington are still in the running for Shelton, from Inglewood, CA, as well.

With Washington having lost out on some other big name recruits this year, despite hiring respected recruiter Tosh Lupoi away from California, expect Husky coach Steve Sarkisian to make a major push for Shelton, as he tries to salvage a recruiting season that hasn't been up to par with his previous classes. Don't be surprised to see Shelton select purple instead of orange come Wednesday.

The departure of DB coach Keith Heyward to Washington has coincided with the Oregon St. defensive back recruits becoming considerably less committed than they had been. Oregon St. coach Mike Riley hasn't announced a replacement for Heyward yet, though he did say one could be determined with in "two days or so".

Which means Riley is probably talking to someone currently on another staff, and doesn't want to tip his hand until after signing day. That's not unheard of in the recruiting game, but it also doesn't do Oregon St. any good regarding this year's class.

Riley has said he is after a veteran coach first, and then a strong recruiter second. He plans to have that coach help WR coach Brent Brennan with in the LA and Orange county areas.

While its become evident of late that strategic coaching needs to be re-inserted into the defensive plan, its also become pretty plain that recruiting is becoming even more important, and hotly contested, in the Pac-12 than before. Riley's hire is going to have to be solid on both the field and in living rooms.

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com

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