Andersen’s 2 Florida verbals just the start

TAKE A CLOSER look at the photo accompanying this article. That’s three-star corner Jay Irvine, the Beavers’ second Florida verbal of the day, pointing to Oregon State running backs coach Telly Lockette. Why is that significant? Well …

As delved into in a column back on Jan. 5, Oregon State’s hire of assistant coach Telly Lockette signaled even more of a major push by OSU toward Florida recruiting than some of the Beaver Faithful had originally thought.

Oh sure, head man Gary Andersen and the rest of the staff had a little something to do with the Monday verbals of CB Jay Irvine and RB Taylor Thomas, too!

But this is why Andersen hired Lockette.

Lockette has extensive recruiting ties in the Sunshine State. The ironic thing is his strongest ties are Miami-Dade County. The two verbals OSU landed hail from Jacksonville up north. So just imagine what it’s going to be like in the Class of 2016, when Lockette and the Beaver coaching staff as a whole have a full year to recruit to a class, not just a matter of weeks.

Lockette before coming to OSU was at South Florida, where he spent the past two years in his first collegiate assistant coaching job (also running backs.) USF had just three players on the roster from Miami-Dade County, a thriving recruiting hotbed, when Lockette arrived on March 2, 2013. And that was a problem that did not sit well with the USF faithful. Lockette surpassed that number in just one recruiting season, helping sign four freshmen from Miami high schools to USF.

That’s in large part because before he came to USF, he was the head coach at Miami Central High, where he won 60 games and two state titles in five seasons.

And oh by the way, Miami was the No. 1 birth city amongst NFL players in 2014, followed by Los Angeles and Houston.

No, Oregon State is not going to suddenly go in and start competing with Florida State, Florida, Miami and all the other big boys who recruit the Sunshine State. Let’s make that absolutely clear before too many stars appear in too many eyes. But as was spelled out in that column, Oregon State doesn’t have to do that to have outstanding success in recruiting Florida that translates nicely to the gridiron …

The number of players in the NFL who came from colleges other than the Florida’s, FSU’s, Miami’s, Auburn’s, LSU’s, Georgia’s of the world – who instead came from places like South Florida, Samford, Pitt, Florida International, Iowa State and dozens of other smaller name schools – represents more than half of the Floridians in the NFL.

Plus, every college football program has had a ton of guys over the years who have been outstanding, difference-making college football players who never went on to play in the NFL.

In other words, there is recruiting gold to be had in Florida for Oregon State – as long as they hit on their evaluations. With Irvine, there’s a lot to like – he’s a 6-1, 185-pounder out of Sandalwood High with long arms.

He prides himself on one-on-one tackling out in space -- a must in the spread-happy read-option Pac-12.

Once committed to Florida A&M, he’s Corvallis-bound now. As is Thomas, who was pledged to Utah before he made the switch to Oregon State.

And Monday’s duo of future Beavs represents just a small piece of the big picture. The Florida-to-Oregon-State pipeline has just begun to be primed.

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Officially Committed to the university of Oregon State beavers???? Extremely Bless?? #Pac12#D1#BeaverNation

— G.O.E?? (@Jay_underrated1) January 20, 2015

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