Spring is in the air, which means that fans of every college team in the country are looking at their school’s roster and trying to predict the new depth chart and the new plays that their favorite team will unveil when fall finally rolls around. With that newness comes the promise of new faces, as programs recruit with an eye on not only the coming season but on the handful of seasons that come after as well.
Let’s turn our eyes to the current recruiting classes of 2017 to get an idea about where coach Gary Andersen is steering the Oregon State football program.
Class of 2017
Current commits: 24 (one 4-star, 22 three-star)
The current commits to Oregon State are good enough to rank #53 in the country in terms of overall recruiting class but, due to the Pac-12 being a minefield of talented programs, the Beavers still land at only #11 in terms of Pac-12 recruiting class. Remember though: recruiting rankings are anything but foolproof as there have been many unheralded athletes to shine at the college level.
The players that will grace the Corvallis campus this fall include:
One all-purpose back: Calvin Tyler, who has excelled during his prep career in football-crazy Texas.
A trio of cornerbacks: Jeffrey Manning, Isaiah Dunn, and Justin Gardner, who all grade out as 81s or higher in 247sports.com’s rating system. These three will look to become a lock-down unit that can carry on the tradition of aggressive cornerback play at Oregon State.
Two defensive tackles: Craig Evans and Josh Bowcut, who will look to add some much-needed mass to the interior line of the Beaver defense.
Five offensive tackles: Justin Sattelmaier, Travis Mackay, Brock Wellsfry, Onesimus Lutu-Clarke, and Clay Cordasco, all of whom grade out as 81s or higher in 247sports.com’s rating system. With the losses that Oregon State took to the offensive line due to graduation/NFL Draft, these recruits will be welcome additions to a team that may look to become more physical as Gary Andersen gets his guys worked into the program.
One outside linebacker: David Morris, who finished an outstanding career at Sherwood High in heartbreaking fashion but still did enough for Andrew Nemec of OregonLive.com to argue that Morris should have been the 6A Player of the Year for the state of Oregon.
Two quarterbacks: Jake Luton (JC transfer) and Aidan Willard, both pro-style signal callers that show much promise. Luton should compete for the starting quarterback job as he has already enrolled at Oregon State and is participating in camps and practices. Marcus Russell wrote an excellent piece detailing Luton’s credentials upon the news last fall that he had committed to Oregon State.
Two running backs: Kesi Ah-Hoy and BJ Baylor, neither of which are taller than six-foot but make up for their height with inspired running.
Two safeties: Trajon Cotton (a player that Oregon State battled with Colorado to land) and Charles Watson, talented athletes that will roam the secondary in Reser Stadium within a year or two.
A loaded group of six wide receivers: Isaiah Hodgins, Kolby Taylor, Quantino Allen, Aaron Short, Kaleb Hayes, and Arex Flemings. These six are all skilled, but are clearly led by Hodgins, a four-star recruit that enrolled at Oregon State early and will look to make an immediate impact on the field. Hodgins has already developed a certain kind of chemistry with Beaver cornerback Christian Wallace (a redshirt freshman), as the two athletes push each other in practice with a veteran-minded leadership that defies their youth.
Remaining undecided 3/4/5 star targets: seven 3-star, two 2-star
While Oregon State has extended 203 offers to athletes in the 2017 class, nearly all of the athletes in question are listed as having committed already to either Oregon State or to another program. According to 247sports.com, there are currently seven athletes that the Beavers have offered that are not yet committed to a program:
Rajan Cunningham, all-purpose back out of Dallas, TX - currently listed as uncommitted, but Twitter sources show that Cunningham has decided to play for Texas Southern University as he attempts to regain form after tearing his ACL twice in two years.
Dionte Sykes, wide receiver out of Gilbert, AZ - once committed to Oregon State, Sykes has reopened his recruitment and seems to have gravitated towards in-state Arizona State University, as he currently has their offer pinned to his Twitter and regularly gets mentioned by ASU fans as their excitement for the talented receiver builds. Still, as long as Sykes is listed as uncommitted there might be a chance for the Beavers to get back in the mix for his talents.
Victor Bates, wide receiver out of Buena Park, CA - Bates currently holds offers from four schools (BYU, Colorado State, Hawaii, and Oregon State) but shows no signs of leaning towards any particular one. According to his hudl.com account, the speedy 6’1” receiver runs the 40 in 4.52 seconds and the 100 meter dash in 10.42 seconds.
Wallace Corker, wide receiver out of Stockbridge, GA - at 6’3”, Corker would be a nice addition to the Beavers receiving corps. However, his current Twitter banner indicates that Corker will play at Alabama State University despite being offered by seven Power-5 programs (including Oregon State, Tennessee, Minnesota, and West Virginia).
Tyler Asemota, wide receiver out of Sherman Oaks, CA - another tall receiver at 6’4”, Asemota received a number of scholarship offers to play football but has instead decided to pursue an athletic career in a different sport, as he has accepted a scholarship offer from UCLA to run track for the Bruins.
Trey Davis, wide receiver out of Portland, OR - currently Davis holds offers from both Oregon State and Washington State. Hopefully the speedster out of Central Catholic will stay in-state and sign with the Beavers.
Fabian Kratz, offensive tackle out of Naperville, IL - standing 6’5” and weighing in at 283 pounds, Kratz holds offers from at least 15 schools. However, the highest-profile program outside of Oregon State to offer him so far has been Syracuse. This one might come down to whether Kratz wants to spend a few years out west or stay a bit closer to home. The Beavers could certainly use the talents that Kratz brings to the table.
Lorenzo Fauatea, strong-side defensive end out of Salt Lake City, UT - while Fauatea holds offers from 12 programs, he is currently listed as “warm” on both BYU and Utah by 247sports. Signs point toward this athlete staying in-state to continue his athletic career.
Shakur Brown, athlete out of Stockbridge, GA - though still listed as uncommitted, it appears that Brown has committed to West Virginia University.