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Building the Dam’s Top 20 for 2023 - #16) Akili Arnold

Another member of the Beavers secondary could find himself with a much bigger role in 2023.

NCAA Football: Oregon State Spring Game Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

We’re back counting down the top 20 players to watch on the 2023 Oregon State Football roster. We’re sticking with the secondary today, and taking a look at a player who after a solid pair of seasons as a backup, could become a full time starter for the Beavers.

NCAA Football: LA Bowl-Oregon State vs Utah State Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Arnold has been one of the most reliable depth players in the Beavers secondary for the past few seasons. After playing in seven games in his Redshirt Freshman season in 2020, Arnold appeared in every game in 2021 and 2022. During that time he’s tallied 91 total tackles, 5 pass deflections, 2 forced fumbles and an interception.

Arnold was expected to perform a similar role in 2023, but after a strong performance at camp and some injuries to the secondary, Akili looks like he should be a starter headed into the season. He’s expected to start alongside Alton Julian at safety, but he’s a flexible back and could find himself in a variety of formations. Regardless, Arnold should be a key player to watch as the secondary looks to replace some key departures.