It's football National Letter of Intent Signing Day, and Oregon State formalized one of their better recruiting classes. It's become a very big deal nationally, but was pretty anti-climatic in Corvallis, other than the technical problems with the OSU website, as several of the biggest signings of coach Gary Andersen's first complete class (last year he came on-board in late December, and it was a transition class largely initially developed by former coach Mike Riley and his staff) actually became official back in mid-December, on the "early" signing day.
Additionally. there were no unexpected last minute defections to other programs that can crop up; the defections came earlier. Andersen and his staff have had the 2016 class pretty much put together for a couple of weeks, and have only had to stay in touch to keep commitments solid.
The made for media event that signing day is does have serious meaning for programs in down to the wire competition with other programs for top recruits, and occasionally Oregon State does have the same issue with programs at their level, but its rarely as relevant for the Beavers as it can be down the road at Oregon, or at places like USC, UCLA, or Stanford.
However, there was one good piece of late flip news, as 6'1" 320 lb. 3 star DT David Fangupo from Norwalk, CA, who was previously leaning to Utah, changed his mind, and will become a Beaver instead.
He'll join 6'4" 295 lb. Paisa Savea, a JC transfer from Snow JC in Ephraim, UT at the DT position.
The signing day principal signees that could have been an issue are the 2 4 star recruits that Oregon State has signed this year, 6'2", 195 lb. DB Shurod Thompson, a cousin of current Beaver Xavier Crawford, from Brentwood, CA, and 6'2" 200 lb. athlete Christian Wallace, from Sealy, TX, a 3 sport athlete who can play both running back and safety at the next level.
The first signee of the day was 6'3", 205 lb. 3 star Doug Taumoelau from Brighton High in Salt Lake City. Taumoelau could wind up as either a DE or an outside rush LB, but either way, he's part of Andersen's efforts to solve the lack of pass rush off the edge.
Another 3 star DE recruit is 6'4" Isaac Garcia from Washington power Bellevue High in Bellevue Washington. It's always been important for Oregon State to hold their own in Washington's back yard, and getting a Bellevue player matters for future recruiting as well as in the current class. Garcia was originally a USC commit, and winning any battle against the Trojans is a rare and notable thing.
The DE position group was jump-started by the signing of JC transfer Phillip Napoleon from San Jacinto, CA, in the early signing period, and also includes 6'4" Hamilcar Rashed from Chandler, AZ, 6'8" Joah Robinette from San Marcos, CA, and 6'4" 230 lb. Kenny Turnier from Miami Central High in Miami, FL.
Turnier, like Teumoelau, could well find their way to OLB spots as Oregon State continues to move toward using a base 3-4 defense, and so DE/OLB represents the largest area of emphasis in Andersen's recruiting class.
Another recruit listed as DE/LB in that vein is 6'3" 230 lb. Shemiah Unutoa-Whitson from San Bernadino, CA.
In state 6'1" 200 lb. OLB Kiahve Dennis-Lee from Oregon City is also in that mix as a preferred walkon, as is 6' 220 lb Luke Leonnig from Eagle, ID.
The name most fans already know is always the quarterback prospect, and with only transfer Darrel Garretson and Marcus McMaryion on the roster as QBs, 6'3" 180 lb. Mason Moran from Chandler, AZ is another focal point of this year's class.
The Wide Receiver group will be bolstered by a pair of 3 star newcomers, including Oregon State's top in state recruit, 5'11 180 lb. Trevon Bradford from Oregon City, and another Bellevue product in 6'5", 195 lb. Tyson Penn.
Competing well for recruits in Washington, as noted, is important in the northwest, and Oregon State also got a LB recruit in 6'3", 230 lb. Andrzej Hughes-Murray from Federal Way, WA.
And the Florida pipeline contributed a couple of linebackers as well, 6'2" 200 lb. Shemar Smith, from Miami, and 6'74" 200 lb. Kevontre Whetzel from Clearwater, FL.
One of the losses Oregon State suffered earlier this winter was the loss of in-state TE/LB John Bates from Lebanon to Boise State, so signing 5'5" 217 lb. 3 star TE/LB Riley Sharp from Salt Lake City, UT, was important, and also helps continue the Beavers' Utah pipeline, important after the loss of former defensive coordinator Kalani Sitake, now the head coach at BYU.
The Florida pipeline also produced a 3 star RB in 5'11" 190 lb. Artavis Pierce from Auburndale, FL. Pierce will join early period signee 6' 200 lb. Kyle White, from Contra Mesa, CA.
Oregon State also kept their Arizona connection going, and landed the 3 star brothers Landry and Wesley Payne from Maricopa, and Pima CC in Tucson. Wesley is a 5'11" 205 lb. LB, and Landry a 6' 185 lb. DB.
The defensive backfield also got help back in the early signing period, and also from Arizona, when 6.1" 195 lb. JC transfer Timmy Hernandez from Tucson, AZ.
The offensive line only added 1 recruit, but its a big one, and it too came earlier, when 6'4", 350 lb. Gus Lavaca from Kearns, UT, who is returning from a 2 year LDS mission, joined the program.
Oregon State did lose out to Washington State in a head to head battle for 6'4" 295 lb. offensive lineman Fredrick Mauigoa from Pago Pago.
As of mid-day, and pending late additions, Oregon State's class wound up ranked #41. This is a slight slip from the 39th ranking that's been bantered about recently, but it isn't an indication of any loss; its more a case of a couple of schools with late additions moving past. Unfortunately for the Beavers, that included Arizona State and Washington, which are in at #36 & #38 at the moment, with the potential to climb a little more, and just behind #35 Utah.
The Huskies were eventually the victim of a late loss, and dropped, at least for a while, back behind the Beavers, but then jumped back ahead. Oregon State might yet manage to finish in the top 40, or may just miss.
Among Pac-12 programs, California is up ahead, initially at #33 according to Rivals, and eventually edging into the high 20s. Oregon is at #28. The Ducks will have a smaller class this year, due to their number of returnees, but still have 4 4 stars.
UCLA looks like they will lead the way for the Pac-12, and the Bruins have cracked into the top 10. USC is climbing as they get additional top prospects, but was only at #14 midday. Stanford is at #17, after being at #18, but is more likely to drop than rise much, as their class is nearly full, but Michigan State and Florida still have some scholarships to hand out.
Ohio State and Michigan from the B1G Ten were the only programs from outside the southeast (the SEC plus SEC lite Florida State and Clemson from the ACC) to crack the top 9 spots ahead of UCLA for a while, though USC eventually surged past, solidly into the top 10.
Mike Riley's Nebraska class, by the way, was holding at #25, 5th best in the B1G Ten, just 1 spot behind Penn State, but both subsequently moved up, the Huskers to #24.