RECRUITING: The Sleepers

EVERYONE LOVES the sleepers -- many of Oregon State's best have come from this category over the years. They have some of the highest ceilings, and it's compelling to watch and see if they will capitalize on all of that potential. The first in a three-part series focuses on the members of the 2011 Beaver class who, after some seasoning in the OSU system, could well become big contributors.

   

DT Brandon Bennett – Scott Kennedy, Scout.com Director of Scouting, says Bennett has exceptional quickness, athleticism, burst off the ball and straight line speed for a player of his size. But he is raw, and it may take some seasoning before his best attributes, strength and athleticism, emerge in the Pac-12. He's a DT, says Oregon State -- although scouting services like Scout had him listed nearly 30 pounds lighter, he's listed by Oregon State at 6.3, 278 pounds.

   


DE d'Vante Henry – Henry has height and blazing speed – 6-foot-5 and with a 40 time reported by the Oklahoman to be 4.35. After a junior season as a cornerback, he starred at d-end with 65 tackles, five sacks, three forced fumbles and an interception in 2010. But he weighs all of 192 pounds, and he has some academic work to do in order to qualify. But with all that speed watching him develop in the OSU system and physically mature is something Oregon State fans might enjoy big time.

   


H-Back Kellen Clute – Despite receiving no other known Pac-12 offers, he was named Associated Press All-State First Team as a senior, GSL First Team and was named a Seattle Times "Red Chip" Player, considered by the newspaper to be an eventual starter at the major college level. While BF.C projected him as a possible frame-and-feet guy who might make an outstanding o-tackle one day, Mike Riley projects him "an athletic, pass-receiving H-back."

   


DE Jaswha James - Oregon State took a ton of guys this class that they list as defensive ends but many of them could end up playing elsewhere – such as linebacker, provided they have the requisite lateral quickness and speed. James, listed at 6-2, 220, could be one of those candidates. He had 70 tackles, including 10 tackles for loss and eight sacks as a senior. He's got a good first step whether playing with his hand up or down, has active hands and has shown a propensity for getting after the quarterback.

   


ATH Noa Aluesi – He played linebacker and quarterback as a senior but don't count on either of those to be his spot at OSU – he's been listed anywhere between 6-6 and 6-8 (OSU officially lists him at 6-6, 243. Aluesi will go on his Mormon mission before college and his expected arrival at OSU is slated for 2013 – so who knows what size he'll be then. His prep coach mentioned defensive end, outside linebacker and tight end as possibilities but two years down the road, his best position might well be as a prototypical left tackle.

   

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