ANALYSIS: 2010 recruiting class

FOR INSIGHT ON the 2010 Oregon State signing class, we sought out the opinions of those who regularly cover the Beavs, such as Kerry Eggers of The Portland Tribune and Cliff Kirkpatrick of The Gazette Times and asked them what they thought. And then members of the BF.C staff and the West Manager of weighed in with their opinions, too..

Kerry Eggers, Reporter for The Portland Tribune
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The class was small by necessity, but I get the sense that more than any other year during the Mike Riley regime, the percentage of those who eventually pay off on the field will be large.

OSU coaches look for great talent, but also kids who fit the program, and this year in particular, for needs on the defensive side. We won't know for two or three years, but it seems they accomplished their goals, despite some disappointments on signing day. 

C Roman Sapolu gets overlooked because he committed so early, but with his great bloodlines, he could emerge under the tutelage of offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh to be something special.

Defensive ends Scott Critchton and Dominic Glover are a pair of D-ends who seem like can't-miss guys. The Oakland pair, S Ryan Murphy and DT Fred Thompson, will make its presence felt before too long, I would think.

Linebacker Shaydon Akuna was a great get, and rugby player Mana Tuivailata a sleeper with as much upside as anyone. 

QB Sean Mannion could make the biggest impact if he develops the way the coaches envision. If he's a bigger version of Matt Moore — Mannion's throwing motions remind them of the ex-Beaver great — the Beavers got a winner. 

Mike Riley would love to have scouting services rate his recruiting classes highly, but he'll never lose a minute of sleep over it. The Beavers recruit good players and, oftentimes, develop them into great ones.

There's a lot to be said for that.


Cliff Kirkpatrick, Reporter for The Gazette Times
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The Beavers needed to improved their defensive line for next season and the future, and they did that with this recruiting class. Beyond that they added depth for the long-run with defense as a priority. 

Defensive tackle Thomas Molesi can be another Stephen Paea by the time he's done at OSU. He appears to be a person who can disrupt every play.

People will notice quarterback Sean Mannion because of his strong arm and intelligence. He should be able to handle the complex offense quickly. I can see him as future star. 

Some of the guys are projects such as tight end Connor Hamlett or defensive end Mana Tuivailala, but the Beavers get the most out of these athletes. Coach Mike Riley described all these guys as good fits to what the Beavers do.

That's key for anyone to make an impact on any program.


Brandon Huffman, West Recruiting Analyst

It wasn't the biggest class, but it doesn't need to be. No class will be coached up in the Pac-10 better than an Oregon State class.

While there was no late commitment from an elite guy like Michael Philipp a year ago, the Beavers did most of their heavy lifting in the spring and summer, and kept them all on board.

QB Sean Mannion may have been the best quarterback in Northern California and he's a right-handed Sean Canfield. He'll be a good one down the line for Oregon State.

DT Thomas Molesi has done nothing but end every season in high school with a win, winning two state titles and three section titles, and he'll bring that mentality to Corvallis.

C Roman Sapolu has seen his dad, Jesse's, Super Bowl rings. He'd like to match those with a Rose Bowl ring and he'll bring some nasty to the trenches.

Make no mistake, this class will undoubtedly outplay their rankings, thanks to Mike Riley and Co.


Chad Luther, Writer for

In terms of ranking, the 2010 Oregon State class was decidedly underwhelming -- another 50-ish ranked recruiting class. But rankings are not just subjective, they also can be misleading.

For one, Scout and others don't grade solely on average stars per recruit. Instead, they assess a “total score” based on points accumulated. Theoretically an uber-small class of 5-star recruits would rate the same as 25 two-star recruits.

When the NFL grades a draft, they base it on how well the team filled their needs in that draft. And in that respect, the Beavers scored big. They needed d-Line help and despite the Owa disappointment on LOI day, OSU landed a coveted 2-gap defensive tackle in Big Fred Thompson, immediate help at DE with JC transfer Dominic Glover, a can’t miss high-motor DT in Thomas Molesi, and a prep DE in Scott Crichton who the coaches think will play early. And again the Beavers picked up OSU-prototype lightening-fast nasty LB’s in Michael Bibbee and the highly-acclaimed Shaydon Akuna. And then Mana Tuivailala is another raw Stephen Paea type of project who will grayshirt and has tremendous potential.

One area where the Beavers needed some help was at running back and while Marable was a good get, the Beavers again just missed out on 4-star tailback and legacy Gio Bernard. With LOI day over, it would seem that the Beavers would have to make running back a big priority in 2011, right?

It would seem that way – but in another post-signing day surprise, Oregon State offered a grayshirt ride to Terron Ward, who was, surprisingly, virtually unrecruited. Ward was the star on an excellent De La Salle squad. He has excellent bloodlines, his father played in the NFL, and his brother was hard hitting Oregon Duck safety TJ Ward. The younger Ward's production was stellar this season, rushing for over 2000 yards and nearly 30 touchdowns in 2009.

Ward is really the icing on the cake for an excellent but smallish class – which may very well end up being OSU’s best class in the last 4-5 years, despite its’ small size.


Dan Norz, Associate Editor of

It's laborious to say this every year, but forget about the rankings. ranks Oregon State's class #64 in the nation and dead last in the Pac-10 - that's got to be a joke. No matter.

The staff did a tremendous job filling needs on the defensive line signing five recruits with four of them having a legit shot at playing early.

QB Sean Mannion may be the steal of the class after blowing up his senior year. The same goes for DT Thomas Molesi who absolutely dominated for Oceanside.

Throw in super athletes Ryan Murphy and Shaydon Akuna for versatility along with the classic under recruited Oregonians in Michael Bibbee and Will Storey, who could turn into local stars, and a handful of grayshirts and the Beavers have already stocked the cupboards for years to come.

It's good to be a Beaver - even if the rankings don't reflect it.


Barry Bolton, Executive Editor of

It's a class that's big on quality if not quantity -- the Beavs signed 10 three-star athletes, that's as many as did Cal. With less than 25 rides to give this class, (17 including grayshirts) the Beavs needed to address their needs wisely and the view from here is they did just that.

The defensive front seven was the big need and OSU brought in five d-linemen and three linebackers, nearly half the class is concentrated there.

DE Scott Crichton is my pick for the most underrated recruit of the class, and there were many to choose from. He and DT Thomas Molesi will be counted upon to provide a very solid outside-inside on the d-line in the years to come. Indeed, both of those guys along with Fred Thompson and Shaydon Akuna have the chance to be special in the Pac-10.

DE Dominic Glover will be counted on to provide an immediate impact this coming year. And then you look at some of the other guys, like Ryan Murphy, he has a chance to develop into a special player in the secondary over his career -- he was a big-time playmaker this past season.

The quarterback, Sean Mannion, is arguably the best to come out of Northern California this year and fits smartly what Mike Riley likes to do offensively.

As for OSU's final recruiting ranking, the Beavs with only 17 total signees were always going to be ranked last in the Pac-10. But here's the thing about that -- Oregon State out on the field has been confounding the recruiting rankings several years running, with Top 25 and upper Pac-10 tier finishes. This class provides plenty of early indication they're ready to continue that string.


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