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Counting Down Oregon State’s Most Important Players for 2022: #4 - Linebacker Omar Speights

Now the Beavers’ number one linebacker, Speights has a big job ahead of him.

Oregon State Beavers defeated the USC Trojans 45-27 during a NCAA football game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles. Photo by Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images

Today’s entry in Building the Dam’s Countdown of the 30 Most Important Players on the 2022 Football Team takes a look at one of the team’s biggest names. Inside Linebacker Omar Speights returns after a great 2021, and should be even better this season.

#4 - Linebacker Omar Speights

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 14 Oregon State at Washington Photo by Jeff Halstead/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Key Stats From 2021

  • 34 Solo Tackles, 89 Total Tackles
  • 3 Pass Deflections
  • 2 Interceptions
  • 1 Fumble Recovery
  • 0.5 Sacks

While Oregon State’s defense has many questions, there’s little doubt about who the best player on this side of the ball is. Last season Speights was behind only Avery Roberts in total tackles, and was named an All Pac-12 Honorable Mention.

With Roberts departure, Speights has been tapped as not only the leader of the linebackers, but the defense as a whole. With his former linebackers coach Trent Bray now the defensive coordinator, and supposedly implementing a more aggressive scheme, Speights could be in line for a big season.

He’s already gaining notice from the media, having been named to the All Pac-12 Preseason First Team. He’s already being projected as a mid round NFL Draft prospect, and a great season should move him up the draft boards quite a bit.

Previously on the countdown