All-American among those OSU expected to sign

TRYING TO PROJECT immediate contributors and impact players from an incoming recruiting class is often a fool's errand given the number of variables. That said, it is difficult not to imagine Jacquizz Rodgers making some noise on the gridiron in 2008. The Parade All-American is expected to sign his Letter of Intent to Oregon State tomorrow.

The Beavers' 2008 class is expected to include up to as many as 10 who actually signed with OSU last year but either grayshirted or did not enroll this past fall. But in turning to those new faces coming into the OSU program, Jacquizz Rodgers might be the most lauded.

Parade Magazine selected him to their 45th annual Parade All-America High School Football Team, the most recent of a slew of honors and accolades the 5-8, 165-pounder claimed following the 2007 season.

And for good reason. His senior year, Rodgers rushed for a ridiculous 2,903 yards, with 37 touchdowns.

His career stats at Lamar Consolidated High are no less gaudy -- Rodgers finished his high school career with 8,246 rushing yards and a Texas state record 136 touchdowns.

RUNNING BACK is one of the positions most conducive to a prep player, a special one, coming in and making an impact in the Pac-10.

Rodgers older brother, James Rodgers, was a freshman wideout this past season for the Beavs though his biggest impact was felt running OSU's fly sweep. He carried the ball 50 times last season for 586 yards.

Texas is a state with a long and celebrated high school football legacy, and the younger Rodgers, The Houston Chronicle Player of the Year, destroyed a host of state records while helping to lead Lamar Consolidated to the Class 4A, Division I state championship this past year.

"That's the best football player in the state of Texas," Mustangs head man Lydell Wilson told an area newspaper after the school's championship win. "When I get on that bus tonight, I'm going to cry because he's going to be gone."

Rodgers was also named the Texas Associated Press Sports Editors' Player of the Year and the Class 4A Offensive Player of the Year.

Among the more noteworthy of his games this season was the 33-27 triple-overtime win over New Braunfels in the Division I semifinals, a game where Rodgers had five TDs.

Since it's inception, thirteen Parade All-Americans have won the Heisman Trophy. On NFL rosters last year, 156 PARADE All-Americans were listed, including Vince Young, Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson.

  • As reported earlier, seven players who signed with last year's class grayshirted and are now enrolled at OSU for the winter term. All are eligible for spring practices and all have five years to complete four playing seasons: linemen Jesse Fifita of Menlo Park, Calif., Taylor Henry of North Hollywood, Calif., and Castro Masaniai (Mah-sahn-ee-I) of Waipahu, Hawaii, and defensive backs Josh LaGrone of Reno and Anthony Watkins of Burien, Wash. The new additions on offense include tight end Colby Prince of Albany and lineman Rory Ross of Peoria, Ariz. O-linemen Una Smiley and Kevin Pankey and LS Marcus Perry are expected to enroll in the spring.

    It was uncertain for a time if Smiley would ever play football again at this time last year. He was shot in the leg in a drive-by shooting while on a recruiting trip to New Mexico. But he now looks to have two-to-play-two at Oregon State after taking this past year to recover.

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