NOTE: To be eligible for the BF.C All-Decade Team the players must have played at least 50-percent of their careers this decade (2000-2009) at Oregon State. For the all-time letter winners visit OSUBeavers.com.
BF.C All-Decade Team
#42 | 6-2, 221
|Lettered at OSU: 1999-2002|
|High school: A.B. Miller HS | Fontana, CA|
2002 first team All-Pac-10, 2001 honorable mention All-Pac-10, played
in 2003 East-West Shrine Game
What others say: Former Oregon State coach Dennis Erickson - "Nick is one of the best I've ever been around."
Career synopsis: The transformation of Nick Barnett from a scrawny 175-pound kid with toothpick legs to one of the top linebackers in the Pac-10 is one of the best stories in Beaver football history.
The under-recruited player came to Oregon State as an undersized safety who had tremendous speed, but not enough meat on his body. Barnett started put on significant weight after getting into a college training program, but still kept his speed.
A natural leader and a nose for the ball Barnett was just one of two true freshman to play in 1999 when he recovered two fumbles returning one for a touchdown. In 2000 he continued this work on special teams, but moved into playing more with the linebackers.
After adding around 40 pounds he moved into a starting role as a junior. Barnett turned in a career high 18-tackles against California in 2002, but the best was yet to come. He as an honorable mention All-Pac-10 pick.
Barnett, a co team captain in '02, put in one of the more impressive single season performances this decade as he wracked up 121 tackles which is the ninth most in single season school history and the second most in a single year this decade. he also added 21 tackles for loss and six sacks.
During his senior year everything started to click. He was at his then peak physical condition. He tracked the ball very well. He read the defenses and played fast. And he rarely missed a tackle. As a result he was named to the Pac-10's all-conference first team.
Career statistics: 249 tackles, 30 tackles for loss, 12 pass breakups, eight sacks
Runner up: Keith Ellison (2004-05) - After transferring from El Camino College Ellison immediately grabbed a starting linebacking spot promptly earning All-Pac-10 honorable mention honors in his first year. With a year of experience Ellison, who started all 23 games in his OSU career, landed on the 2005 first team All-Pac-10 team after making 99 tackles, including a team high 15 for loss. For his career he finished with 166 tackles including 25.5 for loss and nine sacks.
Others worth mentioning: Keaton Kristick (2006-08), Joey LaRocque (2006-07)