1. Be sure to check out BeaverBlitz as they have a lot of great information on the HUGE recruiting weekends coming up for Oregon State. They also just hired my favorite local writer not named Raju, Brooks Hatch, to write about the upcoming baseball season and offer some other sporting insights.
2. The Shane Bowman decommitment and ensuing poach attempt for Washington seems to have woken a sleeping giant. I don’t ever assume that the coaches are not doing whatever they can to get the best kids possible to their school, but I also know that sometimes a little torching by a recruit can give them a little extra edge to their message. Now we in the media (or I guess over glorified stalker fans) don’t really know what has been going on in the Valley Football Center, so all I have to go on is rumors and communications between commits and the folks at Bliz or Pure Orange.
That being said, OSU went from looking like a wounded animal with the exodus of Bowman, to sewing up the commitments of three of the top prospects from Hawaii, a great find in wide receiver from Tennessee and now look to be a legitimate target for a few players that have left their previous commitments.
Things change and with the new 25 player cap on all classes, including gray shirts, OSU is in position to land some premium talent that were otherwise looking elsewhere. These last two weeks could be the most dynamic and exciting in recent memory. While the last two seasons have seen a rapid increase in the talent OSU has been able to draw in to Corvallis, if this class ends well, it could give them three straight quality classes and give them the foundation for some real sustained success on the field.
3. Currently, according to Rivals, OSU has the 7th best class in the conference. While that doesn’t seem that exciting, should they land some of the better players they are looking at, they could move up a spot or two, depending on any changes to the schools above them. The exciting part of the equation is that the north only has two teams ahead of them, the ducks and Stanford. The ducks are ranked 6th. Now there is a pretty big difference between them, even though they are just one rank behind, but considering there are three 4-star players visiting OSU in the next two weeks as well as some highly ranked 3 star players, there could be a huge shift in their score.
The key for OSU is to stay close or above the teams in the north. The Pac 12 south is on the rise, and keeping up with the Cardinal and the ducks, and keeping WSU, Cal and UW in the rear-view mirror, is very important. Win the north and OSU could be in line for at large births to major bowls. The south is tough and there are no ‘gimmies’ down there, but win the North and you get an extra game for the championship game. That is a huge deal and if the Beavers keep recruiting like they are and improve every year, they will be in good position to take shots at the title.