The dog days of summer are upon us. What better way to beat the summertime blues (and get hyped up about the upcoming football season) than picking some All-Beavers teams?
But here’s my twist on things: this team is made up of players who played from 1998-2008, a period I like to think of as the “Revival of OSU Football…” It included ending the 27 years of losing seasons, making a bowl game finally, the Fiesta Bowl rout, upsetting top-ranked teams, etc… What a great time to be a Beavers fan!
Quarterback: Jonathan Smith.. He didn’t have the size of Derek Anderson did or the elusiveness that Matt Moore did, but he had moxie that translated to wins. He played arguably the biggest role in OSU’s turnaround — it was fitting that he was named MVP of the Fiesta Bowl.
Running back: Ken Simonton… He was the heart and soul of the Beavers for four years. He was a leader on and off the field. And was there a more fun player to watch then him? I still get the chills thinking about some of his runs, especially that several against USC in 2000.
Wide Receiver: Mike Hass… His numbers speak for themselves. Not only does he hold OSU records, but also Pac-12 ones. He won the Biletnikoff Award in 2005. He had amazing hands and made insane catches look easy. Not bad for a walk-on.
Wide Receiver: Sammie Stroughter… He had a flair for the dramatic, especially on special teams. But he adept at making highlight reel catches, as well as timely ones. Loved the “SAMMIE, SAMMIE, SAMMIE” cheer Beaver Nation did when he lined up for punt returns.
Wide Receiver: Chad Johnson… Despite only playing one season, he made the most of it. His confidence and swagger was instrumental to that 2000 team. And he helped bring OSU national attention as a result of his play. Who can forget that Sports Illustrated cover?
Tight end: Joe Newton… Lost among the fact that he was never quite the same after his injury is that he was a freaking stud of a TE before that. He could run, catch, and block. And he made some clutch catches in his career. He was the total package.
Offensive line: Chris Gibson, Mitch White, Andy Levitre, Roy Schuening, Kyle Devan… This group of linemen had it all. They were smart, tough, hard-working, could be nasty when they needed to be, and most of all, were strong leaders. (Note: Very hard leaving Jeremy Perry off.)
As you can tell, the Fiesta Bowl season influenced many of selections. But I’m betting it might do the same for you. Also, what a heck of a job Mike Riley did laying the foundation for this team. Share who would make your 1998-2008 All-offense team… Did I completely miss on any of my selections?
Go Beavs! (RW)