2010 ANALYSIS: Recruits on defense

PUTTING A SIGNING CLASS into context is a difficult task. They're still in high school, and until they hit fall camp at Oregon State and start competing with Pac-10 players, it's hard to say where they are in terms of their development. But we're not going to let that stop us. BF.C delves into the recruits on defense with an eye towards each individual's impact and need. Plus, a prediction.

DIG DEEPER: For more information on each recruit, visit the 2010 Pledge Board. For a look at the scholarship numbers, visit the Scholarship Tracker.

 

LB Shaydon Akuna

Serviceability/Impact: Standing at a solid 6-foot-3, 210-pounds Akuna is ready to play -- he's the hardest hitter to come out Hawaii this class. and there is always needs for talented players on special teams.

Need: With four linebackers set to graduate after this upcoming season, getting another talented 'backer in the system was a must.

Prediction: Although Akuna could be ready to play, due to solid depth at linebacker and safety there is not a pressing need for Akuna to play early. All things being equal, expect him to redshirt and turn some heads on the scout team.

 

LB Michael Bibbee

Serviceability/Impact:  There's no questioning Bibbee's toughness and competitiveness, but he will need to refine his mechanics before playing. A year in the OSU system should do him wonders.

Need:  Next season, not this season, is when the team will need Bibbee -- there is currently a good blend of upper- and lower-classmen on the depth chart for both special teams and to fill out the linebacker depth chart.

Prediction:  Bibbee redshirts this season, and he will be itching to hit someone in 2011 besides his own teammates. Due to his particular skills set, he may very well be the player who relishes throwing his body to break up the wedge -- that guy doesn't get the tackle stats on special teams but he often helps make or break the play.

 

DE Scott Crichton

Serviceability/Impact:  The Tacoma News Player of the Year dominating the Narrows League, tallying an amazing 78 solo tackles -- something you don't usually see from a d-lineman. Various high school coaches in Washington raved about his speed and range which could, early in his OSU career, translate into a successful third down specialist.

Need: Very high. With six defensive lineman on scholarship and two to graduate after 2010 there is an immediate need for defensive ends in the Beaver attack.

Prediction: Due to lack of depth and his readiness, Crichton will play as a true freshman.

 

DE Dominic Glover

Serviceability/Impact:  Immediate. He practiced with the Oregon football team for two years before becoming academically ineligible so he already has Division I, Pac-10 experience.

Need:  With just six defensive ends on scholarship -- and a less than stellar year in 2009 -- the unit needs a spark.

Prediction:  Glover feels like he has got a second chance and he wants to make the most of it. The door is wide open for him to take a starting spot or, at the very least, see significant time in rotation. The last junior college defensive end to come to Oregon State was Dorian Smith and when all was said and done he was a first team All-Pac-10 selection. We're not ready to predict that kind of success for Glover, but we're not ready to rule it out either.

 

DT Thomas Molesi

Serviceability/Impact: The 6-foot-2, 280-pound player was absolutely dominating as a senior as he was named Defensive Player of the Year by several local newspapers. An opposing head coach said, "He looks like he has already been playing as a Division I college tackle for three years."

Need:  Just four defensive tackles are on scholarship - and three of them are seniors. Recruiting a highly rated defensive tackle was one of the top priorities.

Prediction: It would seem almost guaranteed that Molesi will play as a freshman and he has two, Stephen Paea and Brennan Olander, standout peers to learn from. If he soaks up their knowledge, he could have a solid year coming off of the bench in rotation.

 

S Ryan Murphy

Serviceability/Impact: The super athletic Murphy could be a solid special teams player if needed as a freshman, but the Beavs need him most next year.

Need: Getting a good safety each year is nearly always a must.

Prediction: The Beavs have solid depth and experience at safety and linebacker. There is no need for Murphy to burn his redshirt year just to play on special teams. He is the kind of player who could potentially turn heads in fall camp and earn playing time. But his value as a redshirt freshman making his on-field debut in 2011 is far greater than this season.

 

DT Fred Thompson

Serviceability/Impact: Riley said Thompson is athletic and thick enough to be a two-way player, but his home will be at defensive tackle.

Need:  Just four defensive tackles are on scholarship - and three of them are seniors. Getting solid defensive tackles in the system now was a high priority.

Prediction: At a solid 6-foot-4, 290-pounds Thompson will play as a true freshman. There are few recruits who have a major impact in their first year of Division I ball, but Thompson could be the exception if his college work ethic matches his natural talent.

 

DT Mana Tuivailala

Serviceability/Impact: As Riley has stated, Tuivilala is a project. He is a big-bodied, naturally strong athlete who will need a few years in the system before gaining any playing time.

Need: Defensive linemen are one of the hardest positions to recruit and the Beavers have struggled landing the big fellas in the past. OSU always needs defensive lineman - no matter how raw they are.

Prediction:  Tuivilala has only been playing football since his sophomore year. But the coaches have compared his situation to Stephen Paea's. And if Tuivilala develops to be only half as good as Paea then he is going to have a heck of a career.

 

LB Donnell Welch

Serviceability/Impact:  If Welch doesn't grayshirt, he has the speed and attitude to play early. Aggressive, fast and a little bit nasty. How fast is he? broke the Palm Desert 100 meter dash record last year with a time of 10.55 seconds. This is a linebacker we're talking about here.

Need: Getting linebackers into the system, (not to play immediately but into the system so they're ready in 2011), was a priority - not only to fill out the depth chart, but also for solid special teams play.

Prediction: Welch might not make it to Corvallis until Jan. of 2011, but when he does he could be a candidate for early playing time, mostly on special teams, since he will have a spring and fall camp under his belt before the 2011 campaign kicks off.


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