'07 class - The sleepers

These are the prospects that went under the radar. A couple of years in the system and some of these athletes will be big contributes. Mike Riley and his staff are great at picking out these type of athletes.

DL Jesse Fifita (6-3, 260) - Hurt for much of his senior year Fifita is a hard working defensive end who excels at pass rushing. Fifita has good size at 260 pounds and could slide over to defensive tackle. Another high character, hard working individual who takes his academics seriously.

CB Brandon Hardin (6-2, 175 | case file) - A first-team all-state selection, this long and lanky defender has plenty of room to grow. He is a great leaper who finished second in the long jump at the 2006 Interscholastic League of Honolulu Championships. The coaches already like his hitting ability and his quick rotating hips; Hardin could had 30 or so more pounds and move to safety.

S Josh LaGrone (6-1, 170 | case file) - Named the High Desert League's Defensive Player of the year along with making the 4A All-State team as a defensive back LaGrone also excelled at receiving the pigskin where he earned all-league honors. He could play either side of the ball, but will lineup at safety or cornerback where the coaches like his physical play. Could be a future special team's standout.

LB Keith Pankey (6-2, 215 | case file) - This downhill runner is a speeding bullet to the ball carrier where he tallied 189 tackles as a senior from the middle linebacker position. He is a two-time first team All-Tulare County selection and has a nose for the ball. Another potential special team's standout.

LS Marcus Perry (6-1, 225 | case file) - Perry played both linebacker and long snapper at Eastlake High, but will come to Oregon State as a long snapper. According to Chris Rubio of the Chris Sailer Professional Kicking Academy - "Marcus is a snapper with a tremendous body and strength. His ball flies back to the punter/holder because of his extremely quick hands. He has emerged as one of the most athletic snappers in his class." Perry, who is a full academic qualifier, will grayshirt and enroll in Jan. of 2008.

DE Carl Sommer (6-4, 230 | case file) - The first verbal of the 2007 class Sommer earned first team all-league honors at both receiver and defensive lineman as a senior. He has a nice blend of size and speed, with plenty of room to grow. His quick step off the line makes him a perfect candidate for defensive end. Plus, he will get a head start as he graduated early and will participate in spring drills.

WR James Rodgers (5-6, 174) - A speedy, yet undersized, player who was named the 4A Greater Houston All-Area co-MVP as a senior after grabbing over 100 tackles and catching over 900 receiving yards. He is a playmaker who has lots to prove which makes Corvallis the perfect place for this all-state selection.

LB Anthony Watkins (6-2, 200 | case file) - A multi-dimensional player who was overlooked do to being on a bad teams his upperclassman years; Watkins played quarterback and defensive back earning all league honors at each position. He is a physical player with a nose for the ball who will line up at outside linebacker. Another guy to keep your eyes during special team's play.


Tomorrow - The projects

Yesterday - The future stars

Monday - The cream of the crop

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