Monthly Archives: July 2016

Oregon State Is Going Camping

Oregon State, like all college football teams, kicks off summer camp this week as preparations begin in earnest for the season just ahead. And for the first time in a long time, camp will actually involve a camp, rather than just being a series of practices at the Beavers’ home facilities, with the players and coaches all in their own homes, and with family and friends each evening.

 

The Beavers will depart mid-week for Bend, and spend over a week housed at the Oregon State Central Oregon campus, and work out at Summit High School.

 

It used to be common place for pro teams to start pre-season preparations this way, and some colleges did it as well, though it was never as wide-spread at this level. As the use of modern training facilities, and the training aids that are computers and video systems, and medical treatment facilities and a complete nutritional center, that compose them became state of the art, the practicality of staying at your established, multi-million dollar facility so that you could actually maximize the benefits of them, these excursions to a remote site became far less common, though they are seeing some resurgence at both the professional and collegiate level.

Continue reading

Welcome Andy

As some of you may have noticed, Andy Wooldridge has joined Raju and I in the Official Candy Report family.  Andy adds quite a bit of class to our crew with a long history of covering Beaver sports with Building The Dam. He is also a frequent commenter here at the blog and has been someone that I have read and enjoyed the writing of for years now. We are really excited to have him on board!

 

 

Pac-12 Preseason Poll: Who Do You Trust The Least?

Now that the earlier than ever before Pac-12 Media Days are over, the preseason predictions by the media are out as well. Expectations for Oregon State are not very high; indeed they are the lowest of anyone in the conference.

There are always question marks about programs when heading into the season, and attempting to prerank teams before any games are played, and a [still] young roster with yet another array of coordinators that’s facing a very tough schedule are certainly reasons for questioning how far Oregon State can go even more than any other conference team.

But Pac-12 wide, this year I found myself listing teams not as much based on positive potential (even though there’s a lot of that in some quarters), but instead on my degree of lack of confidence in each team’s ability to overcome the challenges ahead. Peter astutely already hit on this issue of who you trust, and it really is one of the major storylines conference wide this year.

But before delving into the upcoming season, I took a look back at my miscalculations from a year ago. They turned out to be a mixed bag, in that I only got 5 of 12 right, and 4 of those were the picks for 5th & 6th, but 6 of the other 7 were withing 1 spot of where they wound up. I also had the North providing the overall Pac-12 Champion; it just wasn’t the right team, as Stanford, not Oregon, earned a Rose Bowl trip, this despite the Ducks having cut down the Tree in Palo Alto.

Only Utah, which finished 2 spots above where I expected, had a major variance, and the Ute’s upset win of historic proportion in Autzen was not only a part of that, it was also what inverted my picks at the top of the North division.

Continue reading

Recruit Review: Offensive Line

With this class progressing at a record pace (12 players committed before Fall Camp) I thought I would take a moment to look at the different position groups and break down how many I think they need total this cycle, how many we have, what I think of those and then who the most likely players to fill out the class are. Whew!

I will start with my most familiar group, since everyone else gets a little dicey after them in terms of my knowledge and how much stock you should put in what I say.

OFFENSIVE LINE:
2017 Class Needs: 5 (6 with a JC player)
Current Commits: 2/5

Who we have:

  • Fabian Kratz: Fabian is a pretty amazing story. Born in Germany, Kratz was an exchange student in Napperville, IL at Naperville Central (same area that former Beaver Timi Oshinowo came from) and played on their playoff team in the top division of Illinois football.  Because of his relative obscurity, he was an under the radar player that was seeing his recruitment amp up quite a bit.  He is now home in Germany and will be coming back to play football in Connecticut.  As teams get more desperate, the feeling they can poach one from us will in crease, so his recruitment will be a dog fight.  He is a big (6’5″, 287lb), strong, athletic player who has great pass blocking technique and plays very aggressively.
  • Brock Wellsfry: Another big, strong kid, 6’5″ and 290lb Brock Wellsfry will be coming to Oregon State from Richland, WA (Tri-Cities area).  Wellsfry has had a Beaver offer for a while and while his recruitment has been heating up, he chose to pull the trigger for the Beavers.  Brock is a very intelligent student who chose Oregon State as much for the opportunities of the school as for the glory of the gridiron.  Brock is a hard working, tough nosed player that has worked very hard to get the best opportunity available.  Fortunately for the Beavers, that was in Corvallis.

Most likely to be a Beaver?:

  • Jaxon Kirkland: The Jesuit (Portland, OR) product fits the bill of what Coach Woods is looking for (6’7″, 300lbs), and has stated recently that his four leaders are his four Pac-12 offers (Oregon State, UCLA, Washington State and Cal).  UCLA appears to have a slight edge but that is not necessarily the end story.  His father is a UW alumnus and should the Huskies offer, they would probably be seen as the favorite.  Jaxon is one of the top targets on the Beaver’s list, so look for them to keep swinging until February. Jaxon is a 5.6 rated 3 star athlete according to Rivals.
  • Onesimus Lutu-Clarke: The 6’5″, 290 pound tackle from Wai’anae Hawaii is more than a handful for the defense. The super aggressive Lutu-Clarke has huge upside and a ton of strength to go with his massive frame.  His recruitment should explode in the next few months, but the fact that the Beavers got in early should be a benefit for them.  Onesimus is a punishing blocker who is raw, but has the tools to be a very good player. Lutu_Clarke is not rated by most services, but he has offers from Oregon State, BYU, Utah and Hawaii.
  • Travis Mackay: Another Oregon product, Central Catholic’s (Portland, OR) Travis Mackay is a clone size wise of the previous players.  6’5″ and 277 pounds, Mackay is a big body that has been working hard to add weight while maintain his quickness and athleticism.  He has an offer from Cal as well, and is hoping that his Senior film will get him some attention from more Pac-12 schools. He is currently an unrated athlete on most services but has offers from Nevada and Cal in addition to his Oregon State one.

Other names to look out for:

 

Am I a Jerk?

So yesterday, I wrote a blog post whose TLDR would be:

Peter wasn’t impressed with the coaching last year, so he is worried for the future. 

A reader of the blog who I know and respect quite a bit called me out as something that really made me feel a lot of shame:

A fan. 

Now, being a fan has no inherit badness to it.  The problem is, the type of fan he was referring to was the kind that post on OregonLive.com article comment sections and just spout out nonsense sprinkled with extreme overreactions.  While I stand by my concerns, his point that the reason he reads the blog is to read things that don’t fall into the typical impatient overreactions that you get in many media outlets really hit home.

I am human, and I have frustrations and will make mistakes, but the reality is, this blog has always been about reporting on my favorite team.  That favorite team is filled with amazing players, stories of people that overcome obstacles, stories of players that were overlooked and are taking the opportunity OSU offers and running with it.  This football program is making engineers, physical therapists, pharmacists, doctors, teachers, Multi-Media Marketers, coaches and more that are going out and trying to make the world better in some small or giant way.  While I may have concerns, it has only been 18 months since Gary Andersen said “I do” and there have been a lot of changes to address some of those worries.

The problem is, I have been focusing on these worries, and missing out on the wins.  OSU got a commitment from Brock Wellsfry, a player from Richland, Washington that is an interesting story and seemingly a great guy.  Yet by reading this blog, you would not know this (that is going to change).  Oregon State is also in the midst of trying to get some nationally recognized players to come to play for Coach Andersen. Not even a whisper of this over the past few months on The Official Candy Report. Coach Andersen has improved the educational component of Oregon State Football and Coach Simon has really taken the strength and conditioning program to a new level.  Of course if your source of Beaver news is this blog, you would know none of this. There are also some pretty amazing alumni like Nick and Josh Mitchell, Alex Linnenkohl and James Gruel that are helping future players reach their full potential that would gladly answer a few questions for this blog in order to help promote what they are doing.

It is fine that I have worries, and there is even a place for that on this blog, but the larger story of what OSU is doing athletically, academically and in communities up, down and all across the country should get equal weight.  I am not a John Canzano, preying on people’s knee jerk anger and short attention spans with sensational garbage.  I am a Beaver fan that loves his team and needs to step up his game a bit and show it.  I don’t regret my post yesterday, but I am ashamed that it is not just one critical post amidst a sea of positivity that Oregon State is producing.  Thanks Sean for calling me out.  I needed it!

Go Beavs (PRO)