Oregon St. senior to be WR Jordan Bishop has retired from football. Continuing ankle and foot injuries was cited as the reason for his decision. Bishop broke a bone in a pickup basketball game in January of 2011, and then suffered another injury late last season. As a result, the West Salem graduate, who was also an All-American high jumper for the Beavers in the 2010 track season, missed both spring ball and track this year and last.
"It's disappointing that Jordan will not be able to play his senior season," Oregon St. coach Mike Riley said in a press release Thursday evening. "He has been a tremendous team member and will always be a part of Beaver Nation. I wish him the best in what will be surely a successful professional career of his choosing."
Despite the injuries, Bishop played in 34 of 37 games in his career, starting in his last 12 outings as the Beavers slot back. Bishop had 66 receptions for 893 yards and 4 touchdowns in his career, and will graduate with a degree in human development and family studies following summer term.
Bishop's departure was the most noteworthy on a long list of players who are departing the team, which also includes senior WR Geno Munoz, senior CB Keynan Parker, junior LB Cade Cowdin, junior QB Jack Lomax, junior LB Zeke Sanders, redshirt freshman LB Will Storey and redshirt freshman WR Tyler Trosin.
The circumstances surrounding the various departures are quite varied, but the common theme is Oregon St., which had oversigned, had to reduce the number of scholarship players in order to meet the NCAA mandated maximum of 85.
Munoz has struggled to get on the field at Oregon St.., having also battled injuries throughout his career, but was expected to see spot action this season in relief of Markus Wheaton. Munoz graduated this spring with his degree in human development and family studies.
Parker, who played in some nickle and dime defenses, as well as seeing action as a backup corner back, and was also a track sprinter, being one of the fastest Beavers, is a native of British Columbia, and was drafted in May in the Canadian Football League draft by the Montreal Alouettes. Being a native Canadian, Parker stands a good chance of making it in the CFL, where there is a limit on the number of non-Canadians that can be on the roster.
At least Bishop, Munoz, and Parker have something in their future secured.
After that, the situations quickly get considerably less encouraging.
Cowdin, a JC transfer from College of the Desert who enrolled this spring in order to participate in spring ball, was expected to contribute at the thin LB position, but it appears he was less than satisfied with how things were going.
Lomax, from Lake Oswego, the son of Neil Lomax, was third on the depth chart at QB, and seemed destined to remain there the rest of his career, barring injuries or other attrition, though there's a significant potential of that at the QB position.
Storey, another Lake Oswego product, via the pipe line that has been former Beaver Steve Coury's Laker program, is surprising, as he appeared poised to make an increased contribution on both special teams and on defense.
Coupled with the departure of another LB in Zeke Sanders, who had a strong spring game, the one-time log-jam of inexperienced prospects is quickly moving toward again being a thin position as it was last year, should injuries mount. (Anybody remember losing 3 LBs in the BYU game alone last year?)
Trosin came to the Beavers as a well regarded WR prospect, but has had a troubled stay in Corvallis, and was suspended from spring practice due to off field issues. Its possible he was just never going to see eye to eye with the coaching staff.
Additionally, there is a possibility that in-state non-scholarship offensive lineman David Vieru may not be back this fall.
Over-signing is common in football at all schools, to varying degrees, as attrition is unavoidable in a program with 85 scholarship players, and over 100 in the program. But it usually happens 1 player at a time, and not in a mass exodus. Its possible that Riley over-estimated attrition, and found himself in an uncomfortable position (the Beavers are still 2 players over the limit, though kicker Garrett Owen plans to greyshirt, and not enroll until next winter), but for a program that has declined in production 3 years in a row, and 4 of the last 5, a mis-calculation of this magnitude isn't encouraging. Grades are rumored to be an issue in some cases, and it may become an issue for anticipated JC offensive lineman recruit Stan Hasiak as well. The disconnect between recruiting/ admissions and retention, both in program and on campus in general, seems to be a growing issue.
In a year where the Beavers are already struggling mightily with recruiting (1 un-ranked commit and 1 transfer that has played in 3 games in 4 years), the red flags that this series of events raises, especially in state, will further give prospects cause for pause. Recall too that LB Tony Wilson, another in-state player, has also already "retired" for health reasons this year.
It's no secret that the departure of DB coach Keith Heyward for Washington was as disappointing internally as it was externally, a significant blow given the frustration that already existed with Defensive Coordinator/LB coach Mark Banker's inability to field an effective scheme most games in recent seasons, especially against teams that spread the field.
The continuing disappointing ends to careers on the offensive side of the ball (Danny Evans, son of a former Beaver hoops legend, and nationally touted Ryan Katz are still fresh in everyone's mind) don't help either when Oregon St. is coming off an 18 interception, 27 sack season, and struggled to conduct their spring scrimmage due to a shortage of offensive linemen.
At a time when Oregon St.'s customers are already growing weary of excuses instead of results on and off the field, this latest rash of unfortunate developments and the resulting black eye is just another example of what no one wanted to hear. Riley and staff are being paid to get results, and neither blowout losses nor the team tension and depth chart dilemmas that are producing them qualify.