The Future Playmakers, Part II

BEFORE SPRING BALL, before fall camp, the early expectation on the 2011 class is that immediate contributors will be few and that they will come primarily from the January enrollees, some of whom are JC transfers. Redshirting, after all, makes a lot of sense. But Oregon State also has a large group in the '11 class who might well make strong cases for early playing time.

These are prospects BF.C projects to have the potential to be significant contributors by their second year in the program.

Historically, the Beavs always try to redshirt the vast majority of their incoming frosh -- it's how you build a program for the long haul -- but due to a combination of team need and player skill, significant contributions could instead come from some of them as early as this season.


WR Richard Mullaney: Oregon State had a huge need at WR and Mullaney was a pass catching machine with 122 receptions for 1,679 yards and 20 TDs in 2010, and was part of Parade's All-America team.Mike Riley says Mullaney belongs to a group of four (Cook, Zimmerman, Trosin) who could vie for freshman playing time at Oregon State and tabbed him as an immediate impact player in the Pac-12. Will he redshirt or see the field now? 

WR Tyler TrosinThe Sacramento Bee says he "could be the area's all-time greatest receiver." Given the talent that has come out of the Sacramento area over the years, that's sterling praise indeed. Trosin has been lauded for his great hands, route running and work ethic. His league's co-MVP, he had 70 receptions for 1,303 yards and 27 touchdowns this past season, with three of those scoring catches in the Div. II State Championship Bowl win.


WR Tyrequek Zimmerman: Oregon State turned back South Carolina and others for the District 6A Wide Receiver of the Year from Lawton, Okla. A strong receiver who plays physical, he caught 37 passes for 619 yards and 12 touchdowns. he was also ranked No. 5 on the Oklahoman's Super 30. Mike Riley said the Beavs like the incoming receivers as receivers, but left open the possibility any of the group could also make a great safety. And Zimmerman might have the most potential on the defensive side of the ball. He was a force his senior season with 61 tackles and 11 interceptions.

DE Rudolf Fifita: He'll have an opportunity to make an impact right away. The 6-4, 240-pound junior college transfer missed several games this past season with a concussion, but he still had 33 tackles, including nine for loss, five sacks and forced a league high three fumbles. And he was healthy for California's junior college state and national title game, which Mount San Antonio and Fifita won for the second straight season. Fifita had two sacks in the title game.

DL Akeem Gonzales: He'll get his first look on defense for the Beavers but some think while he could be good at d-end or eventual d-tackle, he would make for a great Pac-12 offensive lineman. At 6-4, 240, he still has a lot of room on his frame – his dad is 6-foot-9. Quality linemen prospects, especially on the o-line, were at a premium coming out of California in the 2011 class and he went back and forth a few times -- Oregon State fought off several suitors down the stretch for Gonzales including UW, ASU and Nebraska. 


LB Jabral Johnson: Oregon State outdueled Arizona for Johnson, the No. 28 pick on the Oklahoman's Super 30. A linebacker with great range and advanced coverage skills, he was adept at both stopping the run and covering the pass his senior season, with 115 tackles and four interceptions. A redshirt year would seem the best option but his speed and skills could force the issue on early playing time, whether that's on special teams or in the box, or both.



DT Na'alii Robins: Out of all the prep d-linemen, Robbins might be furthest along in terms of physical maturation. Still, if he is to pay d-tackle, he'll need some time in the weight room as OSU lists him at 6-3, 245 pounds. Possessing a quick first step, the sixth-best prospect in the state of Hawaii according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser had 11.5 sacks amongst his 42 tackles.



QB Peter Ashton: Unlike others who are vying for early turns, the 6-3, 185-pound OSU quarterback will redshirt. He came from a small school and he ran for nearly double the yards he threw for as a senior -- not exactly your typical Beaver QB. But OSU coaches are high on him. They had him at their summer camp and determined he would fit nicely into their system, Riley said on Signing Day, while lauding his athleticism, arm and ability. And his athleticism is off the charts, having been a district champion in the 300 hurdles, an all-state selection in baseball (both P, OF) and a letterman in soccer. He passed for 1,105 yards while running for 2,104 hashes his senior season.

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