Gary Andersen has always done things a little different, and his recruiting style is a perfect example. While most college football coaches load up their recruiting class by February’s signing day, Andersen likes to leave a little wiggle room for some potential late additions, whether it be a junior college kid, a grad transfer or a high school senior who was overlooked during the “normal” recruiting period. The 2017 class, which featured a solid haul on signing day has gotten a little bit bigger with the addition of JUCO transfer Keli’i Montibon, who we wrote about back in June when he first committed to the Beavs, Australian punter Alex Bland, another junior college transfer and former South Alabama Jaguar in longsnapper Carson Sharp and high school linebacker/tight end Ralph Tuafa’asua out of American Samoa. Also officially added to the roster was former Aloha High School standout, and previous wearer of green and yellow (and probably gray, black, pink, purple and whatever other color they claimed as their own for a week) Thomas Tyner.
Aside from Tyner, who announced his intention to cross over from the dark side back in May, the biggest addition (both physically and potential impact-wise) will likely be Montibon. The offensive lineman will have three years of eligibility, and plenty of opportunity to compete for a starting role on a line that saw three starters move on to the NFL and a potential starter transfer to SMU. While the Beavers appear to be set at Montibon’s listed position of guard with the likes of Fred Lauina and Gus Lavaka, coach Andersen and TJ Woods will put out the best 5 lineman they have, meaning one of the guards could move to the vacant tackle position opposite Blake Brandel or possibly battle with Sumner Houston for the starting center role.
Carson Sharp will have a chance to replace former longsnapper Ryan Navarro who signed an undrafted free agent pact with the Oakland Raiders, while Alex Bland will likely have to wait a year to see the field, unless he can usurp incumbent punter and fellow countryman Nate Porebski for the starting punting duties. It is likely that Taufa’asau will redshirt this season while the coaching staff determines his best fit on the roster. While listed as a linebacker on the OSU roster, Coach Andersen told the Oregonian’s Andrew Nemec that they plan to start the 6’3” Taufa’asau out at tight end. One name who was noticeably absent from the roster was last years kick off specialist and superhuman baseball catcher Asley Rutschman who is said to be focusing 100% on baseball following a spectacular freshman season behind the plate.
With fall camp starting today, stay with Building The Dam as we bring you up to date on the 2017 football season.