Running back visits OSU Tuesday

WITHIN 24 HOURS, Spokane running back Skylar Jessen, along with Mead High teammate Andy Mattingly, will be at Oregon State tomorrow on an unofficial visit. Both have offers from OSU and will use the visit as a fact finding mission and to get to better know the coaching staff. Jessen also took issue with a recent evaluation done by a recruiting analyst.

Jessen (5-11, 200, 4.47) said Oregon State and Washington State are still tied at the top, although he hasn't necessarily ruled anyone out either.

Besides the Beavers and Cougs, he holds offers from Boston College, Harvard and Eastern. He also recently received what amounts to a full scholarship to run track at Brown. While not something he's seriously considering, he said it was nice to receive.

On his trip to OSU, he'll be looking to talk with coaches and players alike and get a feel for the town of Corvallis.

"I want to go out and look at the town and go out and meet some of the players," said Jessen. "I've got to talk to the coaches but I want to talk to them more about the depth chart, where I would be living, things like that."

He did attend the half day camp at OSU but said it was a very quick trip, spending only about three hours all told in Corvallis before heading to Eugene for a NIKE camp. Jessen therefore made a long distance connection with the Beaver coaches this summer, phoning OSU coaches such as Mike Riley and Bruce Read, but he looks forward to getting to know them better in person this week, especially running backs coach Jim Gilstrap.

"I like the coaches a lot," said Jessen. "I don't know about Gilstrap, I don't know if he's a good coach or anything so I'm going to look into that, but he seems like he's a real good guy, " said Jessen, who's also been trying to get in touch with OSU great Steven Jackson, in order to pick his brain about Gilstrap and the Oregon State experience.

Jessen said he doesn't have a feel on when he might make a verbal commitment.

"I don't really have a clue right now," he said. "I wish I did."

One thing he does know is Oregon State and Washington State are both looking pretty good to him right now, and more will be known after this trip.

"I like Oregon State a lot," said Jessen.

HE DIDN'T, HOWEVER, care much for the analysis done by Jessen's player page on Scout lists areas for improvement as Change of Direction and Elusiveness, while citing his strengths as Acceleration, Breakaway Speed and Foot Quickness.

"Foot quickness and change of direction are kind of the same thing in a sense, so I don't know how you can have one without the other," said Jessen, who also questioned the sentence that he was "Not blessed with great cutting skills or real 'slipperiness'.

"I don't know if I'm down with that," he said.

Skylar Jessen

BeaverBlitz Top Stories