Oregon State had one of the top backfields in the country with Sabby Piscitelli and Mitch Meeuwsen. Piscitelli was exceptional early on and solid throughout the year. Meeuwsen played at 100% and was back to his usual ball hocking self. His leadership and football skills will be immensely missed.
Junior Sabby Piscitelli is one of the harder working players on the team. His commitment during the off-season will pay dividends for him in the near future. His combination of strength and speed is lethal and will be relied upon early in the season as the new corners adjust.
Senior Harvey Whiten is another player who has been slowed down by injuries. He was set to take Meeuwsen's place a year ago, but will be taken over by Lamar Herron. Whiten will still be a valuable backup when the starters need a rest.
Sophomore Lamar Herron sits atop the depth chart at free safety and there he will remain. Herron is a tremendous athlete and while losing Meewusen hurts, Herron is capable of filling his spot nicely.
Sophomore Eric Anderson is also a fine athlete, but faces an uphill battle for playing time. Anderson is a capable backup though.
The new guy(s):
A trio of sophomores, Daniel Drayton, Slade Norris, Matt Sieverson, are listed with the safeties. All three played important roles on special teams last year and will serve a similar role this year. Due to the depth at safety, one of these players could be tried out a cornerback. The most likely candidate would be Drayton.
Piscitelli has a lock on the strong safety position while the free safety spot is Herron's to lose. The competition for the backup spots will be highly contested as Whiten, Drayton, and Anderson are hungry for playing time.
Throw in athletes Norris and Sieverson into the mix and there are five players going for two spots.
One to watch:
Strong safety Sabby Piscitelli. With Mitch Meeuwsen gone it will be Piscitelli's secondary. The Florida native will be looked to for leadership and direction on and off the field. He has big shoes to fill, but should be able to get the job done.
- SS: Sabby Piscitelli (6-3, 222) – junior, smart, fast and physical, one of the leaders on defense
- SS: Daniel Drayton (5-10, 205) – sophomore, special teams member with a chance to compete for a backup role
- SS: Harvey Whiten (6-3, 217) – senior, slowed by injuries throughout his collegiate career
- SS: Slade Norris (6-3, 212) – sophomore, valuable special teams member
- SS: Caleb Tommasini (5-11, 189) – redshirt freshman, walk on
- FS: Lamar Herron (6-0, 203) – sophomore, athletic and ready to run the defensive backfield with Piscitelli
- FS: Eric Anderson (6-2, 218) – sophomore, will see limited playing time
- FS: Dallas Buck (6-2, 191) – sophomore, a baseball prospect playing football
- FS: Matt Sieverson (6-2, 204) – sophomore, converted running back who is
a valuable special teams member