Upward momentum: incoming Beavers bolster football ranks


Jason May, OMN photographer

OSU Beaver Football players scrimmage during a spring game on April 16. The Beavers gained 25 new recruits and transfers this year, and hope this will bolster their ranks for the upcoming season.

Ryan Harlan, Sports Contributor

With Oregon State Football coming off their first bowl game appearance since 2013 and going undefeated at home, the Beavers have used that success to build the 6th ranked 2022 recruiting class in the PAC-12.

So far, this is the highest ranked recruiting class in the tenure of Head Coach Jonathan Smith.

The 2022 recruiting class brings 25 new players into the fold of the returners from last year’s football team. The class looks to replace the talent that departed from last year along with continuing the success that last year brought to the Beavers.

Offensive position recruits include freshman running back Damien Martinez, and freshman offensive lineman Dylan Lopez. Both enrolled at Oregon State early to join the team for spring football practices.

Lopez, Velling, and Martinez look to replace the production of long-time members of the program Nathan Eldridge, Teagan Quitoriano, and B.J. Baylor.

Martinez was a 3-star running back out of Texas and was the No. 37 ranked running back in the class of 2022.

“Martinez is physical, good size to [him], likes to carry the ball and loves football; made him feel like he was a good addition for us,” said head football coach Jonathan Smith.

At the front of the line, Lopez was a 3-star center out of Fla. and was ranked No. 35 offensive lineman in the class of 2022. Lopez’s skill set fits the Oregon State offensive system and looks to compete immediately with veterans in the offensive line.

“We feel like he’ll be a quick replacement with his skill set; got him figured to play center”, Smith said. “With his skill set and maturity, he’ll be given an opportunity to compete right away and physically he’s ready to do it, maturity he’s ready to do it.”

Velling looks to replace the production that Quitoriano provided to the offense for the Beavers. Velling was a 3-star recruit out of Seattle and is the 28th ranked tight end in the class of 2022. Velling looks to handle much of the blocking responsibilities in the running game that Quitoriano had.

“I think he’s a blend of the two guys we’ve had playing tight end in Quitoriano and Luke Musgrave, he’s physical, can run routes, and catch it,” Smith said. “What we’re doing offensively, [with] use of the tight end, fits him perfectly and he’s going to come in here and get a chance to contribute from the get go.”

Throckmorton joins a quarterback room that doesn’t yet have a backup option behind presumed starter redshirt junior quarterback Chance Nolan. Throckmorton is a 3-star quarterback out of Simi Valley, Calif. and is rank No. 56 in the class of 2022 quarterbacks.

“This guy is accurate throwing the ball and that’s a non-negotiable, when you think about quarterback play and when we get guys open we need them catching the ball,” Smith said.

The Beavers also added a transfer on offense with running back Jamious Griffin from Georgia Tech University to the mix of a deep running back room and offensive lineman Campbell McHarg from Cal Poly.

On the defensive side of the ball, the notable recruits are freshman linebacker Melvin Jordan, freshman defensive tackle Quincy Wright, and freshman cornerback Noble Thomas. These recruits look to help replace the production of linebacker Andrzej Hughes- Murray, cornerback Elijah Jones, and defensive tackle Keonte Schad.

Jordan was a four-star recruit coming out of Florida and the 9th ranked linebacker nationally in the class of 2022. At Calvary Christian High School, Jordan posted 51 tackles and 3.5 sacks in his junior season and helped lead his high school to a 7-2 record. Jordan looks to play at outside linebacker despite having experience as an inside linebacker.

Wright was a three-star recruit out of Texas and was 92nd overall in the class of 2022 with recorded 6 sacks alongside 60 tackles in his senior season.

“Physical at the line of scrimmage, talk about a leader and captain on that team, played for a long time, they won a bunch of games as well,” Smith said of Wright. “Coming from a place that expects to win and that’s what he’s going to bring to our place, physicality and leadership role with us taking another step in the program.”

Thomas was a three-star cornerback out of Florida and was ranked No. 81 in the 2022 cornerback class. There are plenty of opportunities for Thomas to see the field early even with the entrenched starters at the position and could start out the season on special teams.

The Beavers added transfers on the defensive side of the ball in defensive back Ryan Cooper Jr. from the College of San Mateo and defensive lineman Joe Golden from Northern Colorado.

On special teams the Beavers added freshman punter Max Walker, who’ll look to compete for the starting job once redshirt-senior punter Luke Loecher departs the team and freshman long snapper Connor Meholovitch.

With the new recruits on campus, the team has set their sights on fall training camp where the incoming freshman will get to experience their first college training camp and the opportunity to compete with the returners from last year.

After camp concludes in late August, the team will set their sights on the season opener at Reser Stadium, where they’ll take on the Boise State Broncos September 3 and look to build on the success from last year.


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