Jenkins earns scholie; Gunderson moves up

GRADUATE ASSISTANTS work a lot of hours and the compensation isn't found in coinage. But what it lacks in monetary rewards is invaluable experience, and those benefits are realized at the next step up the ladder. Oregon State has promoted Ryan Gunderson, who spent the last two years as a GA, to assistant coordinator of football operations.

Gunderson played quarterback for Oregon State from 2003-2007, earning four letters. He earned Pac-10 Conference All-Academic honors twice and graduated with a Bachelor's degree in construction engineering.

"I'm very pleased to welcome Ryan to our staff in a full-time position," Mike Riley said. "He is a tremendous young man who has already contributed in countless ways to the program."

A former Central Catholic High graduate, Gunderson will take over many of the responsibilities of Kelly Harness, who is leaving to go to dental school. Gunderson's duties will include, according to the Corvallis Gazette Times, coordinating official visits for recruits, assisting in directing camps, game-day recruiting activities and assisting with the team's travel arrangements.

Gunderson is not expected to be replaced by a new GA even though teams can have three graduate assistants on scholarship, with Riley instead splitting the scholarship for undergraduate student assistants Jay Harbaugh and Beau Walker.

SOPHOMORE RUNNING BACK Jordan Jenkins, coming off an impressive spring ball session, will be on scholarship in the fall the G-T reported. Out of West Salem High, Jenkins was a walk-on his first two years in Corvallis.

"The best way to put it is -- when a player in our program earns a scholarship, they earned it the hard way," coach Mike Riley said. "Jordan came here, walked on, played a little, got better – he's in a position where he is going to start at least on a couple of the special teams units."

Jenkins, along with Jovan Stevenson and Ryan McCants, are vying for playing time behind starter Jacquizz Rodgers. Jenkins has also been a member of the Beavs' special teams and McCants' role is expected to increase there as well this year.

"He's working very hard to be our number two running back," Riley said. "He's right in that mix. He's gotten bigger, faster and stronger – he earned this scholarship."

Jenkins will take the scholie spot that opened after quarterback Peter Lalich left the program following his boating DUI arrest.

Oregon State opens fall camp on Aug. 9 with the season opener on Sat., Sept. 4 vs. the TCU Horned Frogs at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The game will be nationally televised by ESPN at 4:45 p.m. PDT.


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