A trio of 3-Stars provided OSU’s 2017 recruiting class a much-needed boost Tuesday.
David Morris, a LB from Sherwood, verbally committed to the Beavers early that morning, followed by Illinois OL Fabian Kratz in late afternoon. Kolby Taylor, a WR out of Beaver-friendly Chandler High in Arizona, pledged to OSU that evening to cap off a banner day for Gary Andersen and Co.
Their commitments increased OSU’s class to six so far, by far the most the program has secured before June 1. But beyond the numbers and rankings, the three signings gives Beaver Nation something to cheer about, especially in wake of Derrick Bruce leaving the hoops teams, 2017 commitment Xavier Davis getting in trouble, and the baseball team being snubbed from the NCAA tournament.
Morris is a stud who could push for playing time sooner rather than later. Plus, to beat out Cal and WSU for his services is a coup for the coaching staff. Morris also appears to be a standout person who I could see becoming a leader down the road for the Beavers. He’s arguably the second best defensive prospect this year in the state. Landing him is the first step toward Andersen’s goal of keeping in-state talent at home.
The Beavers have known about Taylor for awhile, due to the Chandler pipeline. And while he was overshadowed last season due to the likes of Chase Lucas, some say Taylor might be more polished and has greater upside. He’s also a high-character kid. At first glance, he reminds me of Sammie Stroughter. Not a burner, but can create in space after the catch for big gains. Also, he’s a returner like Stroughter was. I don’t think any Beavers fans would complain about having another Stroughter-type player!
Kratz is more of a wildcard. He’s only been playing football for a year. He’s got the size and mean streak to succeed. But he will need to work on his technique. I think it’s safe to say that he’s a project and should redshirt, with the hope being he could be starter his junior or senior years. The main thing is the Beavers need OL badly in this class, and if they can land some of their bigger targets, Kratz will be a nice piece, at the very least for depth.
It’s early, there’s a lot of work remaining, and it’s not over til LOI day (sometimes, even after that point), but Tuesday marked a huge step forward for the Beavers in recruiting and building for the future. Remember that, as the Beavers embark on what could be another tough season. Sometimes, it’s really about baby steps.
Go Beavs! (RW)