Head coach Jonathan Smith and his staff have continued to hit the recruiting trail at showcase events and satellite camps while continuing to host big time playmakers on campus as the staff are in search of high school prospects that are highly intelligent young men, have a great character, and want to come into Corvallis and make a difference and who want to be apart of a revitalization of Beaver football.
With Ryan Nall now on the Chicago Bears roster and Thomas Tyner electing to step away from football, the Beavers are looking to revamp and add depth to the future of the running back position at Oregon State.
This past weekend the Beavers staff hosted one of the top 2019 running backs in the country, possibly Oregon State’s No. 1 running back target, in hopes of making a significant impression on the talented ball carrier.
On Sunday, 6-foot-1, 210-pound Rivals four-star running back Taron Madison from Banning high school in Banning, California arrived in Corvallis to get a campus tour, check out the Valley Football Center, and to continue to strengthen the relationships he has with the Beavers coaching staff.
“It was a multi-day trip, I traveled with my Rharebreed 7v7 team, we rented vans and all drove down and got a hotel across the street from Reser stadium. For me, it was my first time visiting the state of Oregon. My initial impression of the state and city of Corvallis was how it was surrounded with so many trees and how it made it kind of look like a jungle or forest. I liked the nature, the trees, I like how it is a low-key area.”
A quick day trip down the road on Saturday with the rest of his Rharebreed team to check out another PAC-12 school in Oregon was first on the agenda.
“First, on Saturday we went to Eugene and checked out Oregon and what they had to offer as a school and football program. We got time to check out their facilities and interact with the coaching staff, and then we shot back to the hotel and grabbed some food and got some good sleep before the camp the next day.”
Then on Sunday is when Madison got to tour Oregon State before their half-day summer camp was supposed to start.
“I was given the tour on Sunday before camp started and I was very excited. We got there early and I was able to talk with Coach Pitre then we got a tour of the campus. During the camp I had an assistant linebacker coach guide me around the school, football facilities, and nearby food places, all that good stuff. My experience at Oregon State was amazing because of the campus and college town of Corvallis, I loved it. The tour was amazing, I was shown everything they do on game days in great detail, even on how they play music to get pumped up before a game in the locker room. I walked around a lot and got used to the city a bit. I liked the people, environment, current players, coaching staff and just about everything you could think of! I liked the vibe I got and how nice everyone was. The school spirit is contagious and you couldn’t go anywhere with out seeing someone in a Oregon State hat or shirt. I feel like I would fit in really easily as a student athlete.”
The talks with the coaching staff had a profound impact on Madison and only solidified how he felt about being around them and inside the Beaver football program.
“I talked with Coach Smith a little bit, but for the most part I was able to interact with Coach Pitre, Coach Troxel, Coach Burns, and Coach Bray, I talked with just about all of them! I have a prior relationship with Coach Smith from when he was at Washington as well, he’s a great man and great coach. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to spend any one on one time with Coach Smith though, he had a busy weekend with attending a showcase in Portland and then hosting the camp on Sunday. He texted me right after though to thank me for coming to check out the school and team, he let me know that I was a top priority for them in their recruiting class. All of the talks I had with the coaches were deep and meaningful, they all were talking to me about how they could see me here and how I could fit in with their offense. Every Oregon State coach I talked with had something great to say about me. I am closest with Coach Pitre though, that’s my guy. I would say Coach Pitre is my lead recruiter from Oregon State since he's my position coach too. I talk with him basically every day about my film about what things I already do really well at the RB position and what I could still improve on to become an overall better football player.”
While on campus, Madison got the chance to connect with some current players on the roster who are also from both northern and southern California that he has a previous relationship with as well and was reassured that if he were to select Corvallis as his future home, he would not be disappointed.
“I got to interact and talk with some of the guys on the football team too! Guys like Champ Flemings, Isaiah Hodgins, Artavis Pierce, Calvin Tyler and some others. They all made me feel welcomed and like I would fit right in with those guys.”
The 6-foot-1, 210-pound running back has also been heavily involved with his 7-on-7 team “Rharebreed” led by co-founder Robert Bourne as Madison describes what he felt like he was able to do really well and reflecting on what he still wants to improve on.
“I’ve been working on keep my pad level low and becoming as explosive as possible off the ball while becoming faster both in my short bursts out of the backfield as well as my 40 yard dash to try and keep myself in peak physical condition.”
Madison currently holds offers from Arizona, Arizona, Oregon, Oregon State, San Jose State, Utah, Washington, and Washington State but as also has been hearing from a number of other big time programs across the country.
“I have 8 offers right now and each school has a of things that I like about them, although some schools are standing out to me more than others. I am also hearing from schools like Florida, Florida St, Louisville, Miami, USC, and UCLA. I’m not sure if any of them are close to offering but they keep in contact pretty often.”
While he hasn't narrowed things down quite yet, with the month of June upon us and a number of running backs already committing to a handful of schools that are interested in Madison, he hopes to narrow things down fairly quickly to a list of top five schools and knows that Oregon State will indeed make that list.
“I want to make my commitment before the season starts for sure. Before August ends would be ideal for me. I am going to talk things over with my family and really decide which schools I want to be in my top 5. I know that Oregon State is going to make the cut for sure. I even know that they are one school that is going to get an official visit.”
When asked what stood out to him the most about the Beavers, Madison references both the possibility for early playing time and wanting to feel like he is truly at home with whichever college he decides to choose.
“My interest level with the Beavers is HIGH. Very high. The opportunity to come in and earn playing as a freshman intrigues me the most, I want to play early as a freshman. Oregon State are one of five schools I am seriously considering right now. When I think about what I am looking for in a college I know a few things standout that I am seeking. I want the place to feel like home to me and my family. I want everyone to like me not only as a person but as a student athlete as well. I want to be comfortable with the whole coaching staff and feel like I would have a great opportunity to become successful playing college football as a student athlete.”
With a decision looming in the next couple of months, Madison wants to make sure he is 100% focused and ready to be the best leader on and off the field for his Beaumont team going into his senior season.
“I want to be a leader on and off the field for sure. I know younger kids look up to me and that means a lot to me. I want to influence others around my community from elementary school on up in a positive way and show those same kids that anyone can make it out of Beaumont or Banning and make a name for themselves doing anything they want to do if they truly put their mind to it and consistently put in the hard work. I want my Banning team to be in great shape physically and mentally throughout the entire year. I want to win a lot of games this year and make a deep playoff run, that’s my goal.”
Building The Dam will continue to stay in touch with Madison as he prepares to narrow down his list of college choices with Oregon State set to make the cut before he is ready to make his verbal commitment in the next few months.
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Madison’s Hudl highlights: