Beavers build the dam with 25 new recruits

Joshua Lucas, Orange Media Network

One of the most exciting days in the football offseason was Wednesday, Feb. 1–signing day.  This is the day when each new recruit decides which Division 1 football program they will join for their college career.

Head Coach Gary Andersen and his staff set recruiting as their highest priority this year, as Oregon State will be entering their third year of a rebuilt program in the Andersen Era.  The Beavers were able to sign a total of 25 recruits, in addition to two new coaches.

“We will recruit who we want to recruit, how we want to recruit and when we want to recruit,” said Andersen. “We don’t worry about the other outside influences that I think you can get caught up in, if you’re not careful in today’s age in recruiting.  I can’t say I’m glad it’s over, because I love recruiting, but I’m glad we’re almost to spring ball.”

Signing day consisted of back-to-back interviews with the entire coaching staff, including new passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach Jason Phillips, and safeties coach John Rushing, who were thrown directly into the fire of recruiting immediately after getting hired.

“The recruiting process here was very new for me,” Rushing said.  “I really liked the style.  Coach Hall, Coach Baldwin, myself, Coach Andersen – we all got a chance to go on home visits. That’s what I like about it here.  It isn’t like one coach goes out and recruits another player, it’s more of a joint team effort and I think everybody did a great job at getting good recruits.”

Cornerbacks coach Cory Hall spoke highly of one of the five defensive back recruits, Isaiah Dunn. Hall went on to discuss the importance of getting numbers at the DB positions because the Beavers lost so many key defensive players after the 2016 season, of which include Devin Chappell and Treston DeCoud, who will be playing in the NFL Combine.

“When you look at a player like Isaiah Dunn, he’s long and he’s fast,” said Hall. “His box is a lot harder to get around for receivers because he’s able to get his long arms on them, and hold them on the line of scrimmage; he’s also able to run vertical with them. I think a great foundation was laid down last year in recruiting, so that this year, we were able to recruit more for the length and speed, because you can’t coach those things.”

The day concluded with a 30-minute Gary Andersen press conference.  He reiterated the goal of recruiting bodies for the defensive back and receiver positions, in addition to recruiting for length and speed.

“We wanted to put ourselves in a position where the defensive backs could grow in numbers,” said Andersen. “We wanted to grow in length, and grow in speed. We did that. I think the DBs we have now are huge for us. The receiver position was another one; we wanted to create tremendous competition at that spot. We recruited some very high-level young men, and landed them in those positions, which was great to see because now we have that competitiveness there and that is a big positive.”

Now that the recruiting season has come to an end, the coaches now they look forward to beginning spring ball on Feb. 17th.  The spring game will be held at Reser Stadium on March 18th.

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