The men in charge will be logging more frequent flyer and rental car miles over the next 40 days than most people do in a lifetime. Players will be committing and de-committing, tripping and not showing up for their flights, putting smiles on your faces, and breaking your hearts. But it all comes down to this, they are 17 and 18 year old kids who are being asked to make extremely important decisions.
The same kids who six months ago had a hard time deciding if they were going to have Taco Bell or McDonalds for dinner are now expected to decide their football futures. They are being asked to decide between Tech and State, immediate playing time or red-shirting, West Coast or East Coast, staying home or moving to a new part of the country, and a plethora of other deciding factors. Oh, and by the way, have you decided where you want to go to dinner yet?
Most people in cyberspace have not had to make a decision this important at such a young age. Sure, you decided where you wanted to go to college, but there were no penalties if you decided to transfer because you didn’t like it. You most likely didn’t have to deal with phone calls and letters from coaches every day. You also probably didn’t have to fit trips to schools in between graduating, athletics, and everyday life. These kids, who often make their decisions for the wrong reason, can cost themselves their football future by making wrong decisions. So, these players begin making their decisions when the time feels right and hopefully for the right reasons.
Over the past several months a few players have felt that the Oregon State coaches, football program, and school was the right combination for them. Let’s take a look at the players who have made the decision to attend OSU as well as the players that OSU is still pursuing. Let’s start with the players on the offensive side of the ball.
- Brian Hildebrand (6-2, 190) - An EA Sports Elite 11 selection
who had an excellent season throwing and rushing the ball…demonstrated
the ability to get out of a sack and gain positive yardage…received
first team all league honors as a senior…one of the top quarterbacks
at the Southern California and Northern California Nike camps this summer…a
great pick up for the Beavers, but is still being pursued by UCLA and will
trip to L.A. on Jan 16th.
- C.J. Bacher (6-2, 180) - Another great dual threat quarterback
ranked #31 in the nation by TheInsiders.com…named top prep QB in the
greater Sacramento area, and a two time all league selection at quarterback…led
team to the CIF Division I championship as a junior...Beavs held off late
push by Northwestern who had Bacher as their number one QB all season long.
- Michael Perri (6-3, 205) - An early August commit who
had a decent season with 1700-plus yards passing and over 20 touchdowns…led
team to playoffs along with OSU running back prospect Patrick Fuller…still
being courted by Boise State, but is a solid commit.
Still Pursuing: None
Current Grade: A-
Outlook: Hildenbrand and Bacher are two of the top mobile QB’s on the West Coast and if both sign on LOI day this could be one of OSU’s best all around quarterback classes ever. They will make Beaver fans forget the name Ainge in no time at all.
- Mike Jones (6-0, 230) - One of the top college prospects
in the state of Oregon…a second team all-state selection who is a tough,
bruising runner bruiser who has the respect of all that he plays against…has
the frame and the speed to possibly be a great linebacker…can also get
those hard last yards into the end zone or for the first down…# 20 player
in the Pacific NW.
- Patrick Fuller (6-0, 200) - Very highly recruited tailback
out of Southern California…being courted by Nebraska, Oregon, Washington,
and Arizona State...his high school quarterback, Michael Perri, has already
committed to OSU...Fuller has had the Beavers leading on and off all season
and really likes the Beavers history of great running backs…one of OSU’s
top priorities…could compete for immediate playing time.
- Arian Foster (6-1, 205) - San Diego back finished season
with over 1600 yards and 17 TD’s…is looking all over the country
for a home…Tennessee, West Virginia, North Carolina, Oregon and Oregon
State are his top 5…an early sleeper, who has been discovered and will
have an immediate impact if he selects the right school…not as many
stars as Fuller, but some say a better running back.
- J.T. Diederichs (6-2, 218) - The Washington State commit
is still on the Beavers wish list and could possibly take a trip in early
- Patrick Gates (5-10, 175) - Another San Diego area prospect…favors
the Beavers over San Deigo State (offer) and USC (no offer)…a three
star back who had 1900 yards and 22 touchdowns his senior year while leading
his team to a 13 and 0 season.
Current Grade: D+
Outlook: If we fail to pick up one of these 4 RB’s this will be an extremely disappointing class, not that Jones is a bad back, but the line of great RB’s over the last 7 years at OSU needs a Foster or a Fuller to continue with this class.
Part two of the article will be posted on Thursday. James Greule can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.