24.Jun.2011 For years I’ve been told “it is difficult to recruit to Corvallis.”

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Well, in 2011 it sure seems easy.

My overall argument has always been that the recruiters themselves are the limiting factor in success, not the weather, town, etc that apologists love to offer up as excuses for incompetence. Well, now that we've had early success with recruiting, let's revisit those old discussions.

1. My argument: Pat Casey consistently recruits top 25 classes to Corvallis.

Dissenter's counter-argument: Casey only had nationally ranked classes after winning big in 2005.

Conclusion: So is the town of Corvallis or "winning big" the limiting factor? The argument changed right off the bat. Make up your mind, apologists.

2. My argument: Craig Robinson has had top-ranked classes. Craig Robinson never "won big"…his success in recruiting appears related to his personality, charisma, and approach more than location or playing time.

Dissenter's counter-argument: "You can't compare football to basketball. 5 scholarships versus 20." or "Craig Robinson had playing time to offer."

Conclusion: Um, why can't you compare basketball to football? The 5 to 20 thing is a ratio and therefore ignorable. If my initial premise is that it's not difficult to recruit to Corvallis, both the football and basketball teams are located in Corvallis. Clearly I believe it's easy to recruit any athlete to Corvallis, not just football players. With regard to playing time…outside maybe five positions, Mike Riley has playing time to offer, too. Keep this in mind: Jay John wasn't bringing in national talent.

3. My argument: There are plenty of small college towns (Auburn, Stillwater, Clemson, Blacksburg, Fayetteville, etc) with "nothing to do" and less than ideal weather who recruit top 30 classes.

Dissenter's counter-argument: Corvallis is smaller, wetter, and lamer than all those locations. Some argued those towns all have bigger towns within driving distance.

Conclusion: The dissenter's are really grasping at straws on this one. Corvallis lamer than Clemson? Portland and Eugene are bigger cities and only a short drive away. My ultimate conclusion here is that people on the internet really hate to admit they're wrong or another guy is right. They'll say anything before doing that.

4. My argument: The football team has had bad recruiters and an antiquated coaching staff that hasn't embraced technology/kept up with the times.

Dissenter's counter-argument: The coaching staff has made improvements every year. You can't expect success overnight. We're slowly improving, etc.

Conclusion: First off, the staff didn't make improvements every year. The 2006 class was much better than the 2007 class (one of the worst in recent history). Since '07 there was a gradual improvement until the 2010 class, which was a significant improvement. That class, however, was still not Rose Bowl caliber. The apologist's have a slight case here. With the exception of 2007, recruiting has improved (at a snail's pace) each year. However, their argument that you can't change recruiting overnight has been proven flawed. This year, Riley fired Newhouse and hired Brennan. He not only hired a great recruiter, but sent a strong message to the rest of the staff. The result? One 4-star and four 3-stars, none rated below 5.6.

It seemed obvious to me all along that Oregon State's poor recruiting resulted from these factors:

  • Coaches who either didn't like recruiting or weren't very good at it.
  • Having a staff of technological Luddites.
  • Poor leadership at the top. Riley didn't make recruiting a clear priority.
  • The unspoken belief that OSU could compensate for poor recruiting with great coaching. I think last year's offensive line showed Riley, definitively, that this was not the case.
  • Riley's ego (via the media's praise and exaggeration of his ability for turning over rocks and finding football players instead of salamanders).
  • Slow to look at film, slow to get offers out, constantly playing catch up.

There are other reasons. I'm sure they'll come up in the comment section if the apologists start making up excuses again.

The bottom line is that Riley sent a clear message by firing Newhouse, hiring young, talented recruiters, and changing the energy within the program. After that happened, we saw positive results.

All along I've felt this could be done overnight. It's very frustrating to be able to see the path to success, yet have people who supposedly want the same thing as you dissenting and making excuses that hold the program back. Hopefully the dissenters read this and realize they were clearly wrong, and if their ego won't allow them to admit it to me, at least admit it to themselves.

Recruiting to Corvallis is only as difficult as each respective staff makes it.

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  • brownale9000 says:
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    * Coaches who either didn’t like recruiting or weren’t very good at it.
    * Having a staff of technological Luddites.
    * Poor leadership at the top. Riley didn’t set recruiting as a clear priority.
    * The unspoken belief that OSU could make up for poor recruiting with great coaching.
    * Riley’s ego (via the media’s praise and exaggeration of his ability for turning over rocks and finding football players instead of salamanders).
    * Slow to look at film, slow to get offers out, constantly playing catch up.

    While I don’t disagree with much of your bullet point argument, and those are (should be) relative quick fixes…there are other factors.

    * Lack of tradition.
    * Lack of great facilities.
    * Lack of desire to pay Willie Lyles for recruits.

    Tradition: Face it, some kids go to Texas because their dad grew up watching Texas and they always knew they’d go to Texas and blah, blah, blah. We don’t have that luxury of knowing that a couple big time players will commit just because we ask them.

    Facilities: We don’t have the facilities ‘wow factor’ that some kids look for. It’s improving, but we don’t have the athletic department budget to just do whatever we want damn-the-costs. That can’t be fixed overnight.

    Cheating: We seemingly refuse to cheat. And unless we hire Gary Campbell as our next RB coach, it looks like it won’t happen anytime soon.

    I hear your counter-argument already. “What about Boise State? They don’t have elite facilities or a great tradition.”

    Fair enough. But…

    A) I think they’re slightly overrated. Sure, they can beat some teams, including OS, but they’re not an elite recruiting team.

    B) I think they coach their players up better than we do.

    C) I think they cheat.

    I think the BEST thing to happen to OS recruiting has been Oregon’s rise to the national stage. it’s forced Mike Riley and co out of their comfort zones. Hopefully once Oregon receives their two year bowl ban, we’ll continue this upward recruiting trend.

    • angry angry says:
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      No, my counter-argument would be much more simple: explain the 2011 class.

      Same tradition (if not worse) than last year, same facilities, and still not paying Willie Lyles…

      Yet, these first 5 guys are the best first 5 we’ve ever signed. Seems clear this is due to actually trying to recruit + hiring guys who get it done. If the rest of the class is filled up with salamanders (i.e. recruits hidden under rocks) then I’ll have to eat crow.

      I don’t think that’s going to happen, though. Riley seems to be trying to recruit rather than pick the low hanging fruit.

  • helmsley says:
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    Back to Beavers without Borders in Macedonia. You can comment on the website link below- The video of one of the football players (Dominic Glover, I think) in the ancient amphitheatre portraying a gladiator is priceless. I think it should be used for recruiting!

    http://travsosufootballblog.blogspot.com/2011/06/sacrifice-for-greater-good-beavers.html#comment-form

  • mckalk mckalk says:
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    Primarily recruiting is selling, lots of people aren’t very good at selling. If you are good at selling, you can sell OSU in this day and age.

  • beavers4life beavers4life says:
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    I’ve been gone awhile. I just read this on the OSU official website…not sure about this idea as a current season ticket holder. I like to have the printed ticket stubs…I think that’s still an option though, but it will just have a bar code on it.

    http://www.osubeavers.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/062411aaa.html

    • Will Overhead says:
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      I like it. The plan meets OSU’s sustainability goals of consuming less paper on campus.

      Of course, more paper will be consumed by Beaver Nation by printing at home, as I don’t recall my last tickets to an event taking up a full sheet of paper (as recommended) per ticket. Plus, they get to charge the same (perhaps more, with fees?) without the cost in printers, ink, and, of course, paper, so by printing your own you help the school save money while you spend more of your own to achieve the same level of service.

      Next year they’ll enter into a marketing deal with Apple so that you need an iPhone to display a QR code for the scanners at the gates.

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        I would like that. I’ve used coupons on my iPhone at Starbucks and elsewhere. It’s incredibly convenient. Obviously you don’t want it to be the only option.

  • Mud&Sticks says:
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    Could it be that recruiting has improved because Riley isn’t putting so much emphasis on Hawaii? I hope so because imo OSU is not getting enough quality players to justify all the time and money spent in recruiting the islands.

    Might be a nice vacation spot for the coaches but tough. I’d much rather see them banging on doors in the South.

  • Beavocalypse says:
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    Why even argue with the apologists? They have their heads so far up BDC and Riley’s ass that they’ll never see reason. The fact most fans will argue with people that want progress is indicative of a loser mentality that up until this season has effected our recruiting.

    I’m happy with this class so far, but the question for Riley and staff to answer this year is if they can bring mostly 3 *’s in to positions that are NEEDED. So far our top guy joins the LEGIONS of wr’s we already have in place. If the coaching staff can’t pick up OL/DL and CB’s this class will be useless like the others.

    Of course I’m willing to eat a metric ton of crow if we get to a BCS game in 3-4 years but so far I’m not impressed with Riley and co’s abilities.

    • angry angry says:
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      Why even argue with the apologists?

      No good reason.
      I’m just tired of hearing how our poor recruiting has been due to weather, small town, etc rather than people. I’m sure weather and small town were a factor in a few cases, but not overall.

      OSU is at a disadvantage to say USC, but OSU made that gap larger than it needs to be.

    • JackBeav says:
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      Nope… Andrews is our top recruit thus far. And if Stanton had size, I would have the rest tied for second at “awesome” (as opposed to Andrews’ rating of FRIGGIN OUTSTANDING).

      • Beavocalypse says:
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        I have to agree with you on Andrews, Jack. Stanton is a helluva pick up too. Just saying we need to keep the 3+ star guys going in the OL/DL/CB position otherwise we’re neglecting positions that we’ve needed guys in for years.

  • Beaverbill Beaverbill says:
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    I think the coaching changes are going to bring up our recruiting.
    And to keep it going in the right direction we must, must have more w’s then l’s this year.
    Let just hope Riley let’s the best man play this year!

  • FatDog says:
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    I like the recruiting improvements. I do not ever want to sound like a duck or trojan defending beavs for unethical crap. I remember ranting at the breakfast newspaper for days while players were arrested for fighting soon to be Irag War heroes and pot to cab drivers while Riley said “Gosh, um, boys will be boys even if these are Erickson’s boys.” There is a sweet spot to seek.
    What I am saying is integrity counts.

  • ean says:
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    Well you make some solid points but you miss the point in comparing basketball and football. You are correct that it is all about the ratios. In basketball some teams sign 2 guys and some sign 5. That would be like comparing a football team that signed 10 guys verse one that signed 25. 1 top 25 recruiting class doesn’t guarantee even top 50 status.

  • ObjCritic says:
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    “think the BEST thing to happen to OS recruiting has been Oregon’s rise to the national stage. it’s forced Mike Riley and co out of their comfort zones. Hopefully once Oregon receives their two year bowl ban, we’ll continue this upward recruiting trend.”

    I tend to agree with that. I think that’s the kind of thinking that prompted Belloti to go in a different direction. The CW had been a rubber match for 10 years, they were developing a pattern of mid-season lapses (instead of OSU’s slow starts). In other words, they had plateaued, were underperforming, so Belloti made a change and hired Kelly. I didn’t like Belloti and his excuses, we can all see the ethical problems associated with Kelly, but Belloti made a change because it was needed.

    Finally, we have seen Riley do the same, and its already paying off in recruiting. I suspect we’ll see it pay off in WR play in the very near term – not just because of all the great WR recruits OSU is stockpiling, but the new coaching methods and energy.

  • Beavocalypse says:
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    Another note:

    I think the coaching has helped recruiting from an offensive standpoint (Stanton, Andrews, Gilmore) but I think the guy that holds us back right now is Banker. Langsdorf, at least, contributed to recruiting in the past, but Banker fails to impress me as a coordinator and recruiter.

  • mckalk mckalk says:
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    It’s weird to think that Banker was a hot commodity at one point, I would hope that this season will be “improve or move on” for him. I think that is where Riley will go next if the defense cannot get a 3rd down stop again. Let’s hope things get better.

    • Beavocalypse says:
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      He was a hot commodity back in 2006- you know, the last year we had a tough defense. Been nonstop pathetic play since.

      • osbeavs says:
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        Naa, 2007 and 2008 were pretty decent. 2007 bailed out cantfield quite a bit, if not for our linebackers we would have been 4-8. 2008, the D and Quizz carried the team. I am not a Banker apologist (I would love to see him go) but I do think that we had a couple of other decent years. Overall, his scheme doesn’t make sense, lets cancel inside gaps and force them to run deep and to the outside. Sound logic when you have speed at the LB position but it doens’t work when you put slow guys like Pankey out there. We end up just getting beat on the outside. Also, why does the MLB have contain on a number of plays? A gold star to anyone who can explain that logic. It would be okay if you had a stud MLB but come on, when was the last time that happened?

        • Beavocalypse says:
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          I’ll maybe give you 2007, but 2008…I’ll never forgive Banker for the way we got trounced in that Civil War. Or the annual beat down we have had in ESPN games.

          Banker is the guy who NEEDS to go next. Then Langsdorf (and that only assumes Langsdorf gets his playcalling taken away from him)

  • angry angry says:
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    Banker is average…not terrible, not as great as some make him out to be.

    His biggest problems are obvious:

    1. Has made no progress versus spread offenses/defending mobile QBs.
    2. CB technique he teaches is horrible

    Does KH get to teach the CBs new technique this year? I wonder how that chain of command works.

    • ObjCritic says:
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      Interesting in the “coaching” vids that made the rounds in spring ball, he said problem was not scheme,but LB technique. While that may be self-serving, it will be interesrting to see if his LB coaching improves performance. If not, he’s out of excuses.

      Also, can the new staff contribute to early season wins and competitive big games (i.e. Wisconsin)?

  • brownale9000 says:
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    I love this quote from Isaac:

    “I definitely want to play with the best guys that I can, who want to play at Oregon State,” he said. “There are already so many great players on the team, but I want to help bring more guys and I’ve met a lot of them at camps.”

    “I always thought ‘hey, I’d like to play with this guy or that guy,’ but I never really thought that I’d be ‘that guy’ who people want to play with,” he continued. “I want to do whatever I can do to make my team at OSU better.”

    Having kids like this in so early can do nothing but help.

  • OS_Beaver says:
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    Hey Everyone. I have a new Beaver blog site that is brand new as of this afternoon. I hope to to see many of Angry’s great followers check it out and be regular commentors, etc. I plan on having quite a few polls and keeping up the creative and edgy spirit Angry is so well known for. Go Beavs!!

    http://beaverbyte.com

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