Starter: Sean Mannion (2011-2014)
Mannion played in 47 games for the Beavers over the course of his four-year career, but is maybe most remembered for his stellar 2013 junior season, where he completed 64.6% of his passes, tallied 4,662 passing yards and totaled 37 touchdowns. That year, Oregon State finished 7-6 (with help from a six-game win streak after a stunning opening day loss to Eastern Washington) and eventually knocked off Boise State in the Hawaii Bowl.
Backup: Jake Luton (2017-2019)
A somewhat unheralded transfer from Ventura College, Luton’s size and potential made him more appealing than his actual game as a recruit, especially when he struggled with injuries and consistency early on. A breakthrough 2019 senior season in which he threw for for 2,714 yards, 28 scores and threw just 3 picks proved that when able to go, he was capable of greatness.
Starters: Storm Woods (2012-2015), Ryan Nall (2015-2017)
A total of 3,768 all-purpose yards as a legitimate rushing and receiving threat, few players brought to the table what Woods did for the Beavers in the early-to-mid part of the decade. A consistent play-maker, he’s one of my favorite players to ever don the black and orange. Nall though, is easily as beloved, with a brutal running style and 28 career touchdowns in just three seasons.
Backups: Jacquizz Rodgers (2010), Jermar Jefferson (2018-2019)
Rodgers gave the Beavers just one season in the decade, when he posted his third-straight 1,000+ yard year on the ground before bolting for the NFL. However, his gaudy numbers of 1,471 all-purpose yards and 17 total scores are mind-numbing. Jefferson is in similar shoes, as he’s run for 2,065 yards and accounted for 22 total touchdowns in two seasons as a split-time option.
Starters: Brandin Cooks (2011-2013), Markus Wheaton (2010-2012)
Ah, the good old combo of Cooks and Wheaton. In 2013, Cooks won the Biletnikoff Award and was a consensus All-American, shattering the Pac-12 record for receptions and receiving yards along the way, while Wheaton posted just under 3,000 yards for his career, totaling 21 touchdowns. On any given day, you could choose either one of these guys to be your top option. They’re two of the Beavers elite alumni.
Backups: Isaiah Hodgins (2017-2019), Timmy Hernandez (2016-2018)
Now in the NFL, Hodgins was one of the strongest receivers that Oregon State has seen since the previously mentioned duo and his 2019 season, where he snagged 86 passes for 1,171 yards and 13 scores was the culminating moment. Since James Rodgers was banged up in 2010 and 2011, Hernandez was a better pick, who would’ve benefited from more consistent quarterback play.
Starter: Connor Hamlett (2012-2014)
A massive 6’ 6” target, Hamlett was hampered by injuries through his career at Oregon State and probably never played completely at 100%. However, he still managed to catch 104 passes over the course of his 47 games, tallying 1,109 yards and 10 touchdowns and is ranked in the top five all-time in school history for receptions and receiving yards by a tight end.
Backup: Noah Togiai (2015-2019)
Togiai was never viewed as a signature piece of Oregon State’s offensive plans for the second half of the decade, but he quietly totaled 102 catches and 1,048 yards for 10 scores in what ended up being a really solid career. Dealing with some coaching change and a mix of various roles, Togiai’s versatility as a blocker and receiver helped the Beavers offense to reach it’s potential.
Starters: Isaac Seumalo (2012-2016), Josh Andrews (2010-2013), Sean Harlow (2013-2017), Blake Brandel (2016-2019), Mike Remmers (2010)
Name one running back who wouldn’t want to run with these big guys in front of them. If they would’ve played as one single unit in one single year, Oregon State could’ve probably swept the All-Pac-12 offensive line awards and had a whole front-five picked in the NFL Draft. Some stand-outs here who went underrated during their stay in Corvallis include Josh Andrews.
Backups: Brandon Kipper (2018-2019), Gus Lavaka (2016-2019), Colin Kelly (2010-2012)
The 6’ 6”, 300-pound Kipper is a name who might surprise some fans, but the rising junior and Hawaii transfer was a All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention in 2019 and could be a bonafide all-league talent before he graduates. Lavaka made 41 starts in his career and grabbed an All-Pac-12 second team last year as well, while Kelly started 25 straight games at right tackle.
Starter: Victor Bolden Jr. (2013-2016)
As one of Oregon State’s speediest players ever, Bolden Jr. returned three kick-offs for scores during his stay in Corvallis, totaling a ridiculous 2,420 yards just in that part of the game. If only the Beavers offense was put together properly at the time to utilize his talents more at wide receiver and in the offensive flow. In 2015, he also carried a punt to the endzone, as the team’s full-time returner at both the KR and PR spots.
Backup: James Rodgers (2010-2011)
Rodgers was not the same player in 2010 and 2011 that he was from 2007-2009, as he only found a way to find the field in 13 games and returned one punt for a touchdown in 2010. For his whole career, he tallied 2,124 yards on kick returns and averaged 13.7 yards per punt return. When in his prime, he was one of the elite play-makers in the game. 2010 and 2011 were not his prime.
Starter: Mike Riley (2010-2014)
From 2010-2014, the last five seasons of Riley’s 12-year run leading the Beavers program, Oregon State attained their only two bowl appearances of the decade (2012, 2013) and their only bowl victory since 2008. Riley’s 29-33 overall mark and 19-26 record in Pac-12 play is nothing to write home about, but it was a world better than his successor Gary Andersen did.
Backup: Jonathan Smith (2018-2019)
In a year, I have very little doubt that if I rewrote this article, I’d hands down pick Smith as the starting head coach with no issue. I almost picked him this time around. But with such a small sample size, it was just a bit early to give the former Beavers quarterback the credit. Of course, that’s nothing that a birth in a bowl game and a maybe even a victory couldn’t solve.