Beavs have gem in Welch, says prep coach

FUTURE BEAVER Donnell Welch out of Indio, Calif. last week became the latest known verbal commitment for Oregon State. He has great measurables, says his prep coach and he's racked up 80-plus tackles in seven games.

In an email to BF.C, Palm Desert High coach Pat Blackburn said the Beavs are getting a great combination of speed and power in linebacker Donnell Welch (6-2, 200, 4.4).

"DJ is a hybrid player, he possesses great speed together with linebacker mentality and aggressiveness. He can cover sideline to sideline easily and can play man defense also," said Blackburn, who also coached Beaver James Dockery.

Welch ran a school record 10.5 in the 100 meters last year, said Blackburn.

The Desert Sun in reporting Welch's verbal said more than 20 schools had inquired but implied few offered apart from Oregon State due to concerns on Welch qualifying academically.

Sometimes a school offering in such a case means they see enough progress to indicate the prospect will qualify in time. Or it could be that the prospect ultimately delays enrollment, becomes academically qualified and then comes on board after the first of the year. Oregon State has had a number of players from both scenarios find success in a Beaver uniform.

Regardless of how things play out for Welch, Blackburn says he fits the mold of a Beaver linebacker.

"He only knows one speed and that's FULL, all-out effort on every play," said Blackburn.

As a junior, Welch has had 16 sacks and 16 tackles for loss. So far this season, Welch has 83 tackles in just seven games.

Welch was a first-team All-CIF Eastern Division selection last season.

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