Oregon State's Ten Best: No. 10

IT BEGAN AS a Scout.com preview request, asking BF.C for a list of the 10 best Beaver football players headed into the 2013 season. We decided to break out our crystal ball -- and then expand on the subject. Today, we reveal No. 10 ...

10. Michael Doctor

It's not often a linebacker is one of the fastest players on a team, that's usually reserved for receivers and cornerbacks, but Doctor (6-0, 225) isn't your average linebacker.

How many linebackers also return kicks at times in practice?

Doctor started every game last year at the WIL, started 11 games the year before there and he was listed atop the 2013 pre-spring depth chart at WIL.

But he got a lot of run this spring at the SAM, with D.J. Alexander and he switching back and forth. It's something to keep an eye on going forward.

No matter where he lines up, he'll enter the season as the active OSU leader in total tackles with 172.

And while he's lauded for his speed, it's his tackling ability that is key.

Other players can get caught up in trying to land the big "SportsCenter hit" (and miss) but Doctor always looks to wrap up and almost always goes for the legs -- in other words he's a stickler for the fundamentals.

Indeed, we might be lowballing him at No. 10 -- in large part because he has a quiet confidence about him.

Sure, it was also there last year but it was especially prevalent this spring.

Put another way and based on what BF.C observed during spring ball: Doctor, a senior who never redshirted, might well be poised for a huge season-- the light bulb has not only turned on, it's burning bright, as it often does with top-notch players headed into their senior campaign.

Doctor typically excelled in his handling of both the WIL and SAM this spring, and it looks like he's added some bulk to his frame without sacrificing speed.

And that might mean his tackle numbers will climb to even greater heights in 2013.


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