With only 11 days left until Oregon State starts fall camp, we continue our countdown of the 25 most valuable football players. To follow-up from yesterday's selection of Paul Lucas, today's pick goes to outside linebacker Titus Failauga.
#11 Titus Failauga - Outside Linebacker
Titus Failauga is a 6-foot-3, 250-pound junior outside linebacker. The Hawaiian native is a former three-star recruit and has a long frame; with great speed and deceptive strength. The 2015 opening day starter at right end has switched positions, going from a defensive lineman to an outside linebacker this offseason. And despite battling injuries throughout the spring, Titus still managed to come out as the favorite to be a starting outside linebacker in Oregon State's developing 3-4 defense.
As a sophomore, Titus was part of a steady group of defensive lineman that rotated in and out of games. He recorded 29 tackles and a sack during the 2015 season. Now as a junior, Titus joins a talented and experienced linebacking core that includes Caleb Saulo, Bright Ugwoebu, Manase Hungalu and himself.
Titus Failauga's main weapon will be the versatility he brings to the table as an outside linebacker. He's a physical player that already has experience as a defensive end who lined up on the line of scrimmage and rushed the quarterback. He also has long arms and good speed which will help him make plays all over the field as an outside linebacker. Titus' versatility will give defensive coordinator, Kevin Clune a rare weapon.
Titus is blessed with the rare combination of size, strength, and speed where he can rush the quarterback as an end would; he can rush the QB standing up as an outside linebacker or he can even drop into coverage from the end or linebacker spots. With his versatility he can fit into any defensive scheme and his presence will make it extremely difficult for quarterbacks to read the defense. Offenses won't know what his assignment is on any given play. This will hopefully open up opportunities for him to get into the backfield and wreak havoc on opposing offenses.
While it won't be easy for Titus Failauga to learn all of the nuances of being a 'hybrid' outside linebacker in one year. His experience and leadership will be vital to Oregon State's success. I expect Titus to grow into his role as fall camp commences and as the season continues. I also anticipate that Titus will record multiple sacks this year. He will help the Beavers pressure opposing quarterbacks and improve on their paltry total of 17 sacks during the 2015 season.
Our "Fall Camp Countdown" continues tomorrow with the #10 Most Valuable Player for the Beavers in 2016.
The List So Far:
#11: Titus Failauga (OLB)
#12: Paul Lucas (R-Back)
#13: Baker Pritchard (DE)
#14: Bright Ugwoebu (LB)
#15: Noah Togiai (H-Back)
#19: Seth Collins (WR)
#20: Dwayne Williams (CB)
#23: Manase Hungalu (LB)
#24: Elu Aydon (DT)