With the start of winter term this week, there is some coming and going with the Oregon St. football team.
Yes, Jacquizz Rodgers is enrolled in classes this term, and no, it does not guarantee that he will be staying for next year. Rodgers has another 10 days to make his decision about committing for the NFL draft, and until then, no decision is final. 'Quizz will be evaluating what the evaluation he receives from the NFL in the next week.
Nine other players are "officially on the team" now, as 5 greyshirts also started class for winter term, including kicker Trevor Romaine, defensive back Will Storey, defensive tackle Fred Thompson, linebacker D.J, Welch, and running back Terron Ward.
JC defensive transfers Rusty Fernando and Blake Harrah are on the campus as well.
Also, freshmen offensive tackle Darryl Jackson, and a couple of heralded walkons, center/long snapper Troy Whalen, and offensive guard David Vieru, are here.
Two familiar faces are not around, however, most notably honorable mention All-Pac-10 special teams player Unai "Devin" Unga, who has transferred to BYU for religious reasons. Also in the rotation at outside linebacker, his loss from a position group that already lost a pair of senior starters will potentially be very significant. He could be back on campus this fall, at least for a day, as he plans to walk on with the Cougars, who will visit the Beavers on Oct. 15. It could even set up a meeting with his twin brother Feti, on special teams if no where else. The opening kickoff could be a collision worth watching.
Redshirt sophomore WR Kevan Walker has also left. Walker, from Pasadena, California, has decided to head to Southern Illinois, where he will have 2 seasons left.
A coaching staff change has also happened, as former Beaver linebacker Alan Darlin has taken the defensive graduate assistant position previously occupied by Daniel Drayton. Drayton has been hired as the defensive backs coach at Idaho State. Both played for Oregon St from 2004 thru 2007.
"We are excited to have him," Oregon St. coach Mike Riley said of Darlin. "We are happy for Daniel Drayton, and his new opportunity. We will miss him, but that's the natural order of coaching."
Darlin, who was the starting middle linebacker for two seasons, was second team All-Pac-10 as a senior, and was a co-captain his senior year. Darlin started 26 of his 48 career games, and was a volunteer coach for the Beavers after graduation when he could. Darlin played football professionally in Germany during the summers, where he was a player-coach.
"I've been waiting for this spot to open up for quite a while," Darlin said. "I can't be more excited to be back. Playing in Germany was amazing, and I considered still playing. But this opened up, and my ultimate goal is to coach in the states."
One opening on the staff remains, to replace Robin Ross, who worked with the tight ends as a graduate assistant the last two years.