2009 Defensive Class projection: Balance

AREAS OF NEED in a recruiting class change as the year goes along. And the numbers can and do remain in motion all the way up until Signing Day in February. However, in breaking down the Oregon State roster, looking at the position depth and crunching the numbers, here is an early look at the Beaverfootball.com projection on defensive needs and numbers in the 2009 OSU class.

BF.C projects Oregon State to take 19 total recruits next Signing Day not including grayshirts -- though history has shown and it's worth noting again: The final numbers are likely to move over the course of the year due to a variety of factors.

In breaking down the early needs and figures, BF.C is projecting that eight of those 19 figure to come on the defensive side of the ball.

The watchword of the defensive class? Balance, with a nod towards the back forty.

BEAVERFOOTBALL.COM's 2009 PROJECTION calls for four of those eight signees to come from the secondary. Our reading of the tea leaves shows Oregon State to take an inside linebacker, an outside linebacker, 2 safeties, 2 corners, a defensive tackle and a defensive end.

The secondary was the driving force behind Oregon State's defensive and overall success in '07. Indeed, when OSU has been good on defense, they have always been good in the defensive backfield and while that's true for just about any college football team, it is arguably so to a greater degree at Oregon State because of scheme. That makes these projected four signees even more critical beyond the numbers.

THE SAFETY position, at the end of last season in the OSU two-deeps, listed juniors or seniors at all four spots.

Included among the (very) early pool of candidates, Lake Oswego's Billy Mitchell, and Joel Barry and Billy Lechtenberg.

Kyrell Hudson out of Vancouver, Wash. is among the notables in the Northwest this year according to Scout.com's Chris Fetters, who calls him an intriguing, versatile student-athlete.

AT CORNER, three of the four who finished the year listed in the Beaver two-deeps were juniors or seniors.

Among those who could possibly be in the Beaver orbit this class are Portland's Carl Acker, and Keenyn Walker and Desmond Trufant. Cornerback is also one of the few positions conducive to a standout talent being able to play early.

AT DEFENSIVE END, Oregon State has offered Craig Roh, a tree-topping 6-5, 225-pounder out of Scottsdale with the proverbial motor that doesn't stop. Roh chalked up 99 tackles his junior season and 15.5 of them were sacks.

Other early names include Gresham's Dexter Morrison, and Arizonans Laurence Gibson and Justin Jungblut.

AT D-TACKLE, Corey Adams holds an Oregon State offer in his pocket and for good reason. He racked up 24 sacks among his 117 tackles for Saguaro last season, ridiculous numbers for someone playing in the interior of a defensive line.

AT LINEBACKER, among the earliest names on Scout.com's middle 'backers to list Oregon State a school of interest are Eugene's Boseko Lokombo, Tony Heard and Anthony Larceval.

At outside linebacker, the pool of potential targets includes Anthony Jones, Marcel Seely and Robert Franco among others.

TWO MORE SPOTS in the BF.C projection could end up being used on defense, At this early stage, however, BF.C has not allocated those two for either side of the ball -- they could also end up being used on special teams.

Oregon State has enjoyed success in taking a kicker or punter as a walk-on and then putting him on scholarship after he "earns it", Alexis Serna being but one example. At the same time, there are those OSU has deemed worthy of an offer -- longsnapper Marcus Perry was "scholarshipped" by Oregon State right out of high school.

Whether a special teamer emerges this recruiting season and earns an OSU scholarship offer is just one of many questions that will be answered over the coming year.

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