Recruiting Breakdown: Offensive Linemen

This year is an important year for offensive line recruiting at OSU. We have only 16 scholarship linemen on the roster (19 overall according to the latest roster), and we lose three starters this year and four total, followed by four total and three other players with starting experience the following season. That means we will be down to only 12 offensive linemen and nine with scholarships at that point.

While there are walk ons coming in this year, only getting one lineman in the last recruiting cycle really puts pressure on our staff this year to pull in some Pac-12 quality linemen.  According to Rivals, we currently have 19 offers out to OL, with six currently being committed. While that doesn’t mean anything (as we all know), prying these players from their commitments might be pretty tough as they include Texas Tech, Oklahoma, UCLA (x2) and Wisconsin (x2). Wisconsin is especially tough because they have really closed their borders in the last decade (70% of their state’s top recruits stay home. Six of their current eight commits are from the crushed hand state). Texas Tech doesn’t seem like a world beater, but the player committed there is from Texas, and honestly will probably stay in the are, even if they flip their commitment.

So I will focus on the 13 available.

Foster Sarell
Offensive tackle – 4 STARS (Rivals Ranking: 6.0)
Graham-Kapowsin
Graham, WA
Ht: 6’6″
Wt: 315 lbs
Class: 2017

Foster is a huge, huge man and is the highest rated, un-committed offensive lineman that OSU has offered this year. He fits Coach Woods’ style to a T with his size and physicality. He is a mauler and does a good job on the edge. I see him as a Gavin Andrews (pre-injury) type player. He plays a little high and needs to work on his footwork a bit, but he is physically ready to play and play well right away. With Stanton, Hopkins and Harlow all leaving next year, we will need quality OT depth soon.

Percent Chance he is a Beaver: 10%
Predicted School: Washington


Aaron Banks
Offensive tackle – 4 STARS (RR: 5.9)
El Cerrito
El Cerrito, California
Ht: 6’7″
Wt: 305
Class: 2017

Banks is massive. He just overwhelms players on the snap. Again, some technique stuff that can be ironed out, but he is physically, a dominant player and when he gets going, it is impossible to stop him. El Cerrito is in a strong league too, so he is playing against good players and has excellent coaching. He definitely plays with aggression.

Percent Chance he is a Beaver: 20%
Predicted School: USC


Alijah Vera-Tucker
Offensive tackle – 4 STARS (RR: 5.9)
Bishop O’Dowd
Oakland, CA
Ht: 6’4″
Wt: 270 lbs
Class: 2017

Vera-Tucker is a bit smaller, more athletic blocker. He really gets under guys and has pretty good technique and feet. I would say he has a lot of upside, and is also probably the most schematically polished of the three. He is one of those guys, kind of like Josh Mitchell, that can come in and pick up what OSU is doing rapidly, and then grow into what they need physically. And he doesn’t have to go far. I could see him playing early, but dominating at 290 pounds or more.

Percent Chance he is a Beaver: 10%
Predicted School: Washington


Chuck Filiaga

Offensive tackle – 4 STARS (RR: 5.9)
Vista Murrieta
Murrietta, CA
Ht: 6’6″
Wt: 270 lbs
Class: 2017

I actually like his film the most. He needs to get better explosion with his hips, but he plays really violently and attacks guys. He is way tougher than I am, that is for sure. A great motor and a solid player. He just moved from LA to Texas, and is playing in a pretty good conference in the Lone Star State.Like the other four top guys, I think Coach Woods has his work cut out for him to get Filiago to come to OSU over both Texas and USC.

Percent Chance he is a Beaver: 5%
Predicted School: Texas


Henry Bainivalu
Offensive tackle – 4 STARS (RR: 5.8)
Skyline
Sammamish, WA
Ht: 6’4″
Wt: 277 lbs
Class: 2017

Bainivalu comes from a very pass-friendly offense, that is pretty close to what Mike Riley used to run. While he is an exceptional pass blocker, there are some footwork and leverage issues on run blocking. That being said, he is a huge body that will definitely be a solid player at the next level. I am concerned about the Washington schools, but I think OSU will be in the mix for Henry late in the recruiting process. Of course, now that I have said this he will probably commit to Washington…

Percent Chance he is a Beaver: 25%
Predicted School: Washington


Andrew Vorhees
Offensive tackle – 3 STARS (RR: 5.7)
Kingsburg
Kingsburg, CA
Ht: 6’6″
Wt: 290 lbs
Class: 2017

Vorhees is a mauler from a run-heavy offense that just goes out there and punches people. I really like what he could bring to Oregon State, and he seems to play with the toughness and attitude that the Beavers are looking for. He is a big guy already and would need to do some technique and foot speed work, but overall, I think he is the best prospect for the Beavers offense in terms of fit and signability. If Stanford offers, I think he takes it, but I am not sure who his leader is. I think he is someone that will listen to Gary Andersen, and if they make him a priority they can get him. As a prototypical tackle, he is exactly what this class needs.

Percent Chance he is a Beaver: 45%
Predicted School: Oregon State


Popo Aumavae
Offensive tackle – 3 STARS (RR: 5.7)
St. Mary’s
Stockton, CA
Ht: 6’4″
Wt: 300 lbs
Class: 2017

Our first entry onto the All-Name Team is Popo Aumavae. Popo, while not ranked at an elite level, has offers from literally everyone. He has offers from every team in the Pac-12, plus Nebraska and Michigan. While his size is not prototypical for an OT, he is a great DT and OL prospect and actually the best film I saw. He is just a big, tough, violent dude — and when you look at his offers from Nebraska, Michigan and Utah, you are talking about offensive line-intensive teams that want to rough you up in the trenches. Popo fits this bill and while it would be a HUGE win to get him, I don’t see him being a Beaver.

Percent Chance he is a Beaver: 2%
Predicted School: USC


Matt Sichterman
Offensive tackle – 3 STARS (RR: 5.6)
Kings
King Mills, OH
Ht: 6’5″
Wt: 266 lbs
Class: 2017

Sichterman is another player like Popo that has a ton of offers. Also, like Popo, his film is better than some of the 4* players I have seen. His drive on contact and athletic ability is off the charts. He also does a great job on reach blocks and really reminds me a lot of Sean Harlow. Guys that are athletic, aggressive, and know how to play. I would say that he is also a perfect fit for what Oregon State and Coach Woods want to do with our offense. The Beavers are the only West Coast offer for Sichterman, and my gut tells me that the big dogs of Memphis, Nebraska and Wisconsin are going to be too much to pass up, but if we get him, he would be a steal for the Beavers.

Percent Chance he is a Beaver: 15%
Predicted School: Nebraska


Alex Forsyth
Offensive tackle – 3 STARS (RR: 5.7)
West Linn
West Linn, OR
Ht: 6’5″
Wt: 290 lbs

West Linn’s Alex Forsyth is a physical and athletic tackle prospect who is perfect for read option-style attacks. He has great feet and is a powerful and aggressive player. He would be a huge get for the Beavers in two ways, as a standout tackle that the Beavers need, but also as a native Oregonian. Unfortunately, unlike Wisconsin, we are not a one-school state and he already has an offer from the crap sacks in Eugene. Double unfortunately, is I think he is a heavy duck lean. Nothing a Civil War win and a few surprising victories by the Beavers couldn’t fix. Even if he commits early elsewhere, I would hope the coaches would stay in contact because I think they could have his ear for the long haul.

Percent Chance he is a Beaver: 45%
Predicted School: yellow toilet seat covers


Jaxson Kirkland
Offensive tackle – 3 STARS (RR: 5.5)
Jesuit
Portland, OR
Ht: 6’7″
Wt: 305 lbs
Class: 2017

Kirkland is a prospect who I think is going to see his recruitment blow up. A huge tackle out of Portland, Jaxson is also what I would consider one of those mauler-type players. While his footwork and footspeed need work, he has a lot of the intangibles you look for in a lineman. I think Oregon State has a great shot at him, and I think he would be a great addition to the class. I would really like to see what Coach Simon can do in a year with Kirkland because I think he could be an all-conference-level player with the right coach. You cannot coach size and you cannot coach attitude and Jaxon appears to have both.

Percent Chance he is a Beaver: 55%
Predicted School: Oregon State


Brock Wellsfry
Offensive Guard – 3 STARS (RR: 5.5)
Hanford
Richland, WA
Ht: 6’6″
Wt: 295 lbs
Class: 2017

Brock is another big, athletic player that I think has a future at the next level. He is a better run blocker than a pass blocker, but he has decent feet and seems like a strong player. Watching him move guys around, he looks like someone that could also be a solid player for the Beavers after a year or two with Coach Simon. I would like to see him get some core work in, because he bends at his waist when he is pass blocking a little too much, but all of that can be corrected. At 6’6″ and 295lbs, Brock has all the physical tools to play any position on the line. While he is listed as a guard, he has the quickness to play outside as well if needed.

Percent Chance he is a Beaver: 60%
Predicted School: Oregon State


Jalen McKenzie
Offensive Guard – 3 STARS (RR: 5.6)
Clayton Valley Charter
Concord, CA
Ht: 6’5″
Wt: 280 lbs
Class: 2017

McKenzie is a big, big guy. He is very quick for his size and moves really well in space. I was a little shocked at how quickly he gets off the ball on run plays. He also has decent footwork and position on pass plays. Athletically, he is pretty advanced for a sophomore (as was the film above) so I can only imagine that his Junior film will be even better. I think he is a pretty good player and his offer sheet will probably expand as time goes on. He does have an offer from Miami, and is looking for offers from big programs like USC, Tennessee and Florida. I have a feeling that he is destined to go elsewhere and if it came down to Miami and OSU,he would choose Miami. You never know, but I get the feeling he has his sights set on bigger things.

Percent Chance he is a Beaver: 20%
Predicted School: USC

2 thoughts on “Recruiting Breakdown: Offensive Linemen

  1. Building the Dam (@BuildingTheDam)

    Wellsfry seems to be a good possibility, but I have to wonder if Boise State will warm to him, and extend an offer, if they strike out on some of the other names they are after, which seems likely. I’m not sure OSU, even being in the Pac-12, has that much of an edge over an offer from the Broncos, who are a completely different animal than anyone else in the Mt. West.

    Reply
    1. Peter Riley Osborne Post author

      Yeah, to me, this is probably the most important offensive line class since 2012 in terms of need. We need quality players. I think Wellsfry would be a great get, but like you said, BSU is tough to pry people away from. That is why OSU needs to have a product on the field that matches the narrative the coaches are telling recruits. If that is the case, I think you can generate excitement and recruiting momentum and pull some of these guys from WSU and BSU. If not, then I think we are going to have to get creative. Fortunately, we don’t need players to step in tomorrow, or maybe even in 2017. So we can get players that are a bit of a project but have the upside and traits we are looking for.

      Reply

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