OSU offers Spokane running back

<b>OREGON STATE HAS OFFERED running back Skylar Jessen, raising his number of offers to three. The Spokane, Wash., native has spent some time the last few weeks talking with the OSU coaches and the Beavers have in turn let him know -- in the form of a full ride -- that they'd like to see him don the black and orange and pound out some yards on the Reser field turf starting next season.

The Beavs have now officially entered the Jessen sweepstakes. Boston College was the first to offer, Washington State followed soon after with OSU being the latest and certainly not the last. The 5-10, 200-pound running back has initiated contact with Oregon State coaches Mike Riley and Bruce Reed of late and came away with a favorable impression of the Beaver coaches.

"I liked them a lot," said Jessen.

Jessen, who has not been to Corvallis before, will visit Oregon State later this summer.

"I'm going to be down at the NIKE combine on June 18, so I'll be going to (OSU) right before that."

As he has been the case from the beginning of his recruitment, Jessen said he currently has no favorites with all schools even. He was in Pullman last weekend to take in a spring scrimmage and will travel back to WSU for the final scrimmage and junior day in two weeks.

Among the other schools filling up the Mead High standout's mailbox -- Washington, USC, Stanford, Oregon, Cal, Arizona State, Michigan State, Ohio State, Miami, Nebraska, Idaho and Notre Dame. Vanderbilt is also seemingly close to offering.

BESIDES RUNNING BACK or safety, Mead head coach Sean Carty said Jessen is versatile enough he could probably carve out a nice career at the next level in the slot and certainly as a return man -- although Jessen's first love is carrying the ball coming out of the backfield.

He runs between 10.6 and 10.8 in the 100-meters and could challenge for the state title this year but on the football field, Carty said his value is found not so much in straight speed but more in his ability to set up defenders, and he has a little power to go along with it.

"He looks like he's not running very fast -- but he's fast," said Carty. "He's powerful. If he does come into the mix, he can lower the boom. He's a nice mix of everything." Jessen was timed at 4.47 on grass in the 40 at a NIKE combine a year ago.

AFTER A SENSATIONAL sophomore campaign, Jessen spent most of last season was fighting through a high ankle sprain incurred in Week 2. Despite missing four games, he still gained 960 yards on 105 carries with 14 TDs but the injury never healed, limiting his mobility throughout the year and necessitating surgery the day after Mead's final game. Carty said gains of 10-20 yards could very well have gone all the way had Jessen been completely healthy.

In order to take the field, Jessen taped up the ankle, put a sock on, then a brace over that, and then more tape. After the shoe went on, he'd slap more tape over that.

"We went through a roll-and-a-half to two rolls every time," said Jessen.

Academically, Jessen carries a 3.5 GPA. He has a bench of 320-pounds and a vertical in the 30 to 33 inch range.

As a sophomore, Jessen ran wild on the gridiron to the tune of 1,965 yards on 190 carries -- a 10.6 average. Named league offensive MVP and earning first team All-league honors, he set a single-season league scoring record with 34 TDs.

Skylar Jessen profile

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