The 2018 season is over. Dead and gone. Move along.
Yet, it is never too early to start looking forward to 2019. As rough as this season was, at times, there were still plenty of bright spots to help encourage fans over for the 2019 campaign. This Beaver roster will have talent, and will have the chance to make some noise next season. So let’s take the chance to highlight which five players will play the most crucial roles in 2019...
Mr. Gebbia has yet to play a snap for Oregon State, yet the young QB will have a pivotal role in the Beavers offense in 2019. Gebbia announced in August that he would be transferring to Oregon State from Nebraska, and bring with him lofty expectations. Gebbia was a 4-star QB prospect out of Calabasas, CA. He came into his recruiting season as the 9th ranked pro-style QB in his entire class. The soon-to-be sophomore will be the favorite to win the job come next year and will step into an efficient offense that he will hopefully elevate. The Oregon State offense showed this past season that they could still be efficient even without a reliable quarterback. It’s exciting to think of the things that a quarterback with the talent of Gebbia could do for this offense in 2019.
Team-first guy all the way. Doesn't like to talk about himself. I like that about this kid ...— Steven M. Sipple (@HuskerExtraSip) July 9, 2018
Tristan Gebbia doesn't feel like underdog in Nebraska quarterback competition https://t.co/L876k7vdHj pic.twitter.com/jEMYdUcAXp
#4. DT Isaac Hodgins
The most important area that has to improve for Oregon State to be successful in 2018 is on defense. So where better than to start with the d-line. Isaac Hodgins was a 3-star recruit out of Walnut Creek, CA. He quickly earned playing time this year due to a lack of depth along the defensive line. Hodgins went through some growing pains, as do most true freshman. He finished his freshman year with 25 combined tackles and 2.5 sacks. He will be one of the center pieces of this defensive makeover for Oregon State. His development as a player will be key to helping the Oregon State defense improve and be more competitive in 2019.
Another 4-star prospect from Nebraska joins this list. Avery Roberts withdrew from Nebraska and transferred to Oregon State after his freshman season in 2017. He sat out 2018 due to NCAA transfer requirements, but should start right away for OSU and be an instant impact player. Oregon State lacked a true impact player that they could consistently rely upon in the 2018 season, but Roberts could change that in 2019. Roberts came out of the 2017 class as the sixth ranked ILB, the eighth ranked OLB, and number one ranked DE in the state of Delaware. Roberts will figure to be a linebacker for Jonathan Smith’s defense, and should walk into a starting role immediately for the Beavs.
BREAKING: Former four-star recruit and Nebraska LB Avery Roberts is transferring to Oregon State https://t.co/vGTa84uNJa— BeaversEdge.com (@Beavers_Edge) August 28, 2018
The older brother of formerly mentioned Isaac Hodgins, Isaiah Hodgins came out of the 2017 Beaver recruiting class as one of the most highly touted prospects Oregon State has recruited in some time. And after two years, the elder Hodgins is starting to meet, and even exceed, Beaver Nation’s expectations. Over the course of the 2018 season, Isaiah compiled 876 receiving yards on 59 catches with 5 touchdowns. Despite the constant quarterback flux, Hodgins was the true number one target on the team. With a Pac-12 All-Conference honorable mention, #17 is a budding superstar in the conference and should continue to put up even better numbers with a better QB situation in 2019.
Let’s be honest, this pick shouldn’t be too surprising. Coming from a Washington offense that was built to run the ball, Jonathan Smith offenses need a bell-cow running back. Oregon State managed to stumble upon that when Artavis Pierce went down with an injury, which opened the door for Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year, Jermar Jefferson. Jefferson quickly established himself as the focal point of the offense, as he tallied over 1,300 yards rushing and 12 rushing touchdowns. Plus, Jefferson did all of this despite a lackluster passing game. Jefferson established himself as the number one option on this Oregon State offense in 2019 and beyond, and even put himself on the map as one of the most exciting young superstars in the Pac-12. For these reasons, the choice to make him Oregon State’s most valuable player in 2019 is an easy one.
What do you think of the list? Do you agree or disagree with it? Was there anyone I failed to mention that should be here?
Sound off in the comment section below!