With only 24 days left until Oregon State starts fall camp, we are counting down by previewing the 25 most valuable football players that will help lead the Beavers to a successful 2016 season. We'll count-down by highlighting a new player each day until fall camp starts. To follow-up from yesterday's selection of punter Nick Porebski and kicker Garrett Owens, today's pick goes to a tough and physical defensive lineman, whose will try to be an anchor of the Beavers' re-tooling defense.
#24: Elu Aydon - Defensive Tackle
Aydon may not be a household name just yet but after leaving Spring camp listed as the number one defensive tackle on the depth chart for Gary Andersen, it's clear that the Pago Pago, AS native is going to get his shot at doing something special for Oregon State.
Originally committed to Wisconsin as a three-star recruit coming out of the American Samoa, the 6' 3", 340 pounder, followed Andersen, and more importantly defensive line coach Chad Kahua'aha'a, to Corvallis after the former Badgers' head coach went west following the 2014 season. Aydon's commitment added to a growing trend of American Samoan football players on the Oregon State roster, that also includes Fred Lauina (OG), Noke Tago (DT) and Paisa Savea (DT).
At the end of this upcoming season, Aydon could easily be one of the biggest surprises on the whole Beavers team, as he's currently become the incumbent at a thread-bare position, who now has the chance to both win the job and remain there for the next four years in Corvallis. A physical, hands-first type of defensive lineman, Aydon brings more than a hole-clogging approach to the tackle position, with a noted talent in the past to blow by interior lineman and get into the backfield.
Aydon's approach and abilities may end up being invaluable to an Oregon State defense that is seriously lacking both steady blue-collar workhorses and game-changing playmakers from the line of scrimmage to the secondary. If Aydon can emerge as a immovable force on the inside, the potential for him to open opportunities for his teammates behind him could be endless.
Our "Fall Camp Countdown" continues tomorrow with the #23 Most Valuable Player for the Beavers in 2016.
The List So Far:
#24: Elu Aydon (DT)
#25: Nick Porebski (P) / Garrett Owens (K)