With only 7 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 Treston Decoud, today's pick goes to sophomore running back Ryan Nall.
#7 Ryan Nall - Running Back
Ryan Nall is a 6-foot-2, 235-pound sophomore running back for Oregon State. The "Wrecking Nall" is a former three-star recruit from Central Catholic High school, in Portland and is one of the top athletes on the Beavers young roster. In high school he starred at running back, receiver, and linebacker. He also led Central Catholic to it's first state championship in over 60 years.
Nall's journey to becoming the Beavers starting running back was unusual to say the least. After committing to Oregon State he drew rave reviews from the coaching staff during practices but it seemed no one could come to a consensus on where he should play. He initially started out as a tight end, because running back and linebacker were some of the deepest positions on the roster at the time.
The relative depth on Oregon State's roster allowed him to redshirt as a true freshman. Once Gary Andersen took over he encountered the same problem as the old coaching staff and Ryan Nall continued to play all over the field. He started the 2015 season as a tight end/H-back and wasn't expected to contribute as a running back.
Injuries decimated the running backs though and Ryan Nall was quickly called into action. During his freshman campaign Nall ran for 455 yards on 73 carries (6.2 YPC) while also adding 7 receptions for 109 yards and 3 total touchdowns. After a break out performance versus Colorado Nall earned high praise from coach Gary Andersen:
"Those are the guys I want to recruit and those are the guys I want to surround myself with. He is tough. He's physical. He's unselfish. He's everything that a great football player stands for in my mind and he's a freshman. And that excites the hell out of me."
About a month later Ryan Nall impressed everyone with a dominant performance in the Civil War. He ran for 174 yards and also had 54 receiving yards. Including a 66 yard touchdown run that showed off his impressive speed and proved that he's not just a power back.
Nall used his impressive performance against Oregon to become the Beavers number one running back. Despite Nall's versatility there's no question where he'll be utilized this year. He's going to get a steady dose of carries out of the backfield and he will be expected to produce. If Ryan Nall and the offensive line can stay healthy it's not out of the question to speculate that he will surpass the 1,000 yard barrier as a sophomore.
Our "Fall Camp Countdown" continues tomorrow with the #6 Most Valuable Player for the Beavers in 2016.
The List So Far:
#7: Ryan Nall (RB)
#10: Gavin Andrews (RG)
#11: Titus Failauga (OLB)
#12: Paul Lucas (R-Back)
#13: Baker Pritchard (DE)
#14: Bright Ugwoebu (LB)
#15: Noah Togiai (H-Back)
#16: Sumner Houston (NT)
#19: Seth Collins (WR)
#20: Dwayne Williams (CB)
#23: Manase Hungalu (LB)
#24: Elu Aydon (DT)