Beavers making tracks in the desert

OSU MIGHT NOT look to sign a full class of 25 next February although the number will remain in flux all the way up until Signing Day. Regardless of how many the Beavs do take on LOI Day, they've been especially active in the early going. The OSU coaching staff has extended over 30 known offers and we're not yet done with May. No less than nine of the OSU targets come from the Grand Canyon State.

If early indications hold true, the OSU coaches will be racking up the frequent flyer miles to the desert this recruiting cycle. The Beavs are in -- and in early -- on a number of prospects out of Arizona.

AMONG THOSE WITH Beaver offers, receiver T.J. Simpson. Simpson averaged over 25 yards a catch as a junior, with 29 receptions for 749 yards and seven TDs. In addition to Oregon State, Simpson has offers from UTEP and Montana. CU, OSU and UTEP are his leaders.

"I like how they use their receivers a lot and I think I would have a chance to play early," Simpson, out of Peoria, Ariz., told when asked about his interest in Oregon State.

The 6-2, 175-pound speedster earlier this month ran a 4.48 in the 40 at the PIAA combine. He also captured four gold medals at the state meet a couple weeks ago, winning the the 100m (11.02), the 200m (21.87), the 400m (48.46) and ran a leg on the winning 4x400m relay team.

FROM GLENDALE, WR Eric Hagg and Ironwood High teammate William Yancy (DE, 6-5, 220) hold OSU scholie invitations. The Beaver offers were the first for both.

Hagg was productive on both sides of the ball last season. On offense, he had 37 catches for 877 yards with 12 TDs while being named first team all-region. On defense, he racked up 44 tackles and picked off seven passes while earning second team all region honors.

Yancy made life miserable for offensive coordinators as a junior, racking up 66 tackles and 11 sacks.

Utah, UTEP, ASU and Purdue have all joined Oregon State in offering the relentless defender with the long wing span and non-stop motor.

THE BEAVS WERE also the first to offer Cameron Jordan (6-4, 240), son of former Vikings TE Steve Jordan. Named first team all region last year as an offensive lineman, Jordan is being recruited by Oregon State and others at defensive end.

Jason Jewell of's 24-7Football reports schools like Jordan's long arms, frame and athleticism. Jordan currently leads the state of Arizona with a discus throw of 173 feet.

THEY GROW 'EM big in Phoenix. Six-foot-seven and 320 pounds worth of big is offensive tackle Marcel Jones.

Missing last season to injury, Jones saw his weight climb to 370 but has since shed 50 pounds and the increased mobility is apparent. A second team all region pick as a sophomore, Oregon State was one of those schools making a May evaluation trip to Phoenix's Trevor Browne High and extended an offer, Jones' first. Speaking to his athleticism, Jones starts at center for the basketball team. He's also a star in the classroom, with a near 4.0 GPA.

ANOTHER BIG MAN Oregon State was the first to offer -- Blake Behrens, a 6-4, 280-pound tackle who plays on both sides of the ball for Brophy College Preparatory. Utah and UTEP jumped on board with offers soon after.

As a junior, Behrens was first team all-state and all-region for the state champions from 5A-Division I. A three sport athlete, Behrens also runs track and plays basketball.

WIDE RECEIVER Kerry Taylor from Chandler's Hamilton High holds offers from OSU, Arizona State and San Diego State.

Taylor has some strong bloodlines. He's the son of former NFL safety Keith Taylor and nephew of former NFL receiver John Taylor. Close watches of the Arizona prep scene believe he could be poised to be one of the top receiver prospects in the state in '06. The 6-1, 180-pound playmaker had 40 catches for 760 yards and 11 TDs as a junior.

OTHER ARIZONANS WITH an Oregon State offer in their pocket include junior college DE Luis Vasquez (6-3, 250, 4.7), OL Javario Burkes (6-6, 320, 5.3)

MEANWHILE, CLOSER TO HOME at Eugene's Marist High, Brandon Jackson (5-11, 200) averaged 10.1 yards per carry and finished with 1,3000 yards and 30 total touchdowns his junior season as a running back. Oregon State, however, has offered him as a receiver.

Jackson favors Oregon State and Boston College (offer) over the field but told he has a penchant for the hometown school.

"Oregon is the school I'm really looking at," said Jackson. "They haven't offered me, but they said they wanted to make sure I'm what they need...That's where my dad wants me to go. If Oregon offered me, I'd probably commit."

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