ROUNDUP: What's left for Beavs in Recruiting

OREGON STATE HAS had a whole lot of official visitors come in over the past two weeks. News of any verbal commitments, however, has been scarce. What's the story on that? And what might be happening in the final days leading up to and through Signing Day, coming up fast on Feb. 2? Pull up a chair, because there's a whole lot to go over..

Known verbal commitments have been few and far between since Noa Aluesi, who will go on his Mormon mission before joining OSU, pulled the trigger a couple weeks ago. Why?

For starters, many of the Beaver targets are guys who decided they would take all their trips and decide late, some as late as Signing Day. After going through the entire recruiting process, no matter how good the weekend visit experience was at OSU (or anywhere else for that matter), they probably weren't going to change their minds at the last minute and blow off the final visits they've waited so long to take.

In other cases, the Beavs simply came in second.

Marcus Peters was torn, and was reported to have gone back and forth between his two finalists in the final days. But in the end, this week, he verballed to UW over Oregon State. Marvin Hall also verballed to the Huskies. It happens, and to every school, that you miss sometimes in recruiting.

But OSU, like everyone else, has contingency plans and other guys on their board they're very high on, players they feel can ably fill those needs. While the message boards have seen some angst, Beav fans and close watchers of recruiting shouldn't feel as if the sky is falling. Indeed, far from it.

Oregon State has 23 known commits in the class including Aluesi and Josh Williams, the latter having graduated from high school last year but he was shy of qualifying in time to join a school this past August, or to join OSU in January. It is hoped he will qualify and arrive for spring term and if not, then in the summer when the bulk of the recruiting class arrives for OSU's bridge program.

Those 23 commits break down as follows:
Offense -- 12.
Defense -- 11.
So how many more might Oregon State take? Riley told the G-T in early January he estimated taking four more, but said the number remains fluid.

The guess here is the Beavs will take more than four.

OREGON STATE UNDER Riley has shown a clear desire to grayshirt players. Some others don't qualify in time and end up also delaying enrollment, and although they aren't true grayshirts, players that are qualified but delay enrollment until January, the endgame is the same.

The benefits to grayshirting are plain to see -- a January start lets an OSU rookie get acclimated to college classes during the offseason, he gets to go through spring ball and the winter and summer offseason conditioning programs.

All this before the start of his first fall camp.

SO WHO ARE the remaining targets for the Beavers?

Among those Oregon State tripped in the past two weekends who hold Beaver offers include DT Todd Peat, OT Akeem Gonzales, CB Earl Foster, OG Vi Teofilo, DE Juda Parker, CB Rahmel Dockery, LB Darryl Paulo, DE Faigame Lopa, WR Mike Thomas, S Keith McGill and OT Torian White.

That's a lot of names.

And they -- and more, such as Stefan McClure, the West's premier cover corner according to Scout.com -- are all names that bear watching over the final days before the first Wednesday in February.

McClure at last report two days ago was down to Oregon State, Boise State, Michigan, Cal and UCLA. His final trip to Michigan went well, but he said the Wolverines still have ground to make up. He hasn't named his frontrunner, but is expected to make a decision at any time.

Gonzales came out of the Oregon State visit with rave reviews about all things black and orange, telling espn the Beavs were his new leader. Peat would be a coup for Oregon State, he's long been seen as a strong ASU lean and the Sun Devils' to lose.

Foster is a longtime verbal commitment to Houston, and indications from the local newspapers around Lamar, Texas have been that he's still Houston's to lose. Teofilo said his time in Corvallis might have been his No. 1 official visit experience, having also tripped to Arizona State and Fresno State. A decision from him could come at any time.

Parker, reading between the lines, might be down to Oregon State and Colorado. He told espn OSU was his leader post-visit but now he might be a Buffs lean following this past weekend's trip, his last, to Boulder. Dockery has long been high on OSU and the Beav coaching staff, and has one final visit on his list to WSU to check off before making his decision.

Paulo, whom Scout.com confirmed tripped to OSU this past weekend, is a tough guy to get hold of. He may have one final visit on the docket this weekend to WSU before making his decision. Lopa changed up his visit schedule following a late offer from Cal and his trip to Berkeley this weekend figures to go a long ways towards his college choice -- he continues to say he has no frontrunner. He went video game his senior year, with a ridiculous 128 tackles and 21 sacks.

Thomas exploded this past season (82 rec., 1,756 yards, 22 TDs) but is still seen as under the radar for reasons passing understanding. At last report he's deciding between Oregon State, Colorado and others. He is high on OSU, but still open. Walton Taumoepeau is a JC defensive tackle who is reportedly deciding between Oregon State, Ole Miss and others. He was said to visit Oregon State on Jan. 14 but verification on that has not yet been attained.

McGill is a pledge to Utah but became a soft verbal when he started taking more trips. He looks to be Utah's to lose but OSU was reported to be making headway during their in-home visits. White said pre-OSU visit that he will sign with UCLA in the end, but the Oregon State coaches, as well as other schools, have continued to go after him. It would be a big coup if OSU could land him. The Beavs already have two verbals who were once UCLA commits -- OT Darryl Jackson (6-7, 300) and WR Brandin Cooks (5-10, 165, 4.4).

NOTABLE NOTES:
  • January is also hold-on time in recruiting, and the Beavs' competition is and will continue to come after the Oregon State commitments. A look at that OSU commit list shows:

    Offense
    QB – Peter Ashton; RB – Storm Woods, Malcolm Agnew; WR – Brandin Cooks, Tyrequek Zimmerman, Richard Mullaney, Larry Scott, Tyler Trosin; TE – Kellen Clute, OT – Darryl Jackson, Noa Aluesi; OG – Justin Addie.

    Defense
    DT – Desmond Collins; DE – Dylan Wynn, Brandon Bennett, Jaswha James, Rusty Fernando, Na'Alii Robins, Blake Harrah, Lamar DeRego; OLB – Jabral Johnson, Lavonte Barnett, Josh Williams.

  • Mike Riley told the Corvallis Gazette Times back in early December the Beavs would be reloading the defensive front seven with JUCO players. However, there would be no JC O-linemen taken in this class according to the article.


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