Beavs' early offers hold a lot of star power

OREGON STATE HAS nearly 40 known scholarship offers out to prospects -- and the May Evaluation period has yet to begin for the Beavers. Just as striking, there's a whole lot of stars next to the names who hold an early full ride from the Black and Orange in their back pocket, as in the 5- and 4-star variety.

Oregon State this recruiting cycle has already offered four players who rate 5 stars on

The Beavers have also offered 20 recruits rated 4-stars in the 2011 class.

That's more 4- and 5-star recruits than the Beavs offered in all of last year's class (11 total, two rated 5-stars, nine rated 4-stars).

Granted, some of that in the 2010 class was about the Beavs having such an abnormally small senior class graduating -- the Beavs signed only 17 recruits this past February, the fewest of any Pac-10 school, (they later added one more to crest at 18). But the small signing class, that's only one factor.

Note: Click HERE and HERE to visit the BF.C Offer Tables, an exclusive feature brought to you by For the entire 2011 OSU prospects list, click here.

MIKE RILEY'S SUCCESS on the field the past four seasons has opened up more doors and living rooms. The Beavs have 36 wins over that span, only USC has more in the Pac-10.

The Beavers have been in the driver's seat for the Rose Bowl the last two seasons all the way to the final regular season game. They fell short each time, but all those weeks in Position A piled up -- and that in turn captured the attention of recruits, their parents and prep coaches in current and future recruiting classes.

And one result is that OSU can now go after more of those higher rated type guys and enjoy some success doing it. More of those types of recruits are not only more aware of Oregon State than ever before, more of them are starting to say they "grew up" having watched the Beavs, and watching them win.

DOES IT MEAN a major shift in Beaver recruiting philosophy? Likely, the answer there is no. Riley will mix those higher-rated guys into his class rather than try and compete across the positional board on 4- and 5-star guys throughout.

The Beavs' bread and butter has always been California and the Northwest, with some key ancillary areas and pipelines based on their assistant coaching staff's connections and presence in certain areas -- Arizona, Oklahoma, Hawaii, Texas, etc.

That will continue to be the case, and the type of guy Riley goes after isn't going to change -- tough, hard nosed football types with character, and ones that national recruiters and West Coast powers like USC tend not to go after (unless they miss on the targets they had rated higher).

BUT OSU IS getting, and should continue to get, better athletes now. And they'll compete a little more than they have with other schools for those better athletes.

Guys like Michael Philipp and Lance Mitchell, for example.

But OSU and Riley are still, at the very heart of it, going to dance with who brung 'em. That means continuing to go get guys like James Rodgers. It means the Stephen Paea's, Keaton Kritisck's, Mike Remmers' and Joe Halahuni's. (The only Pac-10 school to offer the above players was, yep, Oregon State).

ANOTHER FACTOR AT play here --- OSU has been a program on the rise these past four seasons, and they've continued to pile up the wins. And that has confounded the recruiting gurus who rate prospects, from ESPN's to everyone else's.

That also will affect the ratings on some OSU prospects. No one wants to keep explaining -- year after year -- why they had Riley's classes rated so low, and yet the Beavs finished so high in the standings/national polls.

Those highly rated recruits with OSU offers this class? It's certainly noteworthy, at the same time not a philosophical sea change. And it only means that Riley's classes will get better. And so too, one can expect, will be the results on Saturdays.

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