Starters: Scott Crichton (2011-2013), Dylan Wynn (2011-2014), Elu Aydon (2016-2019), Stephen Paea (2010)
In his time at Oregon State, Crichton was a wrecking ball of a lineman, tallying 100 solo tackles, a ridiculous 51 tackles for loss, 23.5 sacks and forcing 10 fumbles. He was so difficult for teams to contain, especially when Dylan Wynn was lurking not too far away on the path to his own 214 tackles, 24.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks. That’s a combo a coach would take any day of the week. Aydon was a strong productive lineman who ended up breaking the 100-tackle mark, while Paea won the 2010 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year Award and was the first Oregon State All-American since 1967.
Backups: Andrew Seumalo (2010-2012), Isaac Hodgins (2018-2019)
Seumalo was another one of those players who didn’t maybe electrify during his career, but pieced together a very solid few seasons as a reliable and critical defensive piece. He walked out of town with 77 tackles, 9 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks to his name, numbers that no one could scoff at. As for the second backup spot, an endless amount of deliberation caused me to go with current defensive lineman Isaac Hodgins, who has already started 23 of the 24 games in his career and has tallied 8 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. In time, he could be a very fitting choice for this spot.
Starters: Michael Doctor (2010-2014), Hamilcar Rashed Jr. (2016-2019), DJ Alexander (2011-2014)
Doctor was a nightmare to opposing offenses, making his impact felt from sideline to sideline. From 2010 to 2014, the Beavers star defender totaled 254 tackles, 22.5 tackles for loss, 6 interceptions, 5 passes defended, 4.5 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. As for Rashed Jr., the 6’ 4”, 240-pounder enters his season season with the program as the best draft prospect in recent memory, having already accumulated 121 wrap-ups, 35 tackles for loss, 16.5 sacks and 3 forced fumbles. Alexander was a strong second-option who could’ve done more without Doctor around, but still managed to leave Corvallis with 183 tackles, 20.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks in tow.
Backups: Manase Hungalu (2015-2017), Caleb Saulo (2013-2016), Jabral Johnson (2011-2014)
Hungalu was one of those linebackers who quietly pieced together a wonderful career, anchored by his odd 4 fumble recoveries without ever having forced one. Still, the do-it-all talent found a way to pick off 4 passes (and return one to the house), defend 8 passes, tally 11.5 tackles for loss and pick up 223 career tackles. Saulo and Johnson weren’t as prolific with neither breaking the coveted 200-tackle plateau, but combined they totaled 357 tackles and 15 tackles for loss.
Starters: Jordan Poyer (2010-2012), Rashaad Reynolds (2010-2013)
Poyer was an explosive defensive play-maker for the Beavers, who only ended up with 153 tackles and 16 pass deflections in his career because most teams were smart enough to avoid him. Still, he managed to returned 3 interceptions for scores his career and was named an All-American in 2012. Reynolds was a fearless defensive back, who himself finished his stay on campus with 218 tackles and 10 picks.
Backups: Steven Nelson (2013-2014), Treston Decoud (2015-2016)
Hampered more by the length of their stays in Corvallis, not their production, the careers of Nelson and Decoud were both eerily similar, after beginning at the junior college ranks. Nelson tallied 122 tackles and 8 interceptions in his two seasons, while Decoud was more of a downhill attacking presence in the run game, posting 108 wrap-ups and 2 picks during his two seasons.
Starters: Tyrequek Zimmerman (2011-2014), Ryan Murphy (2011-2014)
After getting his feet wet as a freshman in 2011, Zimmerman averaged 86 tackles a season for his final three years (266 career tackles), including a career-high 104 wrap-ups and 4 passes defended in 2013. His counterpart in Murphy was equally as prolific, finishing his career with a stat-stuffing 235 tackles, 17.5 tackles for loss, 7 interceptions, 11 passes defended, 2 forced fumbles and 1.5 sacks.
Backups: Jalen Moore (2015-2019), Devin Chappell (2015-2016)
Moore had a strange senior campaign in 2019 dealing with nagging injuries, after his highlight junior season in 2018 ended with 101 tackles, 4 passes defended and 1 forced fumble. Chappell’s final go-round on campus in 2016 was the highlight of his two-year journey in Corvallis, where he posted 75 tackles and led all of college football with a mind-numbing 7 forced fumbles.
Punter / Kicker
Punter: Nick Porebski (2015-2017)
Yes, Johnny Hekker did punt for the Beavers in 2010 and 2011, but overall, Porebski’s contribution over his three seasons outweighed the now NFL star’s future path. Hekker wasn’t as consistent as he is now in college and while Porebski struggled some as well, for a position that’s never been a strong spot for Oregon State, Porebski may be there best option of the decade. If only Hekker was born and attended school just a few years later, he could’ve claimed the spot.
Kicker: Trevor Romaine (2011-2014)
If Alexis Serna is the “Batman” of the Oregon State kicking lineage, Romaine could be his “Robin”, as the Beavers kicker was exceptionally accurate during his sophomore and senior seasons, just not relied upon as often. Romaine had two seasons in which he knocked home 88.9% of his field goal attempts and made 96% of his extra-point attempts in his four-year career.