The 2016 recruiting class breakdown

Brian Rathbone, Sports Editor

In head coach Gary Andersen’s first recruiting class he delivered one of the better classes Oregon State has had in the past 10 years. This is is a look at what position groups were in most need of upgrades (1 being low need, and 5 being high need) and if those were needs were addressed in the class.  It was obvious what the team needs were for Oregon State, it was all about the defensive side of the ball, with 16 of the 24 signees being defensive players.

Defensive back

Need level: 5

At one point in the season the OSU secondary had Kendall Hill, Gabe Ovgard and Malik Gilmore playing extended minutes. In spring practices, those three players were all playing wide receiver. That’s usually not a good sign for one of the more difficult positions to play on the football field. 

Luckily for the Beavers, they brought in some big guns to sure up the defensive backfield. Shurod Thompson and Christian Wallace are two blue-chip recruits that can come and make an impact early on. 

Wallace will be a big-bodied corner who is a fluid athlete — do not be surprised to see him line up and play some running back as well. Thompson is a rangy safety who can cover a lot space. 

Was the need filled? Almost. Quality players were signed, just not many of them. 

Defensive back

Need level: 5

Defensive backs and defensive line are interchangeable in this list. They had a hard time stopping the run and generating a pass rush, and losing Kyle Peko did not help the cause moving forward. 325-pounder David Fangupo will move from running back (look it up) to play defensive tackle, he will  joined by fellow behemoths Phillip Napoleon and Paisa Savea to bring some beef to the defensive line that surrendered 225 yards on the ground in 2015. 

OSU was able to nab Isaac Garcia who was originally committed to USC before flipping to OSU. He can really get after the passer with his ability to play with his hand on the ground and play standing up. 

Was the need filled? Yes. Both with the girth provided and with players who have the ability to rush the passer. 

Linebacker

Need level: 4.5

Based on the number of linebackers that were signed in this class, Andersen believes that linebackers were the team’s biggest need with 10 players that were signed listed as playing linebacker. During the signing day press conference Andersen stressed that the team needed to add length and speed to the team, of the 10 linebackers that signed, eight of them are 6-foot-3 or taller. 

The stud of the group is Hamilcar Rashed, he possess a relentless motor who can really get after the quarterback as an outside backer. He also comes from Chandler High School, which is one of the premier football programs in the Southwest. 

The fill the inside linebacker position, 

Was the need filled? With the high number of linebackers in the class, there are bound to be a couple who stand out.

Offensive line

Need level: 4

The good team’s in college football control the line of scrimmage. Oregon State lost two of their best linemen from a season ago — Josh Mitchell graduated, Isaac Seumalo entered the draft — but the rest returned. They even added Gavin Andrews who is returning from injury and Brayden Kearsley will be eligible after sitting out a year due to transfer rules. 

That being said, they only signed one offensive linemen in the class. I think that is an issue. Having depth on the offensive line has been a struggle for OSU in the past.

Was the need met? Nope.

Wide receiver

Need level: 3

Victor Bolden, Hunter Jarmon and Jordan Villamin are the returning starters from a receiving corp that returns after an up-and-down 2015 season. That trio collectively caught 105 passes a season ago. The returning receivers behind Bolden, Jarmon and Villamin—caught a total of five passes. 

The receivers in the class all have unique qualities. Oregon City product, Trevon Bradford game is similar to Brandin Cooks’ — extremely fast and plays bigger than his 5-foot-10 frame. Does Bradford possess Cooks’ drive and competitiveness that made him the nation’s top receiver in 2013? That has yet to be seen. 

Then you have a couple of big-bodied receiver in Tyson Penn, who is an elite high jumper, but lacks top-end speed. 

Timmy hernandez brings a Julian Edelman type receiver. Not very big, but has great quickness. He also was a standout safety at Pima Community College, meaning he does not shy away from going over the middle or taking on tacklers. 

Was the need met? Yes. 

Quarterback

Need level: 3

Last season, the Beavers opened spring practice with seven quarterbacks competing for the starting job, now five of those original seven are no longer on the roster. With Darell Garretson and Marcus McMaryion. 

Mason Moran is the type of quarterback that can elevate the program on the offensive end. He didn’t play quarterback until his senior year because he played his high school ball at the quarterback factory that is Chandler High School in Ariz. who has produced Brett Hundley (in the NFL) Darell Garretson (on OSU’s roster) and Bryce Perkins (on Arizona State’s roster). Moran has a quick Phillip River-esque release, Marcus Mariota-like speed in the open field and because he played safety, has an understanding of different coverages.  Moran will likely have time to develop behind the older quarterbacks.

Was the need met? Yes.

Running back

Need level: 2

It’s pick your poison with Oregon State’s running backs. You want power backs?  Try Ryan Nall, Tim Cook or Damien Haskins on for size. Looking for a little more speed and quickness? Paul Lucas, Deltron Sands and Chris Brown all have a little pep in their step. Five of those six running backs carried the ball last season for OSU, so bringing in several running backs isn’t exactly high on the to-do list. 

Yet, the Beavers signed two running backs in this class. I think the Beavers got an absolute steal with Artavis Pierce out of Auburndale, Fla. He does everything you want in a runner. He possess good vision and feel for cutback lanes, he can make defenders miss in space and behind the line of scrimmage, runs with power and has the speed to run past defenders. 

They also added Kyle White, out of Orange Coast Community College, who is a slasher type back who thrives in the open field and is a good receiver who fits the change of pace running back mold. 

OSU did not have to stock up on running backs, but they found a couple high-ceiling type runners, who could make an impact down the  road. 

Was the need met? Yes, and then some.

Tight end

Need level: 1

The tight ends was not a position that was heavily utilized in the offense last season. They return Noah Togiai, who led the tight ends in receiving, as well getting back Caleb Smith who redshirted last season. Those two alone are capable threats as tight ends, and for a position 

Was the need met? Too early to tell. Riley is a talented receiving tight end, but he will be on his LDS mission, and won’t play for the Beavers for a couple of seasons. 

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