Portland TE high on Beavs, Riley

TIGHT END IS a difficult position to fill because the player has to have pass catching skills like a receiver plus line blocking skills like an offensive lineman. One of the top in-state prospects at the position is from Jesuit High in Portland, loves the contact down in the trenches and he's feeling a connection with Oregon State and Mike Riley.

Jacob Wark (6-4, 235) took in a junior day event at Oregon State last month. But it wasn't his first time on the OSU campus.

"I had a great time down there and got to meet all their coaches. I was there for their summer camp before my junior season. I really enjoy it down there, the coaches are really down to earth. I just enjoy being around them and the school. I feel comfortable down there," said Wark.

Wark also got to pick the brains of the Oregon State players while on campus.

"I really enjoyed hearing what the players had to say about the coaches. It's always good in a player's mind that they can be at a place where they feel comfortable and be who you are," said Wark.

Wark, who earned first team all-league honors on both offense and defense as a junior, said Oregon State and other schools like him at tight end except for Utah, who is recruiting him at defensive end.

Other schools he's hearing most from include WSU, Oregon, UCLA, BYU, ASU, Duke, Vanderbilt and Stanford. Oregon State is recruiting the hardest, said Wark. And while Wark said he's liked immensely every coach he's talked to so far, Riley has made a particularly strong impression.

"Mike Riley -- When I was down there, he made me feel really comfortable and I could talk to him about anything, not just football," said Wark.

TIGHT ENDS GET noticed most in the press for what they do receiving-wise but college coaches love the guys who can also get after it in trenches. Wark doesn't yet hold a scholarship offer, but he looks to be one of those guys who adds plenty of battle scars to his helmet after every game.

"Coaches have said they like how I finish my blocks at tight end -- the most important things for tight end is to block and catch the ball," said Wark. "The coaches say they like how I move around really well, my fire, how I finish blocks -- they talked about how I play whistle to whistle and get that final shot in just before the whistle blows.

"I think they're looking at my development and I'm just going to keep working hard and keep on getting better every day."

Wark has also stayed in frequent contact with the coaches at Wazzu.

"I talked to tight ends coach, coach (Rich) Rasmussen. He told me how he saw my tape and thoroughly enjoyed how I worked out in space and how I got off the ball. He liked how I played hard nosed football," said Wark.

"We've been talking back and forth and I had planned on going to their junior day but (travel issues) meant I didn't get a chance to go up. I'm hoping I get to go up there in the next few weeks, maybe see a spring game or something...Washington State has a great tradition up there too and they want to get back to where they were just a few years ago."

Wark also took in Washington's junior day last weekend and said he thoroughly enjoyed the UW coaches' enthusiasm. He's also unofficially visited Vanderbilt and plans on taking in a junior day event at BYU in June.

Summer camp plans are yet to be finalized but Wark said Oregon State's camp is decidedly on his schedule.

Jacob Wark profile


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