Recruiting Road Map - Defense takes a look at what positions the coaches are focusing at recruiting on the defensive side of the ball.

- Defensive Tackle -
Currently on scholarship: 5 | Recruiting priority: 0 | Look to sign: 2-3
Verbal: Castro Masaniai, Jesse Fifita, Stephen Paea

The defensive tackle depth is downright scary as there are only five players on scholarship, four being seniors, including Gerard Lee who may or may not be back next year depending on a mistake in his junior college paper work.

Luckily the staff expect Castro Masaniai and Jesse Fifita, both from last year's class, to sign this time around.

Recently they grabbed Snow College's Stephen Paea which fills out the defensive tackle needs for a couple of years.


- Defensive End -
Currently on scholarship: 8 | Recruiting priority: 3 | Look to sign: 2
Verbal: Taylor Henry

A solid recruiting class last year along with the emergence of Victor Butler and Slade Norris really boosts the outlook of this group. Butler and Norris are gone after 2008, but Latu Moala and Tom Hansen have both been in the system for a year and are ready to contribute.

Four players - Kyle Bell, Kevin Frahm, Carl Sommer, and I'amafana Tuimalealiifano - all redshirted. The staff is most excited about Oregonians Frahm and Sommer.

Taylor Henry is a recruit from 2007 who will sign in '08. The staff is still going after several highly touted prep defensive ends though.

- Linebacker -
Currently on scholarship: 10 | Recruiting priority: 0 | Look to sign: 2
Verbal: Anthony Watkins, Tony Wilson, Sule Osiagede

Oregon State will always take at least one linebacker each class which has really helped the depth and experience of the group.

Dennis Christopher, Isaiah Cook and Bryant Cornell are all gone after next year but a host of experienced players including Keation Kristick and special teams standout Dwight Roberson will push for playing time and are around for several more years.

Three players redshirted - Will Darkins, David Pa'aluhi III and Walker Vave. The coaches are most excited about Pa'aluhi III and Darkins.

Anthony Watkins, a grayshirt candidate, will enroll in January with Sprague High's Tony Wilson signing the dotted line in February. Lamar Consolidated's Sule Osiagedge may be a grayshirt candidate.

- Safety -
Currently on scholarship: 7 | Recruiting priority: 0 | Look to sign: 0
Verbal: None

Al Afalava, Greg Laybourn and Bryan Payton will all graduate, but the young foursome of James Dockery, Suaesi Tuimaunei, Cameron Collins and Lance Mitchell give the team a young mix of smart, hard hitters.

The coaches are excited about Collins and Mitchell as they will work their way into the two deeps.

The coaches will look to recruit a safety or two in 2009.

- Cornerback -
Currently on scholarship: 6 | Recruiting priority: 0 | Look to sign: 1
Verbal: Josh LaGrone

Experienced corners Keenan Lewis and All-Pac-10 member Brandon Hughes will graduate, but the emergence of Tim Clark will help ease the pain. Plus, the coaches are excited about redshirt freshman Brandon Hardin. David Ross, perhaps the headliner of the 2007 class, is also a player to keep your eye on.

The staff will sign one cornerback in Josh LaGrone, a holdover from last year, which gives the team a nice balance throughout the years.

- Punter -
Currently on scholarship: 0 | Recruiting priority: 10  | Look to sign: 1
Verbal: SN Marcus Perry

It is amazing that the Beavers weren't hurt more as they played 2007 without a true punter.

Finding a top junior college or prep punter is one of the top, if not the top priority.

The team will sign snapper Marcus Perry, a verbal from last year, this recruiting period.

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