It’s been over a month since Jonathan Smith and the Beavers staff added a commitment to their 2019 class. Part of this had to do with the month long “Dead Period” that started at the end of June and recently came to a close on July 24th.
Coaches from each Division 1 football program in the country were unable to host prospects on their campuses during this time. After recently speaking with Brandon Huffman who is a National Recruiting Editor for 247Sports.com, he was able to explain what the dead period means for each Division 1 football team’s staff when it comes to recruiting:
“There could still be contact electronically, meaning phone calls, texts, emails and DMs (via Twitter). What it means is that there can be no unofficial visits on college campuses, no camps during that time, either on campus or of the showcase/satellite variety and no visits to the schools. Basically there is no face to face contact permitted of any kind (during this time).”
On the evening of July 27th, Alex Austin, a 6-foot-1, 175-pound 247Sports three-star cornerback decided to break that drought and make his verbal commitment to Oregon State over offers from Colorado State, Hawaii, Montana State, New Mexico, San Jose State, Utah State, Wyoming as well as strong interest from programs such as Arizona, Arizona State, Boise State, Cal, USC, Washington, Washington State, Utah and others as Austin secured his spot in the Beavers 2019 class:
“I took my visit on July 27th with my mom, it was my first time at campus so I didn't really know what to expect. Michael Doctor was my tour guide and he took us around the whole campus to check out the football facilities, Business building, Math building, where all my classes would be and just the entire campus where I would be spending most of my time as a student athlete. I loved the visit! The atmosphere and the campus is beautiful to be around. It truly felt like home, so that’s what I liked most about visiting Corvallis. I loved how green it was in Oregon. Also, how all the people treated me made the trip even more enjoyable. It was amazing! While I was there I felt like I could see myself playing in the BEST college town in the PAC-12, that’s why it felt right to pull the trigger and commit!”
During that time while Austin was on campus, the relationships he was able solidify with the coaching staff was something that was extremely important for both Austin and his mother to feel comfortable about electing to commit to Oregon State.
“I talked to the whole entire coaching staff while I was on campus, they all showed me lots of love! I talked to Jonathan Smith and we had a great talk! I didn't have a previous relationship with any of the new coaching staff before they offered me so it was all new to me while I was getting to know them. My lead recruiter would be my position coach, Coach Burns. My mom and I both got to sit down with Coach Smith for some personal one-on-one time in his office and we talked about how he envisions changing the program around. It’s always great to be apart of something special and Coach Smith is building something special for sure! I am really glad to get the chance to be a part of it and can’t wait to get started. I did mainly talk with Coach Burns though, I appreciate how he was being real with me from the jump! He didn’t want any surprises, he talked to me about how I fit in the style of the defensive play scheme and what to expect from his as a coach.”
Being familiar with some of the younger players who are already on campus for Oregon State also helped Austin become comfortable in his surroundings and allowed him to have friends that grew up in the same city he did mentor him while he was on campus.
“I got to interact with my guys, Isaiah Smalls and Jeffrey Manning. So that was great being able to catch up with some of my older friends.”
Earlier this year during the spring, Austin got to compete with one of the best 7-on-7 teams in the state of California which allowed him to go up against some of the best competition that the 7-on-7 circuit has to offer to showcase his skills as a defensive back.
“I played 7v7 for Premium Sports. I worked on a lot of my off man coverage and my man press technique. I wanted to be able to perfect my craft during the off-season and coming back even better is great. Playing for Premium Sports was great! It was more than just 7v7 with them, we were a family and the coaches treated us like family. We became brothers as teammates over the years, creating a lifetime bond.”
When asked about what made Austin feel like it was the right time to make his commitment, he mentioned the comfortability he and his mother felt while they were in Corvallis as well as the academic plan that was laid out for him to set him up for success as he gets ready to enter his senior season with Long Beach Poly.
“The timing just felt right. It truly felt like home and the coaches showed me love and hospitality while I was in Corvallis! My mom loved it as well especially with the academic help that I will get as a player is great! I committed on the spot when I was talking to Coach Jonathan Smith, they were excited and very happy to add me to the family. I am 100% committed to Oregon State, I love Beaver Nation and can’t wait to get started! I am going to sign in February when our school has our big signing day, but I am still trying to work on enrolling early. Going forward, my main priorities are graduation, staying focused in school and improving off of my 3.1 GPA that I finished with by the end of my junior year, and I want to have the best senior season possible and win games!”
Right after Austin committed he ingratiated himself with the rest of the 2019 commits like linebackers Michael Erhart and Ryan Franke who are also from the Southern California area.
“I have talked to the both Michael and Ryan already and they're really excited to have me a part of the class I can’t wait to be on the same field with them balling out together!”
It didn't take long for Austin to get started on helping the Beavers staff peer recruit other targets on their board for the 2019 class.
“I am already doing anything I can to get the best guys in SoCal to join me in helping be a part of something special in Corvallis. I want to get my guys from my school Kejuan and Keon Markham to join me as Beavers! I’m going to try and be on them all the time and see if I can get them to come on a visit with me to Corvallis. I will be taking an official visit to Oregon State for the Civil War so that would be a great environment to get them around.”
Austin become Oregon State’s 11th commit of the 2019 class and second cornerback commit joining Wynston Russell. According to 247Sports composite team rankings the Beavers have the 68th ranked class overall and 9th ranked class in the PAC-12.
Austin’s Hudl highlights:
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