FOLLOWING RECRUITING IS often about, ‘OK, but what have you done for me lately?’ And while the Beavs had a torrid stretch earlier, landing a new commit seemingly every other day, it cannot be said OSU is closing strong -- not given the recent spate of targets pledging elsewhere. But that doesn’t mean, Beaver fans, things aren’t looking up. Heck, even the recruiting rankings agree on that score.
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Scout.com as of this afternoon pegs the Oregon State haul the No. 45 ranked class in the nation, and sixth in the Pac-12. If things stay the way they are, (or dare we say, even improve), the Beavs will finish their highest rated class nationally in four years.
The 2010 OSU class was ranked No. 67 nationally. In 2009, OSU came in at No. 48. In 2008, Oregon State's class was ranked No. 61.
BUT THE LAST few weeks, certainly, have been a snoozer for Oregon State fans hungry for new verbal commitments. DB Byron Moore eliminated the Beavs from consideration. CB Stefan McClure chose Cal over Oregon State. OG Vi Teofilo pledged ASU (though Scout.com says OSU might not yet be out of it). CB Marcus Peters went UW, as did Marvin Hall. DE Lamar Derego decommited from the Beavs to become a Sun Devil.
And the last two official visit weekends, the largest of the year, have yet to yield a new, known verbal commitment. That's not exactly the January splash that Beaver Nation envisioned.
But even with those recent misses, there remain some potentially big prizes out there, including Akeem Gonzales, Todd Peat, Darryl Paulo, Juda Parker, Rahmel Dockery, Torian White, and more. Of that group, Gonzales might be the odds-on favorite for the next OSU verbal, saying post-visit that Oregon State was his new No. 1.
And if Oregon State lands Gonzales and/or others between now and Signing Day, the No. 45 ranking could go up.
BUT FORGET the rankings and all that for a moment.
As the focus has turned to how Oregon State has closed over the last month, there are a number of pledges on the OSU commit list that are perhaps being overlooked in some corners, and they shouldn't be.
DE Dylan Wynn has star potential written over him. But because he verballed back in August, he's been out of sight and out of mind for most fans. LB Lavonte Barnett chose the Beavs over double digit offers. QB Peter Ashton put up video-game like numbers this past season -- on the ground. And that trio is just a sampling.
Plus, also on that commit list, players who received far less press and hype than their high school contemporaries, but who are going to develop into studs in college. If the recruiting stories and subsequent college careers of James Rodgers, Stephen Paea, Joe Halahuni, Alex Linnenkohl and several other Beavs have taught us nothing else, they've taught us that.