To date, the Beavers have lost 19 scholarship players that
transferred, did not qualify, graduated or flunked out of school. Nine
players transferred to other schools, one graduated (senior cornerback Shamon
Jamerson), three returning players did not qualify academically, six recruits
did not qualify academically, and one recruit left the team for personal
players transferred to schools around the nation. Most cited playing time as the main reason they
left the program.
- Freshman quarterback Anton Clarkston transferred to Hofstra
- Sophomore running back Josh Farrell transferred to 2003 Beaver opponent
- Freshman defensive tackle Matthis Gehring transferred to Portland State
- Junior tailback Riley Jenkins transferred to Linfield
- Sophomore cornerback Rodney Landingham transferred to the University of
Nevada where he will play football with his brother.
- Freshman linebacker Tone Taupule transferred to a junior college in
- Junior wide receiver Deondre Alexander transferred to Montana State
- Freshman quarterback Danny Southwick will transfer to a Utah junior
college or the University of Utah
- Sophomore defensive end Nic Sonntag plans on transferring to a Utah junior
The Beavers also lost three players to academics. Senior defensive end Noah
Happe was the first academic casualty. After learning he would not make the
team, Happe quickly declared for the NFL draft. After several tryouts including
one with the New York Jets, Happe was signed by the Cincinnati Bengals only to
be released a few weeks later.
Sophomore wide receiver Jayson Boyd also did not make the grade and will play
junior college ball in California. The Beavers plan on staying with Boyd in
hopes of getting him back in the program.
Freshman Travis Brown also did not the team because of academics. The wide
receiver will most likely play football at a junior college or division II
The 2003 recruiting class also took a hit as six players out of the 23 player
class did not qualify for fall ball. Many of the non-qualifiers were considered
the top recruits of the class.
Offensive lineman Patrick Wu left the team for personal reasons.
In addition to the 2003 class taking a hit, two highly regarded 2002 recruits
failed to qualify this year. As a result, both will be playing junior
college ball in 2003.
|Robert Herbert will be playing at
Chaffey Community College this year.|
Wide receiver James Finely will play at Compton Community College, while
cornerback Robert Herbert will play at Chaffey Community College. The Beavers
will stay with both recruits in hopes of bringing them back to Corvallis,
although Finely has already made it known that he plans to test the re-recruiting
There are several lesser known players that decided the orange and black was not for
them. Players that left the program, but participated in spring drills
- Freshman kicker Erik Lovro
- Junior linebacker Ryan Kanekeberg left to focus on baseball.
- Freshman tailback Andrew Taylor
- Freshman quarterback Brandon Jones
Assessing the Damage
The obvious effect of a high number of players leaving is depth. Depth helps
during games, practices, and gives the team a personnel safety cushion against
injuries over the long season. It gives coaches more options and helps players
stay at the top of their games as they compete for playing time against groups
of talented peers.
The Beavers lost three potential starters in Happe, Boyd and Jamerson. While
other players have stepped up nicely to fill in the voids, the knowledge and
experience that each brought to the game will be sorely missed.
Perhaps the hardest hit group was the wide receivers corps that lost Boyd,
Brown, and Alexander. Each would have had the opportunity to contribute in
Many well-known athletes are leaving and it is easy to overlook the absence
of Jenkins, Farrell, Taupule and other lesser known players, but the mass exodus
by the lower classman will have an effect on special teams.
Special teams often
serve as a catalyst for more playing time. For example, remember Darnell
Robinson on special teams in 1998? He was seemingly everywhere on the field
during kickoff and punt coverage. His hard work eventually paid off with a
starting position and an integral part in the rise of the Beaver football
Underclassman leaving before the season starts do not give themselves a
chance to prove their on the field worth to their coaches. There is sure to be
some loss to future Beaver squads with these players exiting.
Each year there are a number of players that will leave a college football
team between the months of April and August. Last year the Beavers lost six
players due to grades and injures. There will always be players that realize
that they will not get significant playing time at the PAC-10 level of college
football and choose to move on. However, as even the most casual fan has
noticed, this year the numbers of players leaving is large.
There are a couple of reasons for the unusually high number of players
leaving. First, Mike Riley brings a different system and coaching style to
Corvallis and players have had to acclimate to the changes. Some chose to leave
rather than acclimate. Second, the NCAA changed a rule that requires higher academic standards for
The loss in personnel has been large, but Beaver faithful should not be
alarmed. There are more scholarships available for new players. Mike Riley and
his staff are great recruiters and will bring in kids that perform well on the
field and in the classroom. The staff already has five verbal commitments
including four from the state of Oregon.