31.Jan.2010 National Signing Day

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This is where the Beavers need to start winning their battles. How high you’re able to perform on the field has a lot to do with who you sign on February 3rd. The Beavers consistently find themselves in the Sun Bowl and lower because their recruiting classes are consistently middle of the road.

This class has a chance to be special. Many pundits are already calling it the best class in school history, and this is without known verbals from Akuna or Owa. On the surface that sentiment appears valid, but circumstance will shave two 4-stars (i.e. Iona and Molesi) off the commit list and one high 3-star (i.e. Welch). Chances of seeing all three in Orange and Black are zero. If even one makes it onto the field be happy.

As far as the rest of the class, there are some nice players, but they are the same caliber that we’ve had until this point. There’s nothing about Fred Thompson that is better than say…Stephen Paea. Is Bibbee better than Roberson? Is Murphy better than Mitchell? You can see where I’m going with this. There’s no reason to believe any player in this class is more talented than the status quo. So while I like the class, unless it’s topped off with some elite talent (e.g. Akuna, Owa) I believe we’re looking at more Sun Bowls and below. I challenge you with these questions: where in this class is the player who stops Masoli on 4th down, and where is the player who covers a RB in the flat vs USC, or holds on to the ball vs Stanford? These eyes do not see him.

Here’s to hoping we can close on Owa and Akuna, because both (and more) are required to take the next step. As with any profession or talent (and much to the chagrin of Beaver fans everywhere), the greatest difference between being elite and middle-of-the-road lies in the measurables. Now let’s get out there and win the biggest game of the year, national signing day.

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  • CChrisW12 says:
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    be good to see thomas as well

  • angrybeaver says:
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    And the “surprise” recruit we’ve all been hearing about is another no-name guy who’s been hiding under a rock. Yes, I know Paea panned out well…but you can’t help but be disappointed. It’s like hoping for a motorbike for Christmas and getting a hotwheels.

    • JackBeav says:
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      Have we heard about a “surprise” recruit?

      I guess I have now eh?

      There’s the Ruhl kid, but he’s getting a look because of his grandfather… well… that and he can play some football. OSU could develop him into a two-deep player somewhere as a fifth-year senior at the very least. If recruiting finishes strong this year (Akuna/Owa) and starts strong next year (Scarlett) then guys like this end up being special teams captains who earned their position. I can live with an OSU football program that does this.

    • JackBeav says:
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      I meant to say that being a special teams captain would be an honor reserved for this type of player. They can’t make the two deeps, but they can launch themselves at the wedge, practice hard and get better every year at ‘having the knack’ for taking the right angles.

      The special teams captain is something like a Crash Davis.

    • JackBeav says:
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      But Ruhl would just be a walk-on. Hell… if he needed a scholarship his family could endow one for him.

      So I get interested and start scanning the back end of ‘prospect’ lists. And there on the back end of Scout’s DT list for OSU is Aiulua Fanene listed as Class of 2010. What the hell? I thought he was 2011. He was also selected and played for the IFAF World team.
      http://www.usavworld.com/2010/world-team/aiulua-fanene/

      I really hope Seumalo went home for the holidays.

  • FreddyBeav says:
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    Welch should make into OSU for next year and Molesi is coming and play for 1 year, but going on a 2 year LDS mission after 2010. It sounds like DT Iona will be the only one who won’t academically qualify, which is too bad since DT will be kind of thin after 2010. Maybe he can greyshirt?

    Also if you want to take in recruiting site rankings into account in previous year a lot of recruits would ranked 2 stars, while this year a lot are 3 stars. So at the very least their should be more depth. These commits may not look better than current players right now, but they’re still in high school so it’s really not that bad. A lot of these guys are probably going to need a year or two of development to really judge how good they can be, which is just fine since a lot of the players will be back for the 2010 season.

    • angrybeaver says:
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      “a lot of these guys are probably going to need a year or two of development to really judge how good they can be.”

      Agreed, but I’m just talking the caliber of athlete. We landed Phillips last year and we were all ecstatic because he was so clearly on another level. We need more of those guys to get where we want to go.

    • angrybeaver says:
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      Oh and as far as qualifiers. I heard Happy is out. Welch and Molesi…well, Welch would have been a 4-star and highly recruited. Was looked at by 20 schools and received 0 offers. That means he will not qualify. As far as Molesi, he has the greatest chance of seeing the field, but you never know with missions. It’s why I said if we see 1 guy we should be glad, and that guy with the highest probability would be Molesi.

      Iona’s film didn’t blow me away, so I don’t care much about that one.

      • FreddyBeav says:
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        The Portland Tribune gave an update about recruiting and the only name mentioned when they talked about non-qualifyers was Iona. So Welch does actually sounds like he will qualify at least for right now.

        Iona’s film might not blow you away, but DT sill could be thin after 2010 and he could be very helpful in terms of depth.

  • ObjCritic says:
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    Overall, I agree with your points, though I think Thompson, to read about him, might play at that difference-making level. The fact that 2-3 are unlikely to make it to OSU make the class seem kind of empty – getting commits from people who can’t qualify really isn’t getting commits at all, its just the appearance of it.

    When I think about the Beavers Pa-10 losses this year, 5 to Az, 6(?) or 7 to USC, and 4 to UO, I have to think that overall, the coaching was pretty good. 2 more difference-making, elite-type athletes on defense, and OSU probably wins those games. Look at the difference the Rodgers brothers have made – I don’t think its a coincidence that the Beavs were one game from the Rose Bowl while both players were here. Imagine at least that many impact additions on the D side of the ball.

    The mediocre bowl games are starting to get less satisfying because really, there’s just too damn many bowls. Its all great to say Riley turns over rocks and coaches lesser talent to exceed expectations, but it IS time to start getting the talent, combine it with the coaching, and see if OSU can win a Holiday bowl or better.

    • angrybeaver says:
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      Well, Alamo Bowl next year, right? I think the Holiday replaces the Sun.

      “2 more difference-making, elite-type athletes on defense, and OSU probably wins those games”

      Exactly. You don’t need a team of these guys, but a few at key positions (i.e. DT, CB, DE) make all the difference. Think of Canfield’s missed throw to James Rodgers…wasn’t it Rowe getting the pressure, and wasn’t he an elite talent out of HS? Nobody thinks of that play, but Canfield’s throw missed by inches because of the pressure.

      I also agree Thompson can be great. When I said he’s at best equal to Paea (but not better) that isn’t an insult.

      • FreddyBeav says:
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        Pac-10 bowls go.
        1. Rose
        2. Alamo
        3. Holiday
        4. Sun
        5. Vegas
        6. Emerald
        Vegas and Emerald might be switched, but I’m not coplmtely sure.

  • angrybeaver says:
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    The Husker’s site just published Owa made a decision, then removed the link. Sounds like disappointing news, guys.

    • rodgersbrosftw says:
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      Hmm, I was kind of expecting him to go to UCLA or Nebraska so it’s not a shock but it is definitely disappointing.

      • FreddyBeav says:
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        Same I thought he’d go to Nebraska so I wouldn’t be suprised.

    • JackBeav says:
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      I think we’ll be fine without Owa, but I wouldn’t put much stock in what you see for blog posts in the next couple days. Since it’s the quiet period a lot of message boards are inundated with prank posts breaking the ‘insider’ news that highly touted recruits are ‘silent’ or whatever. They’re just trying to work the boards into a lather.

      I’ve been following one NU board, and they’ve closed the Owa thread to all but previously Mod approved posters for just this reason. They may have to do it for a QB recruit (Carnes) also. Apparently one of these blog posts went viral, and the kid was suddenly committed to WKU. Then a paper talked to the kid, and he said it was all a lie.

  • anti-rip van winkle says:
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    Anti Rip reads angrybeavers at 2:42 am

    • JackBeav says:
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      That’s just pathetic. There’s not much worse than that. πŸ˜‰

  • JackBeav says:
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    I don’t know if more than Owa and Akuna are required for elite success. I firmly believe that the talent we currently have and continue to get would be greatly enhanced by one to two elites.

    I would really dislike being the QB looking to the weak side only to see Akuna showing blitz… outside Owa… on top of all the guys we already have.

    That said, I think we only get Akuna. It is what it is, and I think Akuna was vastly underrated… which turned out to be good for us.

    I still haven’t seen any tape on Thompson, Murphy or Crichton. I’m pretty sure Thompson was one of Riley’s A list guys. And whenever someone gets an ‘on the spot’ offer from the head coach, I tend to think that he might be pretty good. Maybe it’s more the stuff of legend, but OSU lucked into it with the Rodgers Brothers. I wouldn’t put it past Riley to luck into such a find with Murphy.

    • JackBeav says:
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      I probably should have said that we still need one to two elites per year for continued success.

      This argument is like trying to choose between the ’85 Bears and the ’76 Steelers. Chicago had a couple guys who would have made it in their own right (Marshall, Rivera, Hampton, McMichael), but none would have been what they were without Singletary or Dent. Anyone here can probably list of the full front seven of the ’76 Steelers’ team.

      The difference would be that one team enjoyed a whole decade of success, and the other had one year. So the argument for better talent across the board is always valid with good coaching. But the argument for one or two years of success with limited elite talent is also valid. And the latter can lead the former.

      • JackBeav says:
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        And before anyone points to Hampton being a HOFer and not Dent… that’s just wrong. Hampton gets in because he was great, but Dent gave him that opportunity.

        For this argument, it would be like watching Paea and Owa play together. Paea worked hard to get to the level he is now, and he deserves all the accolades, but he could be a monster with the focus on another elite prodigy.

        I think Dent gets shunned because he was the NFL equivalent of a walk-on… an 8th round pick out of nowhere.

  • ean says:
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    I agree that the Beav’s aren’t going to own the Pac-10 like USC did without elite talent but I think the Pac-10 title is within grasps with the talent we have and such a large part of the game is luck anyway. I mean look at the Rose Bowl team the Ducks had in the mid-90’s… way less talent than we have now.

  • FreddyBeav says:
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    Vainuku is going to delay signing an LOI to visit OSU this weekend. Kind of a long shot though since he’s indicated that his dream school is USC and they’ve offer him a scholarship. Also it sounds like Iona won’t even sign an LOI since he won’t be eligible.

    http://www.portlandtribune.com/sports/story.php?story_id=126505279416107400

    • ean says:
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      I really hope Riley is recruiting Soma as a FB. It would be sweet to have a bruiser of a blocker and a guy that can handle the ball in short yardage situations and also to keep the defense from waiting for Quizz. I heard USC is recruiting him as a linebacker so that might give us a leg up. Although I haven’t heard how Riley is recruiting him.

      • FreddyBeav says:
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        I think USC is actually the only school recruiting him as a FB, but that was when Caroll was the coach. OSU is recruiting him at LB. OSU doesn’t really use the FB position that much and Darkins was adjusting to the position last year.

      • angrybeaver says:
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        They might use the FB more if they had a valid one on the roster, though.

        • ean says:
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          Not only that but a fullback that can run. I mean they way most teams stop Quizz is to wait for the play to develop and being disciplined in the switchback lanes. With a solid FB that can also carry the ball that is some easy yards.

  • ObjCritic says:
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    I have to admit, while hoping OSU finally closes on some top quality, academically eligible recruits, it pretty impressive to see who OSU is competing with at the wire here:

    http://www.portlandtribune.com/sports/story.php?story_id=126505279416107400

    Florida State, Miami, USC, Nebraska. Hope Riley can close ’em.

  • JackBeav says:
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    I hadn’t heard about Vainuku, but it makes sense given his grades.

    Apparently he will not be eligible to sign a LOI until a couple weeks from now. I scanned a bunch of SCum blogs–man those guys are raunchy… and the Tennessee trolls don’t help–and what I came away with was that Vainuku wanted to commit. But since he’s not able to sign on Wednesday, the Fink would not offer. And the Fink loves his publicity. So if Vainuku is left behind by his dream school just because the Fink wants to close recruiting ASAP, where does that leave him?

    I think the smart school leaves a position open for his eventual qualification. The reports are that his grades are night and day since he started applying himself. But the added problem with SC and Vainuku’s recruiting are two-fold. On the one hand, Rocky Seto was his contact and really wanted him. Nobody left on SC’s staff gives the same indication. On the other hand, the Fink is raiding Tennessee for LB commits, and there’s an idea that he’s also chasing Victor Burnett from UW’s commit list.

  • JackBeav says:
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    Hey angry,

    Would you feel the recruiting season was lost if we only land Akuna from here on out?

    And what do you expect from Aiulua Fanene? CBS News said he was offered, and I have some respect for their journalistic capabilities.

    I’d be happy closing out with just those two and maybe a grey shirt signing by Ward.

    Vainuku and Thompson would be icing on the cake.

    Owa would just be another layer to the cake… icing and all.

    • JackBeav says:
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      Not Thompson… Thomas… sorry.

    • FreddyBeav says:
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      Thompson? do you mean Thomas?

    • angrybeaver says:
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      No, I wouldn’t be happy with just Akuna. We lost Iona–that has to be replaced. Plus I heard Akuna was a Beavers for months now, so the euphoria has worn off–what would be a disaster if he had a last minute change of heart and stayed home. I think we need at least 1 more of the big guys remaining (besides Akuna).

      I don’t know anything about Aiulua Fanene. Never heard the name. Just googled him and he’s not on scout or rivals…

      I think Wednesday is going to be disappointing, and I’m going to wind up blowing a fuse and going off on a diatribe. What is a little different this year is that you have a handful of elite talent within grasp…you can really feel there’s a legit shot with these guys. That’s a little bit outside the norm, but I can’t help but feel it’s just setting me up for a harder fall.

  • angrybeaver says:
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    As far as Owa, I’m 99% convinced he’s going to Nebraska.

    My personal feeling is that he’s keeping OSU in his top 3 because he respects Riley a ton and wants to give the school as much pub as possible before heading to Nebraska. Really think that’s what is going on here.

    • OSBeavs says:
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      I agree about Owa, I kind of thought he was going to Nebraska after he spoke to Suh. The black shirt tradition being revived there is probably a huge motivating factor. Now is the time to go to Nebraska, be part of the rebuild.

      As far as this class, I actually thought it would be one of the most disappointing classes of recent years during the early fall. I thought that Riley would just try to lock up approximately ten recruits early and then call it a year. I am motivated by the fact that he stayed in it and competed to the end for the upper echelon. That said, I am not one to settle. I want the best recruits also, I am just not going to be disappointed this year. I expect us to land at least two elite recruits next year (now that I have seen that we can compete), one better be a RB or we will be in big trouble after Quizz leaves.

  • angrybeaver says:
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    Angry is…FURIOUS.

    furious beaver.

  • ObjCritic says:
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    Castor furious…Rageor canadensis….Castor lividus…

    Good thing opposing DB’s lined up 10 yards off the ball to respect his speed…”He’s 6’7″ and has some really soft hands so that’s a neat deal.”

  • OS_Beaver says:
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    Here’s to hoping Owa teams up with Quizz and leads Beaver Nation to the Rose Bowl. It would be so great to cheer for one of our own and I know we will be at the very top of the Pac-10 and make a BCS Bowl if he joins the family.

  • Beavers26 says:
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    Step off the ledge angrybeav. You are by far the biggest joke I have ever heard talk beaver football. I cant beleive people read this garbage. Once again your calling out the staff who evaluates talent better then anyone in the country. You have proven that you dont have any sources other than reading beaverblitz articles then posting them here like you have an ‘inside source’.

    How about when you claimed David Ross would start as a freshman? because of our wac corners. Both of them (Hughes and Lewis) were drafted into the NFL, and oh by the way, Ross is going to PSU.

    Stop bashing our players and trust our staff, because one thing for sure is that Riley is a hell of a lot smarter then you.

    • angrybeaver says:
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      Let me guess, your opinion is that Hamlett is going to the NFL and Riley never f*cks up. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

    • angrybeaver says:
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      ps. You used to say nobody reads this “garbage” and that these were just my many personalities; now you’re saying people read the blog. Make up your mind, fruitcake, because it’s early morning and I’m hungry.

    • angrybeaver says:
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      “Beavers26 says: I cant beleive people read this garbage.”

      YOU read the site.

      Stop diminishing my alumni’s academic reputation.

    • beavthroat says:
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      This is beavthroat, angry’s source on campus. Follow the money angry.

    • anti-rip says:
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      What I don’t get is…this guy keeps saying the same things over and over about how much he hates you, yet he keeps reading. He’s like one of those craps you take where the toilet paper never comes back white.

      • angrybeaver says:
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        Not sure I understand the crap analogy, but this guy is definitely crappy.

  • JackBeav says:
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    So Hamlett surely means no Thomas for OSU. Oh well. Hamlett isn’t devoid of talent. He blocks well, and he has good hands. Of course, the two aren’t mutually exclusive.

    I can see where he lines up when he gets here.

    I wonder how the coaches are going to convince him that 64 is really a TE’s number.

    • FreddyBeav says:
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      He seems like any okay greyshirt canidate. Wouldn’t be suprised if the coaches wanted to use him mainly for redzone situations. Him and Perry at 6ft 5/ 6ft 6 and a 6ft 6 Gwachum would make those situations could make it easier to get TDs rather than Fgs.

    • JackBeav says:
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      I’m still convinced Gwacham is a DE project that turns out well for us.

      There’s a higher percentage chance that I’m wrong on this, but I’ll take my lumps if I am.

      Hamlett does have value as a blocker. That is one of the more difficult things to teach a TE, and he has good leverage and hands for being a blocker. I think he’s too slow to be a receiver of any kind, but you never know. I think he would be an outstanding OG with speed to spare when pulling and trapping. His blocking is good enough that he only really needs to put on maybe 40# to be viable at the D-I level. He has the frame for it, and he’s going to need to put on another 30 just to be a TE anyway.

  • cactusjack says:
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    dude – more than half of the “personalities” on this page are you. that’s 80% of the conversation… lame.

  • JackBeav says:
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    Still waiting on tomorrow…

    I know cactus thinks this video is fake because I didn’t pay for it. None of you have any eyes, and if you did then you would see an extremely strong person throwing 2-300 pound people around like they were rag dolls.

    But you must disregard this video and anything you might think of it unless you paid to see it. It doesn’t count otherwise. In fact, nobody is qualified to grade this kid’s abilities because nobody knows anything about anything.

  • JackBeav says:
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    And just for fun let’s look at next year’s best NCAA interior lineman…

    I know it’s a little choppy, but it’s still fun.

  • JackBeav says:
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    And I always love the Haka…

  • Steven Caskey says:
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    I have a teacher friend who teaches in the Bethel School District. He checked out Happy Iona for me. According to teachers and coaches he is always injured because he does not like to practice! Has a pretty bad attitude and needs to be escorted in the halls and between classes!? Now maybe the Poly-cultute at OS can help along with the family, but I doubt he ever sees the field. Now watch the Huskies try to fix him up!

    • angrybeaver says:
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      That is impossible to believe, because Mike Riley offered him and Mike Riley never messes up!

  • beavfan4 says:
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    I dont understand why we never offered john campbell from sheldon. The kid runs a 4.35 forty! If we can offer some joke of a tight end then why couldnt we offer this kid? This is the kind of stuff that makes me mad

    • angrybeaver says:
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      Maybe he can’t hold onto the ball or cover? Running isn’t everything.

    • JackBeav says:
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      Campbell has the speed. The problem is that he really only projects to WR, and we’re backed up at that position. He is a good WR though… the best on his team by far.

      Jordan Johnson was by far the better player in the secondary. And he was the lynch-pin on offense. I’m still wondering why UO didn’t go after either him or Grant Hedrick. Both those kids project as spectacular fits in the spread option. So now we have to watch Boise State win with yet another Oregon QB, and Chip Kelly’s own backyard ignorance is Pfluger’s gain in Montana. It’s funny that the slightly better QB goes I-AA while the other goes to BSU. But it is nice that they will both get to play for rabid fan bases.

      Actually… Pfluger is picking up some really nice players for an already good team. The guy must be a sweet talker.

      • JackBeav says:
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        That being said… we offered a grey shirt to a TE with less ability. Why not do the same for a kid with a lot of upside?

        And I do mean a lot. I saw Sheldon four or five times this year, and Campbell was the type of receiver who was always open. He’s a big reason Johnson’s numbers were so gaudy.

      • JackBeav says:
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        So I cruise a couple NU blogs before hitting the sack, and they’re talking about a committed walk-on coming in with exactly the same measurables as Campbell… 6’1″, 180#, 4.4 WR.

        How did they get him to commit as a walk-on you ask?

        He’s going to NU on a track scholarship.

        Lynn Snyder was such a moron… in so many ways.
        http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/orst/sports/w-xc/auto_pdf/BernyWagner.pdf

  • JackBeav says:
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    As I see it now…

    Everyone but Iona will be in… plus Akuna committed about an hour ago.

    Owa is up at 11:30… however, NU boards have him telling Pelini last night that he’s not going to wear red. Some seem to think that he’s in with UCLA. And there are other reports that he’s cancelled his announcement so he can step back for a week or two to gain some perspective.

    This is like pulling teeth. Speaking of… I have to go to a dentist appointment.

    Back in a while.

  • Beavker Beavker says:
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    Rumor from a Co-Worker (in Nebraska), is that Owa told Pelini that NU was NOT his school of choice. Means nothing, but at least it’s a seed for thought until he makes it official somewhere.

  • Beavker Beavker says:
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    I know he’s a local, but if he goes UCLA, I’m gonna boo him from my seat in front of the TV whenever they are on. I’d rather see him go back to picking Cal I think.

  • FreddyBeav says:
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    DL/OL Mana Tuivailala comitted to the beavs. Rivals and scouts has him at like 6ft 4, but a newspaper says he’s more like 6ft 7. He’s going to greyshirt and is still learning the game so pretty raw. He’s from New Zealand.

    • angrybeaver says:
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      I saw that…not sure what to think of this. He did have 8 sacks in limited playing time his senior season.

  • paulscpa says:
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    Well, that was a big punch in the gut after seeing him wear an orange shirt. I wish him well. GO BEAVS

  • ObjCritic says:
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    Interesting quote from OSU coaching staff about not getting two need areas, an “impact defensive end” and a CB. I realize they still like their recruits, but it would seem to indicate they don’t expect much from this crop of DE’s until a couple of years out.

    http://www.portlandtribune.com/sports/story_2nd.php?story_id=126525330711243100

    Too bad, since those two positions are so key to Banker’s scheme.

  • ObjCritic says:
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    Recruits that seem to me to have some potential to be impact players at their positions;

    Welch and Doctor as outside LB’s – if these guys are “Dogget” level, somewhat light, but fast and sure tacklers, I think they’d be great bookend LB’s;
    Akuna, at safety(?) – could we finally see a impact player at safety? seems like its been awhile. Laybourn made some timely INT’s, but he wasn’t particularly fast or physically gifted like Akuna appears to be. If Akuna can cover ground as well as hit hard, he should influence the game;
    Mannion at QB;
    Perry at TE.

    Some of the D line prospects look interesting, but at this point the lack of Owa is admittedly disappointing.

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