2009 Defensive Class projection

FOR JUST ABOUT any school, attrition is a way of life in the offseason and this year has been no different. With three players leaving the program since May 1, the lay of the land has changed when it comes to projecting numbers and needs for Oregon State's class of 2009. A closer look, then, at the defensive side of the ball.

With Bryan Payton, Ahmed Mokhtar and Patrick Fuller all leaving the program since May 1, BF.C projects Oregon State to take 22 recruits next Signing Day not including grayshirts.

BF.C is projecting that at least nine of that total figure to come on the defensive side of the ball -- but it won't be a surprise if that number climbs into double digits by the time February rolls around.

The watchword of the defensive class remains the same -- Balance, with a decided nod towards the back forty. Nearly nearly half of BF.C's overall projected defensive haul re found in the defensive secondary.

Our current reading of the tea leaves shows Oregon State to take an inside linebacker, an outside linebacker, 2 safeties, 2 corners, a defensive tackle and two defensive ends.

The defensive backfield was arguably the key 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 on the corners and at safety.

While that's usually true for most college football teams, it is arguably so to a greater degree at Oregon State because of their scheme. That makes these projected four signees' value even greater beyond their 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 pool of candidates, Terrell Williams, Dijon Washington, Anthony Carpenter and Lake Oswego's Billy Mitchell. And keep an eye out for Kyrell Hudson, oringinaly out of Vancouver, Wash. but now headed to Corvallis for baseball.

While Hudson has committed to Oregon State to play on the diamond and says his heart belongs to baseball, he has also said he might well walk-on to the OSU football team. And he has talked with Mike Riley over the past several months about doing just that. Scout.com's Chris Fetters calls him intriguing and versatile.

AT CORNER, three of the four who finished the year listed in the Beaver two-deeps were juniors or seniors. OSU has one verbal commitment, Dax Dilbeck, at the corner spot though he could also end up at safety or receiver for the Beavs.

Among those in the Beaver orbit this class are Brandon Sermons, Kalani Brackenridge, JC corner Kevin Williams, Portland's Carl Acker, C.J. Anderson and Desmond Trufant. Cornerback is also one of the few positions conducive to a standout talent being able to play early.

AT DEFENSIVE END, one of the Beaver targets is Craig Roh, a 6-5, 225-pounder out of Scottsdale. Roh chalked up 99 tackles his junior season -- 15.5 of them were sacks.

Other names include Matt Garin, Chad Lopati*, Gresham's Dexter Morrison and Jackson Powell.

AT THE D-TACKLE spot, 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.

Other potentials include Wade Keliikipi, Latu Heimuli and Alanzi Langstaff.

AT INSIDE LINEBACKER, Eugene's Boseko Lokombo holds an Oregon State offer. *Chad Lopati, listed by Scout.com as a linebacker, might also fit here.

At outside linebacker, Oregon State has already landed a verbal commitment from Rueben Robinson.

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

Oregon State has enjoyed success with walk-on kickers and punters earning a full ride, 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.

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