As I said in my post before about recruiting, this has been an amazing recruiting cycle for the Beavers. Now, you can look at the classes that USC, UCLA and the ducks brought in and say “Umm, those classes are FAR better than OSU’s!” and in terms of stars and national rankings, you would be correct.
Fortunately, for OSU, this class was never going to be a 4 Star Bonanza (or The Big Valley if you preferred it…) even if the next coach of the Oregon State Beavers had been named Nick Saban. With a month to get guys in that fit your system as well as decide what areas you even have a need for based on your current roster, it was going to be intense and there were going to be some swings and some misses.
That is what makes this all so impressive. Coach Andersen and his staff were able to accomplish some major steps in their program by identifying areas of need (the secondary) and getting guys in there that can fill that right away (JC players). They found regions that they targeted as the best regions to build recruiting ties for a championship level team and built or extended relationships there (4 commits each from Florida, Utah and California and two from Texas). They were able to really push the Polynesian culture of Oregon State by attracting 6 players of Poly descent out of their 12 players they landed in their first month.
The coaches also established OSU as a Mission friendly school, for those LDS players that are thinking of taking their Mission. Not only did we take a few kids that are contemplating that option, but we also took a player with a great name (Thor) who had already gone through that process last year. While some fans and coaches are not sure or opposed to taking kids that are going on their Missions, I think it is a justifiable risk because unlike Grayshirts or JC players, they are generally fully qualified and when they come back, if they choose to play and are fired up to do so, you have them for their full cycle as a player (five years to play four). If they never come back or choose not to play when they do, you still are not out a scholarship. I feel if a coach thinks the player is really worth it, so is the risk, because the cost is very low and the potential gain is very high.
So this year, when it is all said and done, they only really lost one battle (Davis who committed to us but signed with Florida, a few other near hits that went elsewhere and one tie (Alston went to Nebraska, but they did get Lucas from ASU.)
All in all they identified and landed the players they wanted, just like Andersen identified and landed the coaches he wanted in the town he wants to be. This is very impressive and I would not be shocked if some of those six scholarships left to give are taken up by players that delayed their signing or JC players that are going to be summer enrollees. So their work is probably not done on this class.
This all seems like a lot, but you have to remember that in that same five or six week period, they also identified and built a strategy around the players they want for the next two and three classes! They have extended offers and had players be receptive to what they have. So I feel great about this class, about their success in filling needs, building or maintaining relationships and identifying where they want the program to go. It has been an amazing month and a half and there is still more to come! It is a GREAT DAY to be a Beaver and I cannot wait for the spring to get here.
Respect the Process! Go Beavers!