Junior linebacker Trent Bray is just one tackle shy of 100 for his collegiate career after totaling 76 last year. His 76 tackles ranked second on the team and gave him a 5.8 average per game – only seven sophomores in the conference had a better average. As the season progressed Bray got better as he tallied 41 of his stops in the last five games.
|Pollard (#40) and Bray (#44) will both be up for postseason honors.|
The Pullman product seems to always be around the ball and rarely misses a tackle. Bray is fundamentally sound, has great football instincts, and has two seasons of Pac-10 ball under his belt. He has moved back to his preferred position, middle linebacker, and looks to have another outstanding year. Along with Jonathan Pollard he is one of the more experienced linebackers in the Pac-10 and will provide the younger players with leadership.
Pollard returns after playing in 12 of 13 contests in which he grabbed 50 tackles, good for sixth on the team. He totaled eight tackles in three contests last year while adding 5.5 tackles for loss and two sacks.
Pollard is fast, mean, and aggressive – three traits that almost all Oregon State linebackers have in common. The Las Vegas native will be up for post season honors and is one of the better linebackers in the Pac-10.
Clashing for the strong linebacker starting spot is junior college transfer Keith Ellison and junior Chaz Scott. Ellison participated in spring ball and integrated into the unit nicely. He came into camp in shape and focused on competing for a starting spot. The junior college All-American possesses good footwork and will be a vital part of the linebacking group as a starter or key reserve.
Scott put together a solid sophomore season making 28 tackles, with 15 of his 28 tackles coming in the last three games of the season. He is one of the better athletes on the team who has a nice blend of speed and strength. Scott is another aggressive, emotional defensive player who gives the defense a confident swagger. He played in both the Insight and Las Vegas Bowls and his experience will be a key asset to the unit.
|Scott is one of the better athletes on the team.|
Senior Kevin Davidson put in a quiet, solid performance against New Mexico in the Las Vegas in his first significant playing time of the season. The coaches noticed and as a result he saw tons of action at middle linebacker during spring practice. Davidson will be a key contributor on special teams and will also provide the Beavers with a reliable backup when Bray needs a rest.
Senior Seth Lacey was limited last year due to a shoulder and neck injury that sidelined him for several games. He started the first three games of the season before the injury took its toll. He participated in spring practice, but not in contact drills. The Corvallis native is a talented player and if he can get healthy he will solidify an already strong will linebacker position.
Redshirt freshman Derrick Doggett, Andy Darkins, and Danny Kalavi will see limited playing time, but will have a chance to contribute on special teams. The coaches took note when Doggett returned an interception 55 yards for a touchdown in the spring game and will play him if the opportunity presents itself. Darkins is a future all-Pac-10 player while Kalavi is a good athlete in the Jamil Braithwaite mold and could be a difference maker on special teams.
Senior Keller Christensen is a playmaker on special teams. He gives 110-percent while on the field and is one of the first players downfield. His intensity and dedication is something all Beaver football players, fans and coaches should admire. Sophomore Kelly Phelps and redshirt freshman Doug Meeuwsen are walk-ons and will battle for playing time on special teams.