Beavs first to offer Arizona 'backer

THE FIRST SCHOLARSHIP OFFER for Keaton Kristick comes from Oregon State, but it will not be his last. More offers from the Pac-10 and Big 10 alike appear imminent for the wrecking ball. With triple digit tackles on his junior season -- and more than 25 of those coming for loss -- and over 1,000 all-purpose yards on offense, its easy to see what the Beavs like about the Phoenix linebacker/fullback. And for Kristick, the feeling is mutual.

Kristick (6.3, 223), contacted OSU coach Mike Cavanaugh via email last month, and then later by phone, where Cavanaugh told him the Beavs were offering him a scholarship.

"I'm excited," said Kristick. "They're a pretty good program. They're looking for me to come in and play some outside 'backer/defensive end action, so I'm kind of excited about that."

A number of schools feel the same about Kristick. Besides OSU, at least three offers from the Pac10 and Big10 could be imminent for the St. Mary's High linebacker. A sampling of the schools calling recently -- Cal, Oregon, ASU, Stanford, UCLA, Northwestern and Boise State.

"And I really liked the Cal coaches and the campus," said Kristick, who visited California and Stanford when down at the NIKE camp in Palo Alto. "I like Oregon right now and I just got off the phone with ASU and Northwestern. UCLA is up there too -- I've been talking with their receivers coach and its going pretty good there, they said they consider me one of the top 'backers for their recruiting class."

His junior year, Kristick racked up 117 tackles with 27 going for loss, plus 6 sacks, 8 hurries, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. On offense, he rushed for 850 yards with 9 touchdowns out of his fullback spot, adding 17 receptions for 233 yards and 1 TD. Most schools are recruiting him at linebacker although some have talked to him about a fullback or h-back role.

The most recent change to his leaders list has Oregon State in the top 5. Its a list that has changed quite a bit since his camp performance.

"They aren't necessarily in order, and its changed in the past month dramatically," said Kristick. "I like Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA, Cal -- and I'm liking Boise State. I like the northwest schools a lot. I had a pretty good NIKE camp and the phone's been off the hook ever since."

In Palo Alto, Kristick ripped off 26 reps on the bench with 185 on the bar, ran a 4.63 in the 40 and had a vertical of 30.7 -- although he regularly reaches 33-plus in the vertical but the "pad thing" at the NIKE combine was a new experience. His goal was to get his forty time under 4.65.

But what's really impressive numbers-wise is his power clean, the measurable many feel best translates to football strength. Kristick heaves 290 on the clean these days, benefiting from working with a trainer and athletes who were getting ready for the NFL draft, such as Marion Barber III and Charlie Fry.

"It was just the coolest thing on earth," said Kristick. "We'd go through the 40s and then the power clean and everything else. I got my power clean up from 260 to 290 pounds."

In a school and position coach, Kristick is looking for the right fit.

"Comfort," he said. "See how well I fit in and how well the coaches and I get along. Some part of me wants the craziest coach ever. But the other half of me wants -- sometimes I'm the most calm player. I know a lot of the coaches in college are geniuses, but I'd like to come across the coach who has a lot of knowledge and is able to switch things up. Someone who likes to attack, someone who is able to take risks. I like excitement within the defense."

Kristick has no timetable on his decision. He was considering an early commitment but will go along with the process until he feels comfortable.

"I'm not going to commit until its the right fit," he said.

His summer plans remain to be finalized but he's eyeing an ASU camp on June 5 and Colorado's camp as well, with family in the area. The OSU camp remains a possibility, schedule permitting. An excellent student, Kristick will take the SAT in June.

Keaton Kristick profile

BeaverBlitz Top Stories