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Oregon State Football: Most Valuable Player Countdown - #4 Jake Luton

Is the senior quarterback ready to grab hold of the starting job?

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

The College Football season is about a week away, and our countdown is wrapping up. Today we cover No. 4.

#4: Jake Luton - Quarterback

Jake Luton is coming off a scary thoracic spine fracture injury that he suffered against Washington State in the 4th game of the 2017 season. His recovery has been tremendous and he is once again primed to win the starting job for the Beavers to start the season.

The former junior college transfer is a large human with his 6-foot-7 frame. He’s got a powerful arm and threw for 853 yards with a 61% completion rate in the four games he played in last season. He’s dealt with severe illness and injury during his first season in Corvallis, but is looking to bounce back with an exciting senior season.

Conor Blount and Jack Colletto are nipping at his heels trying to win the starting job, but if Luton beats them out and plays in all 12 games he should easily eclipse 2,000 yards through the air and would be the first Oregon State quarterback to do so since Sean Mannion. Staying healthy is easier said than done, but the offense could really surprise some people if they keep their core intact for much of the season.

Having a strong running game and ample pass protection will be vital for whoever ends up being named the starting QB. The offensive line is filled with upperclassmen and will need to provide a clean pocket for Jake Luton to work with. Luton is more athletic than most people give him credit for, but he’s not Russell Wilson and won’t be able to consistently allude pass-rushers and make plays with his legs. Instead he will rely on his strong arm, chemistry with his receivers and a solid offensive line to keep the offense moving down the field.

Jake Luton could very well end up being the Beavers most important player in 2018, but if he struggles early don’t be surprised to see the coaching staff give Blount or Colletto a chance behind center. The Beavers probably won’t be playing to get to a bowl game this season and if they have their sights on the future, going with a younger QB might make sense in the long-run. Personally I’m excited to watch Jake Luton behind center and I think he’ll have a good season and will keep Oregon State in more ball games than expected.

The list so far

#4: Jake Luton - QB

#5: Artavis Pierce - RB

#6: Noah Togiai - TE

#7: Isaiah Hodgins - WR

#8: Elu Aydon - DT

#9: David Morris - S

#10: Jalen Moore - S

#11: Timmy Hernandez - WR

#12: Andrzej Hughes-Murray - LB

#13: Sumner Houston - OL

#14: Trevon Bradford - WR

#15: Jonathan Willis - LB

#16: Kammy Delp - OL

#17: Jay Irvine - CB

#18: Kee Whetzel - LB

#19: Trent Moore - OL

#20: Dwayne Williams - CB

#21: LaMone Williams - DE

#22: Isaiah Dunn - CB

#23: Conor Blount - QB

#24: Omar Hicks-Onu - S

#24: Omar Hicks-Onu - S

#25: Jeromy Reichner - DE

#26: Hamilcar Rashed Jr. - LB

#27: Isaac Garcia - DE

#28: Shemar Smith - LB

#29: Shawn Wilson - CB

#30: Yanni Demogerontas - OL

Check back tomorrow for #5!