Newest verbal: 'A match made in heaven'

THE BEAVERS MADE a "late push" and the result is another native of Florida will be joining the Oregon State running backs corp next year. El Camino running back Jamicah "J.J." Bass originally verbaled to Iowa State in early October, but changed his mind following a phone conversation with OSU on Saturday night, and said he will be playing in orange and black next year.

"They made a late push," said Bass of Oregon State. "They checked out my film, came down a couple times and I started talking more to them. And they have my quarterback (Lyle Moevao), he's out there from last year so it's like a match made in heaven."

Bass, who will take his official visit to OSU next weekend, said the comfort level he felt with the OSU coaching staff was one of the deciding factors.

"I like the direction of the program," said Bass. "I like coach (Mike) Riley, I got a chance to meet with him and he seems like a nice guy -- it's a good fit for me."

Bass said he has some similarities to another Floridian running back on the Beavs, Yvenson Bernard.

"I'm more a north-south runner who can still get to the outside with a lot of speed," said Bass.

Iowa State has kept in touch with Bass since beginning their head coaching search after Dan McCarney resigned, but Bass has not spoken to anyone in Ames since his verbal to OSU last night. ISU has scheduled a press conference for Monday to announce their new head coach but Bass said he's a Beaver, regardless.

"I just wanted to secure my future and not have to worry about it too much. I'm definitely excited to be a Beaver, I'm set on being a Beaver," said Bass.

Bass through 12 games this season has nearly 1,200 all-purpose yards, rushing 157 times for 906 hashes and 10 touchdowns, with a long of 48. The 6-foot, 215-pounder also has 14 catches for 186 yards and one touchdown through the air. His performance garnered first team All-Mission Conference honors.

Bass' team beat previously unbeaten and top-ranked Saddleback Saturday in the playoffs and heads to Bakersfield College next weekend to face Bakersfield. The winner goes to the state championship game vs. either Fresno or CC San Francisco.

As a freshman Bass racked up 560 yards and three touchdowns on 74 carries (7.2 ypc) while adding four catches for 16 yards through the air in a back up role. He hails from the same junior college program as current Beaver quarterback Lyle Moevao.

According to El Camino's official website Bass is a "an excellent pass catcher from the backfield and makes defenders miss when he is in space.

"His run blocking has improved greatly and he is outstanding picking up the blitz. J.J. is another Warrior running back who can play at the next level." Bass has 4.45 speed in the 40, although he's also bested that on occasion.

"I've run a 4.36 legit so I have enough speed -- and I can catch passes," said Bass.

He is on track to get his AA in February and has three to play two. He had offers from Iowa State, North Carolina State, Oregon and Arizona.

Although Bass has a redshirt year available, he said coach Nigel Burton told him last night the OSU coaching staff is expecting him to come in and compete for turns.

"That was kind of a deciding factor for me last night, we talked for about an hour and he said they want me to come in and compete right away because he feels my talents are such that I can come in and contribute right away," said Bass. profile | 2005 highlight video from

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