Our Most Valuable Player Countdown continues as we arrive on #13 on our list, Sophomore DT Elu Aydon. Originally, Aydon was a Wisconsin commit when Gary Andersen was the coach there. The talented DT was discovered by Beaver Defensive Line Coach Chad Kauha'aha'a, who was on Andersen’s staff at Wisconsin. Coach Chad discovered Aydon at a football camp in American Samoa and was very impressed with Aydon that he offered him a scholarship to Wisconsin. When Anderson was hired at Oregon State, Aydon flipped his commitment to Oregon State. He credited his close relationship to Andersen and his coaching staff. Getting the massive Defensive Tackle from Leone, American Samoa to change his commitment from Wisconsin to Oregon State was quite the coup. Aydon came to Oregon State with high expectations.
Aydon redshirted in 2015, yet he earned high praise for his work on the scout team. Entering the 2016 season, Andersen and Coach Chad believed that Aydon had the potential to be the starter at Nose Tackle. Aydon’s size (6’3 339 lbs), strength, and quickness was the ideal fit to start in the middle of DC Kevin Clune’s 3-4 Defense. In addition, Aydon’s size and intangibles are perfect to clog up the middle of the line and take on multiple blockers so it would free up the other defenders to make plays on the field. Aydon had a solid 2016 season. The Beaver coaching staff believe that Aydon has unlimited potential, and he is a valuable piece for the Beavers with his ability to make others on the Defense better. Aydon started 4 games in 2016. Aydon’s 2016 stats do not stand out as flashy ( 21 tackles, 1 sack), he was valuable on the Defensive Line. The Defense suffered through numerous injuries and growing pains in 2016, yet they made tremendous strides as the year progressed.
According to Gina Mizell of the Oregonian, Coach Andersen addressed that Elu Aydon needed to focus on extra conditioning at the beginning of camp after entering camp at 345 lbs. Currently, Aydon is behind Kalani Vakameilalo for the starting Nose Tackle position. Expect Aydon to be part of the rotation. The 12 game season will be a grind, and Aydon will be counted on for valuable minutes as the season progresses. Will Aydon follow up a solid 2016 season with an even better 2017 season? He has the size and intangibles to make it happen.