BEAVER BYTES: In case you missed it

BEAVER BYTES MAKES ITS jubilant return with the recent notable news and notes regarding Oregon State football and men's basketball. Andy Levitre stock goes down after Senior Bowl practice according to one source; Danny Langsdorf rumors turn out to be false; 2009 recruiting class fluctuates; men's basketball sweeps Bay Area Pac-10 schools for first time in 16 years.

FOOTBALL

  • With signing day just a little over a week away the 2009 recruiting class continued to fluctuate as WR Tramaine Thompson switched to Kansas State while four star OL Michael Philipp and three star WR Markus Wheaton, the cousin of former UO cornerback Kenny Wheaton, said they want to wear the Orange and Black.

  • OL Joshua Andrews is now a "soft verbal" as he decides between OSU and Washington after tripping to Seattle last weekend. (Scout.com classifies a committed recruit who takes an official visit to another school as a soft verbal, until he reaffirms his commitment or makes the verbal commitment to another school.

  • The Tacoma News Tribune released its yearly Northwest Nuggets article that highlights the publication's picks for top recruits in the Northwest. Several recruits, including WR Gino Simone and OT Charles Siddoway, that Oregon State recruited but verbaled elsewhere, made the exclusive six man list. OSU was not shutout though as OL Grant Enger and DB Kyrell Hudson were honorable mention picks. Siddoway (Sheldon), DE Taylor Hart (Tualatin) and RB Malcom Johnson (Gresham) were the only players from Oregon that made the 17 man list.

  • OL Andy Levitre participated in Senior Bowl practices all week long playing left guard along with right and left tackle. He kept a diary (M/Tu | Th | F | Sa) of his experiences. Levitre talked with a number of scouts with New England and the New York Jets showing him the most interest. For the next three weeks Levitre will be training in Denver for the NFL Combine in February.

  • Levitre's agent Leo Goeas had this to say about his performance in the Senior Bowl, "Andy got in late in the first quarter and other than a couple of series played the rest of the game. He played the majority of his reps at left guard, however he did play right tackle as he had been all week. He had a very good performance, looking very strong in his run blocks. He had no sacks or pressures in the passing game.''

  • While Team Levitre felt good about his performance, other observers (NFLDraftScout.com and SI.com) noted that Levitre had trouble keeping the quicker defensive ends in check. He still appears one of the top two offensive guards in the draft, but may need a strong performance at the combine to bump his stock back up, at least in the eyes of those noted above.

  • The Santa Cruz Sentinel had a nice piece on Levitre and his journey from San Lorenzo Valley High star to All-American to a potential first day draft pick. OSU offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh called No. 66 the, "the most complete player I've ever coached" while adding, "He's a smart athlete and tough. He's a finisher. He plays with power and balance. He has all the tools to be a great one."

  • CB Keenan Lewis participated in Senior Bowl practices until Wednesday when he pulled a groin. He snagged a couple of interceptions before his injury, however, and several reports had Lewis' stock has gone up.

  • The Times-Picayune featured an article on Lewis saying that he had 60 friends and family coming to watch him play. Other notables are he was the biggest of the nine cornerbacks (6-1, 198 lbs) at the Senior Bowl and he had the longest reach (32 3/4 inches).

  • Lewis, a New Orleans native, made headlines after he stated he wanted to play for the New Orleans Saints, "I definitely hope that one day I'll be able to come back and play for New Orleans. I hope they bring me home."

  • Two former Oregon State stars and now NFL free agents were in the news this week. The Vikings are reportedly interested in QB Derek Anderson while the Seahawks are looking to ink WR T.J. Houshmanzadeh.

  • And speaking of Houshmanzadeh, The Onion had this satirical piece on President Obama shutting down Gitmo and how that is a relief to Houshmanzadeh who has "suffered through daily questioning sessions at the hands of government interrogators since being detained last December."

  • Rumors were rampant in the newspapers, blogs and on the message boards that Oregon State offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf was a finalist for the vacant Miami Hurricanes offensive coordinator position. The rumors turned out to be false as coach Mike Riley told The Oregonian, "I've been with Danny since Monday, driving around Texas and Oklahoma. Danny doesn't know (UM coach) Randy Shannon, he's never been contacted by anyone from the school."

  • Five former Oregon State players - Brandon Hughes, Keenan Lewis, Victor Butler, Andy Levitre and Sammie Stroughter - will participate in the NFL Combine from Feb. 20-26 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Hughes and Lewis will be working out with the cornerbacks, Stroughter with the receivers while Butler will be with the outside linebackers and Levitre will be with the offensive guards. Those without a social life can catch drill after drill on the NFL Network.

  • For the second straight year the College Football Live blog has named Oregon State as the program with the best family atmosphere stating, "Whether the offense is growing beards as a sign of solidarity or the athletes are raising money and awareness for underprivileged children, head coach Mike Riley is the person setting the foundation. Coaches around the league send transfer players to Riley because of the person he is."

 

MEN'S BASKETBALL

  • It was a a big week for the Oregon State basketball program. First, the inauguration of Barak Obama, Craig Robinson's brother-in-law, brought national media coverage to the Oregon State basketball program. Robinson did his part sporting an orange and black scarf during the ceremony.

    Second, not surprisingly he received a standing ovation from the Berkeley faithful when he stepped on the court for warm ups. Then his team promptly dispatched the Bears 69-65 who were 15-3 and receiving votes for the Top 25 before the loss to the Beavers.

    The team followed up their win in Haas Pavilion by defeating Stanford 77-62 Saturday on the Farm for the their first sweep of the Bay Area schools in 16 years.

    The Beavers never trailed as they jumped out to a 16-2 lead while shooting 68 percent in the second half.

  • ESPN.com named the Oregon State basketball team its Team of the Week saying, "Quite frankly, this has been one phenomenal week for Robinson's family, the Beavers and the ultimate direction of the program."

  • Forward Roeland Schaftenaar was in the "starting rotation" for ESPN.com's Player of the Week honors stating that Schaftenaar is the perfect fit for Robinson's Princeton-style system while adding, "If he can continue this performance, the Beavers might not be out of tournament contention yet."

  • The CBS This Morning show will be in Corvallis Monday to do a feature on Robinson. The Beavers play Cal State Bakersfield at 7 PM that night before squaring off against the Oregon Ducks, who are winless (0-8) in the Pac-10, Saturday.

  • If you haven't seen it already take a look at Oregon State bound Jared Cunningham taking off along the baseline, outside the key, and dunking on an unfortunate individual. Cunningham is a three star recruit by Scout.com. On Thursday he played his first game in front of Robinson scoring 24-points, unfortunately O'Dowd lost.

 

MISCELLANEOUS

  • If you need a quick distraction or a break from work try out the NCAA College Team name quiz. At 7:40 in the morning I got 60 of 73, eh, pretty decent and it shows I am not a complete sports nerd.

  • ESPN's SportsCenter is putting together a "Mt. Rushmore of Sports" for each state and needs your help determining Oregon's. Visit ESPN.com to nominate your favorite(s).

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