Monthly Archives: June 2014

Recruit Focus: Jalin Barnett

All information in this post is courtesy of  BeaverBlitz and Hudl.  Again, I highly recommend both of these sites for the best and latest information on Beaver Football recruiting.

All reviews are just MY OPINION, and need to be taken as such. The coaches know more than me, understand the team’s needs better than I do and most likely differ with my opinions. I am just doing this for fun.

 Jalin Barnett

CURRENT RIVALS RANKING: 4 Star (5.9)
PROJECTED FINAL RIVALS RANKING:
4 Star (5.9)
HT: 6′ 3″
WT: 303
POS: Offensive Line
HOMETOWN: Lawton, Oklahoma
OTHER OFFERS: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State,, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas State, Texas Tech, Tulsa, UCLA, Wisconsin
CHANCE OF BEING A BEAVER: 15%

Hudl Profile

Position The Official Candy Report Sees this player at: Offensive Guard
What Beaver this player reminds us of: Mitch White,

STRENGTHS
– Huge frame and good wing span
– Good first step and punch
– Very strong player
– Good finish on blocks that tends to leave guys on the ground
– Keeps a solid pad level
– Good fighter on interior plays
– Great explosion on goal line plays
– Stays engaged on blocks and fights with his hands well
_ Does a great job of turning defenders on stalemates and creating lanes

QUESTIONS
– Needs to work on quickness
– Legs die on contact and hands can stay latched
– Not much movement on the line

SUMMARY:
Jalin has a who’s who of offensive line factories in his offer list. Alabama, Stanford, Wisconsin and Oklahoma always have good offensive lines. In watching his film, you can see why.  He is a big man with long arms and plays with an aggressive style that many coaches like.  As an interior lineman, Jalin is a force, who seems to be quite strong in his handling of defenders.  Often he will just turn them around or drop them with an explosive punch as a finishing move.

The parts of Jalin’s game I really like can be shown in the Mustang High School film at the 0:28 mark.  Starting from the right tackle position (77), if you pause it at the 0:31 mark, you can see his step is decisive and towards the outside of this reach block. The defender gets in front of him, but Jalin is athletic enough to pull in front of him and at the 0:33 mark you can see he is in front of the defender, with his body leaning back into him to seal the end on the edge.  While I noted that Jalin could work on his quickness, you can see in this film that he has a second gear when he needs it to reach the defender he is trying to block.

While Jalin is an impressive lineman, the real knock I have on him (and something he will need to work on no matter where he goes) is that his feet die on contact. If you watch his camp films or some of his highlights on Hudl, you will see that he gets a lot of stalemates where he is trying to horse guys to the ground, but is not moving. His feet freeze and it becomes a sumo match. If Jalin can learn to bring his hips and keep his legs chugging on contact, he is going to embarrass people.  He has the frame, the strength and the attitude to really rough guys up.

Another thing I like about Barnett is that he is probably 10 – 20 pounds lighter now than in these films. He is working hard, he is hitting all the camps and going against top defenders.  He is putting his work in and when you hear him interviewed he sounds like a smart player who has lofty goals.  I am not sure he will give the Beavers his verbal, but there is a good chance that he will visit, so that goes a long way. Jalin is a rare talent in that he has some roughness to his technique yet is still elite.  He plays in a tough league and as you can see, dominates a lot of players.

The final thing I will mention is his pass blocking. There are not a ton of examples in his highlights, but he does a good job of getting a good step that is deep but manageable and makes great contact with his hands. He keeps his head back and lets those long arms keep guys at bay.  I think he can still get quicker with his feet at times, but he is athletic enough to cover most players.  Faster defensive ends will give him trouble unless he touches them. Then they will go down.

Jalin would be a huge asset to the team and really bring another solid lineman to Oregon State.  It just may be really difficult to get him out of Oklahoma!

Silly Shot In The Dark Guess
My silly, shot-in-the dark guess is that should Barnett come to Oregon State, he has the potential to be a 3-year starter at Offensive Guard.  I really hope he can redshirt his first year so that Coach Miller can get him working on his quickness and explosion. If he can get just a touch quicker and improve his balance a bit in pass blocking, I think he could start as a Redshirt Freshman.  The only reason that I have him as a three year starter is that if he picks the offense up quickly and takes care of the things I have mentioned, he might leave early for the NFL.  There is a lot of potential in Jalin and he would look REALLY GOOD in Corvallis.

Recruit Focus: Tyler Moore

All information in this post is courtesy of  BeaverBlitz and Hudl.  Again, I highly recommend both of these sites for the best and latest information on Beaver Football recruiting.

All reviews are just MY OPINION, and need to be taken as such. The coaches know more than me, understand the team’s needs better than I do and most likely differ with my opinions. I am just doing this for fun.

Tyler Moore

CURRENT RIVALS RANKING: 3 Star (5.5)
PROJECTED FINAL RIVALS RANKING:
3 Star (5.7)
HT: 6′ 4″
WT: 335
POS: Offensive Line
HOMETOWN: Galena Park, Texas
OTHER OFFERS: Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana Tech, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Texas, Texas, Texas State
CHANCE OF BEING A BEAVER: 30%

Hudl Profile

Position The Official Candy Report Sees this player at: Offensive Line
What Beaver this player reminds us of: Robert Sykes

STRENGTHS
– Huge frame and decent wing span
– Keeps legs driving on contact
– Very athletic for 335 pounds, good feet and runs well
– Swallows up smaller players on contact
– Keeps hands inside, good at driving with hand punch and helmet combo
– Plays snap to whistle
– Great explosion on goal line plays
– Aggressive blocker who doesn’t give up
– Blocks well in space on screens and at the second level

QUESTIONS
– Gets helmet involved a little too much on pass blocking
– First step is not always decisive or in the right direction, sometimes has false steps
– Needs to work on getting back vertical in pass pro and bringing hips on contact
– Rough technique, uses size a lot

SUMMARY:
Tyler Moore is a huge specimen and moves extremely well for his size.  When watching his Hudl Junior Highlight film, you see him constantly running down the field or pulling and destroying his opponents on contact.  Moore moves like a player 50 pounds lighter, but has the power and physical element you want in a larger player.  If you look at the 2:06 point of his Junior Highlight Film, he has good enough feet to stay on his block deep into the secondary. He also maintains good position through his films, making sure he maintains contact in front of the defender so that they have to go around him to make a play.  This is usually tough for guys his size to do.  He drives defenders into the ground and uses his weight and strength to knock opponents off balance.  Once a defender is on skates, Moore is going to finish them.

Technically, Moore is a little rough and tends to lean into guys. On pass blocks you can see him getting his head forward and losing his lateral movement a bit.  He also doesn’t bring his hips in on blocks. If he can work on his hips and keeping his head back so he can cover defenders with his feet more, he will be a pretty complete lineman.  Those are techniques that can be taught and refined over time.  What cannot be taught is his aggression and natural athletic ability, which is a huge plus.  While I put him lower on my list than Julian Barnett (my next review) in terms of polish and being ready to go for a big interior lineman, I do think he is more athletic and has a great upside.

Watch the goal line stands in this film and when he needs to just blow up the guy in front of him he explodes off the line.  If he can work on bringing that explosion to his punches on pass blocks and on every play, he will be a dominant lineman.  There is a reason Texas offered, and he is going to be one of those guys that moves up this year if he works hard and continues to improve.  You don’t find guys this big that are this mobile all the time so I would definitely make him a priority if you are feeling some of the elite guys are looking elsewhere.  If he shows up for his Senior year ready to go and with improved footwork and technique, his recruitment will blow up.

Silly Shot In The Dark Guess
My silly, shot-in-the dark guess is that should Moore come to Oregon State, he has the potential to be a 3-year starter at Offensive Center.  A redshirt year will go a long way for Tyler so he can spend time with Coach Miller and Coach Cav refining his technique and improving his explosive movements and hips.  After that, the sky is the limit for him. I think he would be in line to play a lot as a redshirt freshman, but I can see him making a move as a Redshirt Sophomore as the 2011 class will have moved on.

The Advantage of Coaching at Satallite Camps

The last few weeks, the Oregon State coaches have been coaching at satellite football camps in California, Texas and Utah.  They are also working on some of their own single day camps and mini camps.  This is a relatively new tactic for the Beavers and, in my opinion, is the best advancement in recruiting they have embarked on.

There are three basic reasons that this is better than watching film, talking with high school coaches or scouting games.

1. First hand contact with player in a practice-like environment:
Being at a camp with a player gives the coaches a far better assessment of their talent level and skill set. While some players are gamers, being able to evaluate physical talent first hand in a series of drills can help you get a better understanding of what a potential recruit is capable of.  There is no guarantee that the coaching each player is getting is even competent, so what you see on film might reflect more of a failure in a system than a failure of a player.  The same goes for players that excel. Do they excel because they are well coached and have a lot of talent around them or do they excel because they are a great player.  Watching them run through drills and work with you in a practice type environment gives you a better idea of what the player is really like

2. Coaches can see how coach-able a player is:
There are great players out there that never reach their full potential because they either don’t try or don’t listen or just cannot translate the message the coaches are giving them to the field.  Some players are super talented but timid. Being able to see how a player approaches drills and how they use the techniques you are teaching gives you a great understanding of what they will be like on your squad.  You can see their attitudes and how often players work to go against the best opponents they can or how many times they take drills off.  Finally, you can evaluate if you even like them.  Not every player will fit your culture no matter how great they are.

3. Players can evaluate coaches:
For many players, the recruiting circuit is a beauty pageant.  Players come in and get the best a school has to offer. They have you come when the weather is nice, when girls are going to be around, when they are playing a game or whatever it is that they feel separates them from other teams.  Working at a camp allows players to decide if A) your staff is even competent and B) if they can see themselves playing for you.  More important than facilities and uniforms is fit.  Many players can get blinded by the show and glitz, but some of the really good players will take note if they go to your camp and realize they are going to get great coaching.   For many blue chip players out there the goal is to win and go to the NFL.  If a staff can put their best foot forward and show that they have the chops and personnel to get you into the NFL at the highest draft position possible, they are going to take more notice of you. Everyone seems like a great coach in a film room or in a living room.  The chance to see them prove it on the field is far more powerful.

OSU may not get any 5 star prospects from this camp tour, but they have already found some very high quality players that they now have an inside track on.  And if the attendance at their half day camp means anything, with players making the trip to Corvallis from Florida and Iowa, their message is getting out and it is a positive one.

Recruit Focus: Gary Haynes

All information in this post is courtesy of  BeaverBlitz and Hudl.  Again, I highly recommend both of these sites for the best and latest information on Beaver Football recruiting.

All reviews are just MY OPINION, and need to be taken as such. The coaches know more than me, understand the team’s needs better than I do and most likely differ with my opinions. I am just doing this for fun.

Gary Haynes

CURRENT RIVALS RANKING: 3 Star (5.5)
PROJECTED FINAL RIVALS RANKING:
3 Star (5.6)
HT: 5′ 9″
WT: 160
POS: Wide Receiver
HOMETOWN: Manvel, Texas
OTHER OFFERS: Houston, La Lafatette
CHANCE OF BEING A BEAVER: 50%

Hudl Profile

Position The Official Candy Report Sees this player at: Slot Receiver
What Beaver this player reminds us of: James Rodgers, Brandin Cooks

STRENGTHS
– Flat out fast and quick
– Great open space moves, makes people miss
– Has that Nintendo side step that leaves defenders two yards away from him with one move
– Very good hands
– Amazing cuts in his routes
– Again, great open field moves, gets two to three extra yards just by juking defenders
– Ferocious blocker
– Always looking to hit someone
– Has an amazing spin move that is quick and gets up-field
– Very quick release (especially for his height)Very difficult to get a clean tackle on
– Great punt return instincts
– Did I mention he has amazing moves in open space?

QUESTIONS
– Small frame, but really, not a big deal
– Can get caught ‘over-juking’ and tackle himself

SUMMARY:
Currently, Oregon State’s coaches are hosting a camp in the great state of Texas.  The Get It Done Sports Camp at Hall Stadium in the Houston, Texas is the latest site of Oregon State’s satellite camp circuit and I felt it was worth it to review one of the stand-outs from that camp.  According to BeaverBlitz, electric receiver Gary Haynes is very interested in the Beavers.  If you watch one second of his film, you will know why the coaches reciprocate said feelings.

Haynes is lightning in the bottle that is surprisingly polished for a young player.  If you watch his Rivals Camp Highlight video (subscription required), you will see him working against various top prospects.  Gary shows the ability to separate both vertically and laterally with great cuts out of his routes.  The 5’9″, 160 pound Haynes reminds me of a hated rival as much as anyone.  D’Anthony Thomas had the ability to create space around himself with his speed and moves.  If you can watch the linked film, at the 38 second mark you can see two straight plays where Gary uses his cutting ability in his routes to leave the defender in the dust.

The difference between Gary and Thomas is readily apparent in his Hudl Junior Highlight film where you see him make amazing plays, but also show that he is an incredibly physical blocker.  Haynes has a few clips where he just drops his defender and is always looking to light people up. In that respect, Haynes definitely reminds me of James Rodgers.  He is short, but plays big and fast.  He catches with his hands away from his body and has a very high concentration level.

Haynes also seems to have some attitude about him.  He plays with swagger and appears to back it up on the field.

While Gary won’t garner the same attention that Thomas got for whatever reason, but he is definitely in that league.  If the Beavers can wrap him up, they will have a guy that is going to push for playing time from day one.  Just watch his highlights and you will see a guy you want wearing the Orange and Black.

Silly Shot In The Dark Guess
My silly, shot-in-the dark guess is that should Haynes come to Oregon State, he has the potential to be a 3-year starter at Receiver.  I don’t think he will redshirt and will probably be a special teams returner like Bolden, Cooks and Rodgers ahead of him. My guess is he will be a slot guy and will run a few fly sweeps and routes as a freshman.  He is really impressive, but his blocking is the part that I think separates him from others.  A guy like him that can be a plus blocker will make magic happen at Oregon State.

Recruit Focus: James Pensyl

All information in this post is courtesy of  BeaverBlitz and Hudl.  Again, I highly recommend both of these sites for the best and latest information on Beaver Football recruiting.

All reviews are just MY OPINION, and need to be taken as such. The coaches know more than me, understand the team’s needs better than I do and most likely differ with my opinions. I am just doing this for fun.

James Pensyl

CURRENT RIVALS RANKING: NR
PROJECTED FINAL RIVALS RANKING:
3 Star (5.4)
HT: 6′ 6″
WT: 205
POS: Quarterback
HOMETOWN: Land O’Lakes, FL
OTHER OFFERS: None
CHANCE OF BEING A BEAVER: 90%

Hudl Profile

Position The Official Candy Report Sees this player at: Quarterback
What Beaver this player reminds us of: Sean Mannion, Matt Moore

STRENGTHS
– Great decision making ability
– Strong arm with decent velocity on deep passes
– Accurate to all areas of the field
– Throws a very ‘catchable’ ball
– Accurate when throwing on the run
– Athletic enough to extend plays
– Moves well in the pocket and has decent footwork
– Very quick release (especially for his height)
– Compact throwing motion
– Overall feel of athleticism.  Seems quick in drops, light on feet and quick on release
– Current offense uses him in the pocket a lot, so familiarity with working within those constraints.

QUESTIONS
– Very thin frame
– Deep balls can float a bit and sail on him
– No top end Division I speed

SUMMARY:
Today, i felt I should interrupt my previous schedule of big guy reviews to take a look at the Beavers’ latest commitment, James Pensyl.  As I have often said, the farther from offensive line you get the less I know, but there are a few things I think about when I look at Quarterbacks.

First of all, Pensyl threw for 22 touchdowns and only 3 interceptions last year.  That is a good indicator of his decision making in games, but even in his film you can see he knows where to go with the ball.

While relatively unknown in recruiting, James has a solid arm, fitting somewhere between Matt Moore and Derek Anderson.  He is not the flame thrower Anderson was, but has solid velocity on the ball.  One thing I like is that he is position appropriate with his passes.  Like Mannion, he can zip it in to tight spaces on the goal line (see 1:57 on this film) when needed, but he also has a nice touch to running backs out of the backfield.  Even his deep passes range from nose down bullets at the 20 – 30 yard range (3:21) or floaters that drop into the receivers hands on deep break away balls (3:37).

Throughout his film you will see a lot of plays where he moves in the pocket or rolls out and still manages to make accurate throws.  When possible he will stop his run and set up on his throws, something that is unusual in the film I see. Many QB’s instinctively just throw it on the run and don’t take the additional step of setting up. James seems to do this a lot and gets great results when he does. If you watch his Elite 11 film, you can see that he looks pretty quick and athletic in his drop and his throwing motion has some snap to it.  I like that he is not doing  a slow, windmill on his passes, but he does get a little bit sideways on his release.  At 6’6 and still growing, the fact that he releases it about six inches above his head is going to be high enough to avoid a lot of batted balls.

While he is very thin, I don’t think he is fragile. Watching him run on his highlight film I doesn’t seem to be scared of contact.  He will need to get stronger and sturdier to take the grind of Division I football, especially since he doesn’t have elite speed.  James is athletic enough to avoid rushes and roll out well, like Tony Pike from Cincinnati in 2009, but he is not going to pull away for 70 yard runs. If he can add some muscle weight and work on his strength and speed a bit, he will be quick enough to get the job done.  The one thing I like about Pensyl is that for a tall guy with long levers, he feels quick. He doesn’t take forever in his drops and his passing motion is quick and fluid.  That will only improve with work and Garrett seems to be a good guy to do this.

Silly Shot In The Dark Guess
My silly, shot-in-the dark guess is that when Pensyl comes to Oregon State, he has the potential to be a 2-year starter at Quarterback.  I think he is better than most of the pundits I have seen, and think he will make a run later in his career.  With Del Rio, Vanderveen, Kempt, McMaryion and Mitchell in the fold, there is not a lot of playing time early.  Every year you want to come back and recruit better, so Pensyl’s window might be small for playing time. That being said, I really like him as a prospect, feel he is very much of that Mannion and Moore mold and if he can pick up the offense quickly could be a surprise.  He will have his work cut out for him though, and I expect he will redshirt his first year and fight for the backup roll in his second and third years.

Expectations: Damned if you do, Damned if you don’t

During the spring of 2001, not long after the Beavers’ 41-9 thrashing of Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl, I boldly proclaimed to my friends:

“Next season, we are going 10-1 and to the Rose Bowl!”

My friends howled with laughter or rolled their eyes. But I thought I had the last laugh later that summer when Sports Illustrated ranked the Beavers No. 1 in its annual college football preview. It was proof that I wasn’t the only one with orange-colored glasses.

Sadly, we all know how the 2001 season turned out. The Beavers never recovered from being crushed by David Carr-led Fresno State in the season opener and limped to a disappointing 5-6 season.

My friends still give me crap about my way-too-optimistic prediction about that season. I was way off, but can you blame me? One of the toughest things about being a fan is staying objective. It’s a tough balancing act, too.

Too homerish, and you’ll be accused of drinking too much orange Kool-Aid. Too negative, and you’ll be labeled a jerkface. Don’t even try being a voice of reason, you’ll be dismissed. It’s really a no-win situation.

A wise coworker once told me that expectations are the first step toward disappointment…

That logic certainly applies to sports. We always hope and expect the best — that’s what good fans do, right? I mean, how often do we see people come out and see player X just won’t cut it, or the Beavers are going to suck?

But expectations are damming. Set ’em too high and you’ll likely be disappointed. You could set them low and be pleasantly surprised. That’s not much fun, though.

I bring this up because there’s been a lot of back-and-forth on the message boards about how the Beavers’ 2014 season will play out. A lot of fans are pretty pessimistic about any given thing.

Maybe it’s all those years of having dreams dashed by slow starts, losses to lesser devision schools, and a failure to beat the Ducks lately. Understandable, for sure.

What’s wrong with justing enjoying the ride — through the ups and down. After all, for most of us football is for entertainment purposes. Another wise coworker once said that the beauty of sports is that you can treat it like life or death, but at the end of the day, it’s just a game.

So don’t freak out, relax, and get ready for another season of spending time in beautiful Corvallis, hanging out with family and friends, and rooting on your beloved Beavers.

You might just find that it’s more enjoyable (and a lot easier) when you don’t have expectations and just enjoy the games for what they are… (RW)

NCAA, Player Lawsuits and Compensation: Part I

I have what appears to be a unique view on the subject of paying players.  It must be as no one else on the media seems to share it.  As I hear about the Ed O’Bannon lawsuit against the NCAA, and hear about what is involved in the lawsuit, the TV rights and the likeness argument, I have to say that this kind of case may do more harm that good to the students and the sports.  So let me put my two cents in a bullet list so I can make sure everyone understands my philosophy.

1. I think athletes deserve more money.
2. I don’t think it should be enough to hurt the schools.
3. I think coaches earn their salaries and the benefit to all student athletes at an institution is reflected in this.

Here are a few items I would like to see happen:

1. All NCAA players should be able to receive what is basically a part-time minimum wage job’s worth of additional stipend a month on top of what is currently there.
If you set the hourly wage of $8 is applied to a 25 hour work week, that would give players of all sports an extra $200 per week, or an extra $10k a year (roughly).  This would cost a University with 300 full scholarship athletes across all sports an extra $3.12 Million a year.

2. I think all student athletes should get health care coverage for three years following their graduation from the institution.
If they leave early for professional sport, a job, transfer, drop out or are expelled prior to getting their under graduate degree, then they are no longer eligible.  They should also get an opportunity to COBRA those benefits if they want to after they leave.  This should be subsidized by jersey sales and TV rights money.

3. Student athletes should be able to transfer as other students do without prejudice
I love the idea, as a fan, that players are punished if they ditch your team for greener pastures.  I also love that the Beaver coaches could really make it hard for a player to transfer to a festering sore on humanity like the University of Oregon (home of the Fighting Daddy Warbucks) if they wanted to.  But like most fans, I am a total jerk.

The reality is, student athletes should be treated as other students in this means.  There are a million of reasons a student wants to change schools, whether it be to take care of a sick family member all the way to just not liking your coach or the rain. The transfer rule punishes players in a way that is not reflected in academia or business.  Outside of military service or maybe a non-compete contract, anyone can leave at any time and not face the same issues.

Now I bring up non-compete clauses because that is the one area that may seem kind of gray, but there are a lot of restrictions to what is even enforceable in a non-compete.  The fact that a coach like Keith Heyward can go to a direct competitor without any recourse shows that there is a precedent set in employees that they are at will to choose work, just as they are employed at the will of their employer.  Also, as non-compete clauses are different from state to state (try enforcing yours in California.  It is not easy) so there is no legally consistent means of enforcing them.

The reality is that college athletes are unfairly restricted in this. You don’t want players to leave?  Do  a better job vetting them before you bring them in and don’t be a jerk.  Russel Wilson would have stayed at NC State (which I think would have eventually been a mistake) if they would have let him play baseball. Instead he transfers to Wisconsin (because he had his degree already) and the rest is history.  I think players should be allowed to do that.  Right now Oregon State has a log jam at QB, and it is going to get worse. I think if some of those guys decided they had a better chance elsewhere, i would be sad to see them go but would understand and would want them to be able to get going right away and not have to sit out a year.

Especially since Redshirt years are their coaches decisions, not theirs (in most cases).   It is terrible that  a kid who redshirted their freshman year would have to sit out one more year if they decided they wanted to play closer to home or whatever.  Especially since they have no control over who their coach is or how long they stay.

Other than that, I am not sure there should be much changes to the deal.
If the payments in step one are based on the Federal Minimum Wage, they should go up for cost of living increases as needed. College scholarships already cover room and board, food, books, tuition and a stipend for living expenses. They have access to free health care, free training, free weight programs and dietitians, programs that can offer free trips for family emergencies and free study aids/tutoring resources.

The other side of it is this:  Schools don’t make a ton of money.  You can say that coaches are paid too much, but ask the schools that have bad ones, that cannot win, cannot get their base to donate and cannot do what it takes to allow the entire department to grow. For Beaver fans, you won’t have to go too far to find them. There are very few money making sports and the ones that do have to cover the rest.  Especially in light of Title IX and the restrictions that puts on a department.  While a business might cut a program that doesn’t make money, unfortunately, college athletic departments have to offer equal opportunities to female athletes that they do male.  So there is always an additional price tag on the programs that do.

So I want players to get the most they can while protecting the institutions that provide them the opportunities they have.  Unfortunately, the numbers that the media likes to throw around include so many different institutions that nailing down who writes the checks is difficult.  The NCAA has a target on its back because it is incompetent and had failed student athletes in a lot of ways, but even they don’t have the means.  If the NCAA had to foot the bill for the item I outlined in step one, for all student athletes, they would have to pay roughly $4 Billion a year for 400K athletes.  To put that in perspective, the NCAA pays out 96% of its earnings to student athletes, and this increase would take up $3.4 billion dollars more annually than the NCAA is bringing in with their new $10 billion TV deal for the NCAA basketball tournament (roughly $750 million a year for all conferences).  There is money in the college sports world to get it done, but not necessarily in one entity.

So what do you give the players, how much can you pull from any single entity and not have it shrivel up at the burden?  The NCAA is more like Wall Street, and the colleges are the individual companies traded on it.  Each of those companies is responsible for their own employees.  If you look at their books and what they have to do to stay competitive (coaches salaries, conference affiliations) deal with federal restrictions (Title IX) you would not find the money in most of them to handle another huge tax on their programs.

I want more for the players, but it is misleading to say that there is much more available from all the entities involved that can pay out to the volume and scale that they would have to. In terms of media rights, who would pay for those?  Would that come out of the TV contracts awarded by network deals?  Would conferences have to pay back pay? How far back?

So what do you do?  Do you remove Football from schools and make it a minor league sport?  Then who pays for that, the NFL?

Because guess what, if the price tag goes up significantly, no one else will.

I would love to hear your comments on this topic.  I might have glaring errors in my reporting or might be totally off base on something, so please let me know by leaving a comment below!

Closing Thoughts About Baseball, and Other Notes

Being eliminated from the regional tournament marked a disappointing end to a great season for the OSU baseball team. The Beavers did well to respond well from the Saturday shellacking to force a pivotal Monday matchup. Unfortunately, their rally attempt fell short against UC-Irvine in that game. Hats off to the Anteaters. They constantly put pressure on the Beavers and played more mistake-free ball. In many ways, they reminded me of past OSU squads.

The Beavers got some outstanding performances during the regionals. From Andrew Moore’s 17 strikeouts in Game 1, Ben Wetzler’s complete game in Game 3, Scott Schultz’s complete-game shutout in Game 4, and Jake Thompson’s gritty Game 5 performance.

And Thompson’s showing offered promise for next season. He’s got good stuff. Him and Moore should form a strong 1-2 punch in 2015, which would help offset the loss of a great core of players in Michael Conforto, Wetzler, Jace Fry, Dylan Davis, Andy Petersen, etc.

But You don’t lose all the talent, and not take a step back in some regards, so Pat Casey has his work cut out. But if there’s one thing Beaver Nation has learned since 2005, when his program started to take off, don’t count out a Pat Casey-led squad. That said, it would help immensely if  this weekend’s MLB Draft doesn’t gut the Beavers’ recruiting class.

  • Speaking of the draft, congrats to Conforto for being taken with the No. 10 pick by the New York Mets. It’s nice to see arguably the greatest player in OSU history, and one of the finest in Pac-12 history, be rewarded for his hard work. He’s now the highest Beaver ever drafted (Scott Christman went at No. 17 in 1993). While he was tremendous on the field, I don’t think Conforto gets enough credit for being equally great off the field. He was a great representative of OSU, and it will be fun to watch him progress at the next level. As a Braves fan, this is the closest I’ll come to following the Mets.
  • Earlier this week, former OSU star and current New York Yankees standout Jacoby Ellisbury donated $1 million to the Beavers baseball program to help with locker room renovations. This is a huge boon for Casey and his program. It will enable the program to keep up in the Pac-12 facilities race, and should help with recruiting. It’s great to see Ellsbury giving back, and it’s nice that after years of sweat, blood, and tears, Casey isn’t having to do all the heavy lifting when it comes to fundraising.
  • On to basketball… One of the complaints during the later years of the Craig Robinson era was the lack of solid X’s and O’s especially during crucial stretches of games. The answer that many fans clamored for (besides wanting Robinson fired) was more experienced and proven assistant coaches. Well, Tinkle appears to have found that with his first assistant coach hire: Kerry Rupp, who has 15 years of college experience after a lengthy high school coaching career, including a 4-year stint as HC at Louisiana Tech. His best season there came in 2009, when the Bulldogs finished 24-11. Rupp spent the last two seasons on Tinkle’s staff at Montana.
  • It’s also rumored that former Cal assistant Gregg Gottlieb is joining the staff. That would be a home run hire. Gottlieb has strong recruiting ties to California and a reputation for developing players such as Ryan Anderson and Allan Crabbe. He’s coached under Steve Fisher and Mike Montgomery. He’s also the brother of notable basketball analyst Doug Gottlieb. That can only help right? He’s no President Obama, but still Doug Gottlieb could help draw more attention to the program.
  • So who will fill the last spot on Tinkle’s coaching staff? Freddie Owens? Not so fast. I thought Owens would be the first person hired by Tinkle, given they coached together in Montana, and that Owens could bridge the gap between Tinkle and the the returning OSU players. But maybe a clean break from the Robinson era would be best. That said, a younger, diverse coach such as Owens would be a smart choice for Tinkle. Plus, with Rupp, and hopefully, Gootlieb on board, Tinkle can take a chance on someone without as much experience. A dynamic personality who can relate well to recruits is what I’d like to see.
  • Lost among the hoopla of Tinkle being hired and the Beavers playing in the regionals is the fact that women’s basketball coach Scott Rueck continues to clean up in recruiting. This spring he’s landed a JUCO point guard, a 6-5 post from Germany, and two highly-regarded prep players for the 2015-16 season. Beaver fans should never doubt coaches who hail from George Fox, but did anyone see Rueck having this much recruiting success early on? If you did, I’d like to buy you a drink. Now if he can land Katie McWilliams from South Salem High School, that would be even sweeter. She grew up a Beavers fan and so it would be neat to see her playing for her childhood fav. But McWilliams won’t be hurting for suitors. She’s one of the top players in the state. (RW)

Recruit Focus: Cade Cote

All information in this post is courtesy of  BeaverBlitz and Hudl.  Again, I highly recommend both of these sites for the best and latest information on Beaver Football recruiting.

All reviews are just MY OPINION, and need to be taken as such. The coaches know more than me, understand the team’s needs better than I do and most likely differ with my opinions. I am just doing this for fun.

Cade Cote

CURRENT RIVALS RANKING: 3 Star (5.6)
PROJECTED FINAL RIVALS RANKING:
3 Star (5.7)
HT: 6′ 4″
WT: 275
POS: Offensive Tackle, Offensive Guard
HOMETOWN: Gilbert, Arizona
OTHER OFFERS: Arizona, Arizona State, Boise State, Colorado, Kansas State, Nevada, ducks
CHANCE OF BEING A BEAVER: 40%

Hudl Profile

Position The Official Candy Report Sees this player at: Offensive Guard
What Beaver this player reminds us of: Roy Schuening, Jason White

STRENGTHS
– Extremely strong and physical
– Powerful punch, knocking people to the ground
– Violent approach to blocking, roots out defenders and gets them on their heels
– Uses strength to bring defenders up to his level
– Very athletic on pulls and in space
– Plus pass blocking technique
– Does an exceptional on combo blocks, punching double and then sliding into second level player.
– Snap to whistle every play, maintains blocks

QUESTIONS
– Sometimes has an ambiguous first step
– Plays with a high pad level
– Feet stop at times on contact

SUMMARY:
Cade Cote is the second half of what I am calling the “Bash Brothers”.  Like Fred Ulu-Perry, Cade has a very violent and physical style of play. He is obviously very strong and I tend to believe his Rivals profile lifting stats (355 bench, 495 squat) are accurate.  Cote punishes his targets and in many cases just drives them off their feet and into the ground.  More than 3/4 of his Junior highlight film shows him lifting defenders off their feet and onto their heels as he drives them back tens of yards or directly into the dirt.

While at times, Cade seems to block straight up and down, he is strong enough to bring the people he is blocking up with him.  When he goes to the next level, he will have to work on that pad level as he is going to be playing against guys that are the same size and same nasty as him. I also noticed that there are times where Cade hits a guy, and there is a pause until he  can bench press them up and back.  While he has a great punch, he doesn’t always bring it on contact and his feet can die a little bit forcing him to muscle defenders where he wants them.  That is also something he will have to work on at the next level, but that is why guys like Coach Cav get paid the medium to large bucks.

I do love that Cade plays in a passing offense where he has a lot of film on his pass protection technique. While i never saw him go against a speed guy like he will see at the Pac-12, I do think he is athletic enough and has quick enough feet to get used to that, and can certainly handle the 3 technique guys he will go against if he slides inside to guard like I think he will.  His drop at tackle was very good and his hand placement inside the pads was devastating to the defenders he went against.

While I feel like Cade is a little raw, there is no denying his power, his tenacity and his ferociousness in his blocks.  If you watch what he does to the linebacker at the 1:14 point of the highlight film, you can see not only how well he moves in a pulling situation but also how destructive he can be on contact.  To me, Cade is a must have on the line.  If Cav can find a way to get Hanson, Lucas, Ulu-Perry and Cote in this class, it will be the best class since 2011.  Cote has the intangibles and mental demeanor that Cav loves as well as a frame that can get bigger and stronger.  I could easily see him playing at 310 and forcing defenders to wear their brown pants so that no one knows how scared they are.

One last note on these linemen the Beavers are offering: The difference between Cote and a guy like Hanson or Ulu-Perry is minimal, but what he does represent is another player in the conscious effort of this staff to improve the running game.  The five players I have reviewed so far are all very, very physical and all have great leg drive, great hips and great upper body strength to help blow holes in the line.  As Oregon State continues to evolve to meet the challenges of modern college football, you can see what the Beavers have been after since 2011.  Big bodies that can move and are physical.  If they have the gumption to put in the work and listen to Cav in terms of technique, these guys are all looking at potential NFL careers if they come to Oregon State.

Of course if they go elsewhere, their true potential will never be tapped. Or at least that is what I tell people.

Silly Shot In The Dark Guess
My silly, shot-in-the dark guess is that should Cote come to Oregon State, he has the potential to be a 2-year starter at Offensive Guard, and will probably be in the two deep by his sophomore year. I think he could use a redshirt year to learn the offense and refine his technique so he can use his aggression effectively within the Beaver offensive scheme.  Of all the guys I have reviewed, I think he has the most to work on technique wise, but I also think that physically he might be the most ready.  So if he picks up the offense and the techniques quickly, he could be on the field far sooner than the 2 year prediction I have made.

Recruit Focus: Fred Ulu-Perry

All information in this post is courtesy of  BeaverBlitz and Hudl.  Again, I highly recommend both of these sites for the best and latest information on Beaver Football recruiting.

All reviews are just MY OPINION, and need to be taken as such. The coaches know more than me, understand the team’s needs better than I do and most likely differ with my opinions. I am just doing this for fun.

Fred Ulu-Perry

CURRENT RIVALS RANKING: 3 Star (5.7)
PROJECTED FINAL RIVALS RANKING:
4 Star (5.8)
HT: 6′ 2″
WT: 310
POS: Offensive Tackle, Offensive Guard, Offensive Center
HOMETOWN: Honolulu, Hawaii
OTHER OFFERS: Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Kansas, Nevada, San Jose State, Texas Tech, Washington, Washington State
CHANCE OF BEING A BEAVER: 50%

Hudl Profile

Position The Official Candy Report Sees this player at: Offensive Line
What Beaver this player reminds us of: Jeremy Perry

STRENGTHS
– Extremely strong and physical
– Powerful punch, knocking people to the ground
– Violent approach to blocking, roots out defenders and gets them on their heels
– Uses low center of gravity for leverage on defenders
– Extremely quick out of his stance and in getting to the second level
– Plus pass blocking technique
– Looking for someone to hit, nasty

QUESTIONS
– Points where he is going with his stance
– Looking for someone to hit, sometimes late or in the back
– Feet stop a bit on contact

SUMMARY:
Fred is one of those players you want to get because you sure don’t want to play against him. Ulu-Perry plays like a throwback player with a chip on his shoulder and violence in his fists.  Much like Zach Lucas and Jake Hanson, Fred Ulu-Perry is a very strong and powerful player who overwhelms opponents with his strength and aggression.

What separates Ulu-Perry from other players is that while he lacks the height (6’4″ +) of the prototypical offensive tackle, he uses his lower center of gravity and amazing strength to drive defenders backwards and into the ground.  Fred uses a very powerful punch and seems to shrug off players at the end of his blocks.  Fred also has great, great hand placement and constantly reloads and re-punches his opponents.  To be honest, I get the feeling he likes hitting them.  Once he gets contact, he is like the Tasmanian Devil, constantly attacking and punishing his opponents.  Defenders are going to really dread playing Fred.

While he tends to telegraph where he is going with his stance, he attacks his targets so violently that I am not entirely sure Fred cares if they know where he is going. He has exceptionally quick feet and moves at a much faster pace than his 310 pound body would indicate.  He also has plus footwork and covers defensive ends in his pass blocking from the tackle position.

The only worry I have with Fred’s film is that his feet tend to die a bit on contact. Then he reloads and powers his way through the blocker.  If he can work on maintaining his leg drive on contact more consistently and can avoid late hit or clipping calls, Fred Ulu-Perry would end up being a definite four star prospect and great feature on the Beaver offensive line for the next few years.  To get an idea of how strong he is, and how good of a punch he has, I recommend watching his Junior Highlight film at the 1:25 mark.  He stones a safety running full speed like he is a gnat.

Silly Shot In The Dark Guess
My silly, shot-in-the dark guess is that should Ulu-Perry come to Oregon State, he has the potential to be a 3-year starter at Offensive Tackle or Guard, and will probably be in the two deep by his redshirt freshman year. I think he could use a redshirt year to learn the offense and refine his technique so he can use his aggression effectively within the Beaver offensive scheme.