LOI Day, So Awesome!

Every year there is a new batch of Beaver recruits and every year, through 365 days of ups, downs, poaches and pressure, a couple dozen football players make their way to Corvallis to play football.

While this year’s class is not going to be nationally heralded as the foundation for a powerhouse program, there are a few players that I think remind me of names we all want to see playing for Oregon State:

Drew Clarkson {OL | 6’3” | 275, Camas High School, Camas, WA)
To those familiar with Oregon State linemen, the guy that Drew reminds me the most of is Adam Speer.  A great technician and tenacious blocker, Drew is a great addition to Beaver Nation whose story of surviving cancer and amazing play on the field not just for his team but in he all star game and camp appearances shows that Drew is a legit prospect for Oregon State.

Datrin Guyton (WR | 6’4| 180, Manor High School ,Manor, TX)
Datrin is a steal and someone that the state of Texas hated to see go.  Fortunately for OSU, they were late to the party and Guyton stuck with his initial commitment.  Guyton physically is not like many Beaver Receivers in that he is  a large, long and fast target.  Guyton reminds me more of the big receivers that USC had playing for them in the Pete Carroll era than historic Oregon State receivers.  That being said, the guy that i think he reminds me most of in terms of a player is TJ Houshmanzadeh.  While physically much larger, he has the ability to get open, create separation with solid route running and really goes after the ball.

The state of Texas is going to be sad that they didn’t pay more attention to Datrin early in the process. He is a literally and figuratively huge pick up for Oregon State.

Jonathan Willis (LB | 6’2″ | 210, Booker T. Washington High School, Tulsa OK)
Willis is a CLONE of DJ Alexander.  Fast, explosive, nasty and all over the place making plays.  For those that don’t feel that Oregon State landed many cornerstone players, I point to WIllis.  Seeing the difference DJ makes every day should get kids excited about Willis.  He is fast, 4.4 40-yard dash fast and has good vision.  I look for Jonathan to push for playing time on special teams out of the gate and can add talent to an already talented and deep Linebacker group.  Oklahoma will also mourn his exodus from the panhandle state.

Xavier Hawkins (WR | 5’8” | 175, Fulton High School, Knoxville, TN )
I saved him for last because I really think he might be someone that makes the whole state of Tennessee puke on themselves for not seeing at Vandy or with the Volunteers.  Here is a link to his film on Hudl.  His 37 touchdowns and explosive running style coupled with his great balance and vision brings to mind Quizz Rodgers.  I don’t throw around these Beaver great names lightly.  That is a lot of pressure to put on someone, but in my mind, watching Hawkins is like watching Darren Sproles or Dexter McCluster.  Throw in the fact that he played at a small school, isn’t a huge guy and not on a lot of radars, and I think ti is fine to compare him to Quizz, even though he is a receiver and not a running back.  I would compare him to James, but i think his running style is more like Quizz.

Regardless, these three guys are huge reasons that I am excited about this class.  If they can figure out the system and get bigger and faster in their training at OSU, there is no reason that they cannot be huge factors for the Beavers at some point in the next five years.

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