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Oregon State Football: Early Signing Period Approaches

The first batch of 2019 recruits look to sign early

NCAA Football: California at Oregon State Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

The Oregon State football team is looking for a nice infusion of talent (specifically at the line of scrimmage) and thanks to the rule change that went into effect last year, the staff no longer has to wait until February to sign the Beavers full recruiting class. With the season over and the coaching staff hard at work on the recruiting trail the three-day early signing period rapidly approaches (Dec. 19-21).

A significant portion of the new talent in Corvallis has come via transfers, but there’s a big part of the Beavers future that will always rely on new recruits from high school and the junior college ranks. Here is who has already verbally committed to Oregon State for the 2019 recruiting class.

Overall I expect the Beavers to sign around 20 new football recruits, which means a large portion of the 2019 class will be set in stone after the early signing period. It’s a great second year of recruiting for Jonathan Smith and company and while the class won’t finish as high as other Pac-12 schools (due to the lower number of total recruits/not factoring in the transfers etc.) it sets the Beavers up for success in the future.

Verbal Commits Expected to Sign:

  • Omar Speights - DE 6-1, 235, Crescent Valley HS, Corvallis, Oregon

A much needed addition to the Oregon State defensive line. Speights is a hybrid linebacker/defense end, but is expected to play on the defensive line for the Beavers. Omar is brothers with current Beaver, Jeromy Reichner, and the duo could form a ‘bash-brothers’ of sorts on the defensive line next season. I think Speights will see immediate playing time as a true freshman and have a similar impact that Isaac Hodgins had this past year.

Taron is a very talented and versatile running back. Obviously, running back is a position of strength for Oregon State with Jermar Jefferson and Artavis Pierce, but Taron might be too talented to keep off the field as a freshman and should have quite the impact going forward.

Jonathan Smith and company have made a huge effort to recruit the talented players in the state of Oregon. Their efforts have paid off and then have secured verbal commitments from five of the top ten prospects from Oregon in 2019. Luke is a very good tight end that will challenge Isaiah Smalls and Teagan Quitarno this offseason.

  • Cory Stover - DE 6-6, 215, Marshfield Senior HS, Marshfield, Oregon

Cory is a stud defensive end from Oregon. Like many high school recruits he could use a good off-season in the weight room, but he has the talent and the opportunity to play significant snaps as a true freshman.

Kelsen is in the same boat as Cory Stover. He’s not as beefy as the junior college defensive tackle (Jordan Whittley), but he’ll still have every chance to play as the defensive line desperately needs more talented players.

  • Ryan Franke - LB OLB, 6-4, 210, Oak Christian, Westlake Village, Calif.

Ryan Franke figures to be a talented outside linebacker in the Kee Whetzel/Hamilcar Rashed mold. Franke might need some time to acclimate before playing heavy snaps, but I would not be surprised if he worked his way on the field as a true freshman.

  • Wynston Russell - CB 5-11, 180, Homewood-Flossmoor HS, Flossmoor, Illinois

Wynston Russell is a very athletic defensive back and he’s got a great last name! The last couple of years the Beavers secondary has been destroyed by injuries, so Russell will need to be ready when his name is called.

Anthony Gould is a total beast and deserves a lot more recruiting attention than he has been given. I expect Gould’s career to play out similarly to Trevon Bradford, where he starts off on special teams and then becomes one of the Beavers top receiving options as an upperclassman.

  • Jojo Forest - CB CB, 5-11, 175, Mission Viejo, HS, Mission Viejo, Calif.

Just like Russell, Jojo Forest is an extremely talented and athletic defensive back and has the coolest name of any recruit on this list. The secondary always needs more depth and Jojo could see immediate action.

  • Evan Bennett - DT 6-3, 315, Marter Dei HS, Santa Anna, Calif.

A common theme with this class is that there is going to be an opportunity for immediate playing time. Bennett is a huge defensive tackle and will see the field as a true freshman.

Jordan Whittley is another huge defensive tackle and as a junior college transfer could be ready to plug into the starting lineup and play immediately. Obviously playing at the D1 level is a different animal, but Whittley will need to be up to the task if the Beavers defense is going to make significant strides in the 2019 season.

  • Alex Austin - CB 6-1, 174, Long Beach Poly, Long Beach, California

Alex Austin has a big frame for a corner and while he could use a little time in the weight room, he’s got the talent to make a huge impact. The defensive line and the secondary provide the biggest opportunity for recruits to see immediate playing time, so it will be interesting to see which players rise to the challenge.

  • Michael Erhart - LB OLB, 6-1, 212, Chaminade College Prep, West Hills, Calif.

Erhart is a tough linebacker and could become a tackling machine for the Beavers. With other offers from Brown, Columbia, Army and Air Force; I wouldn’t worry about Erhart in the classroom.

The second junior college transfer cracks the list. Vanderlaan isn’t as highly touted as some of these recruits, but the Beavers are losing a lot of seniors on the offensive line. Blake Brandel and Gus Lavaka are the only locks to start next season and after that it will be a battle for the other three starting spots on the offensive line.

*The regular signing period begins Feb. 6, 2019 and mid-year junior college transfers have until Jan. 15, 2019 to sign.

Players not technically listed as part of the 2019 Recruiting Class:

  • Tristian Gebbia - QB - Nebraska Transfer
  • Avery Roberts - LB - Nebraska Transfer
  • Tyjon Lindsey - WR - Nebraska Transfer
  • Addison Gumbs - DE - Oklahoma Transfer
  • Joshua Gray - OL - Greyshirted in 2018
  • Josh Bowcut - DL - 2017 Recruit, returned from a two-year LDS Mission