07.Jan.2011 Oregon State Striking Out Again?

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With the "two biggest recruiting weekends of the last decade upon us" the Oregon State coaching staff is clearly slipping with each and every top prospect not named Byron Moore.

  • Moala–Cal
  • Sample–Washington
  • Peat Jr–Arizona State
  • Nowiki–Penn State
  • McClure–Colorado
  • Moreland–OSU, but a non-qualifier
  • McGill–Utah

That leaves Byron Moore as the only legit A-lister left in play.

Plenty of B-list players remain on the board.

  • Marcus Peters
  • Torian White
  • Puka Lopa
  • Darryl Paulo
  • Vivii Teofilo
  • Rahmel Dockery

Of the B-list I'd place Torian White as the highest priority. After that, Lopa and Paulo, since the rumor is if both commit to OSU their A-list compadres will follow. Vivii Teofilo is an underrated lineman who I'd gladly take.

What is most disturbing is that this late in the game we're still seeing 0-star recruits with one other offer (New Mexico State) showing up on the board. I'm talking about Rudofo Fifita, a 6"4 260lb defensive end. If his size is accurate, it means the staff probably plans to move him inside, from which one can also deduce they staff feels they've struck out with each and every major DT prospect. But the question must be asked: why are we recruiting this caliber of player this last in the game?

In a year when we were promised "Jelly Donuts", blue-chippers, A-list guys, we're once again on the outside looking in, being forced to makeup ground with a month to go. Sound familiar to the Owa situation last year? The Beavers strategy of recruiting their hardest in the off-season is a proven failure. What recruit is going to be impressed by Corvallis in January? I'll tell you who: C-list guys who have no other option. Every year the Beavers are playing catchup with the A-listers. It's time to change the strategy and get more visits during the season, during big games, and after the game talk to the recruits and tell them how they can help the Beavers take the next step and win some of these big games.This is more important than spending time with recruits in January when there are no distractions and the family atmosphere can be played up, as Riley prefers to do.

To me, the closing of this class has a bad feel to it. I foresee one big signing (likely Moore), one decent signing (Torian White), and a bunch of underwhelming "who??" type signings that will leave us all in a disappointed, head-scratching rage. In a year when the team failed to make a bowl game, the payoff from the extra time and labor has to be better than the outlook portends.

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  • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    Agree that the Beavers get Moore. It is extremely disappointing though that the Beavers can’t get more big time talent.

    McClure to Colorado strikes me as a bit strange though. Definitely thought he would commit to UCLA.

    • angry says:
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      McClure could wind up at UCLA. I heard he soured on Rick a bit and was leaning toward CO.

    • Chris Rat says:
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      any running back {of any quality} who would consider playing for the Beavs with our offensive co-ordinator is nuts. Quizz was smart to leave.

  • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    Btw Angry there is another A lister still in play, Todd Peat Jr.

  • KC says:
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    It’s not shaping up to be the coup we all want. Angry I don’t know that having January visits is the big difference maker. It very well might be, but I think the bigger issue at play here is school and the facilities. For the time being we fall short of the list of amenities and quality of education at UO, UW, Cal, Stanford, USC, UCLA, UA, ASU…I’d say we’re on par with WSU but even they have a better school…supposedly.

    • angry says:
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      I don’t really know if OSU has a worse education than Arizona State, Oregon, or Arizona…I actually think WSU is better than all those schools as well.

      • angry says:
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        Plus, I know I am smarter and have a better job than a lot of UCLA and Cal grads. I guess my point is that a school’s academic reputation is important, but only for (a) pride/bragging rights, (b) selling recruits, (c) perception/income (if you go to Stanford, Harvard, you’re getting a job over an OSU grad). Schools below that level all start to blend together, and ambition of the the individual take precedence over the school. The more I talk to people around California the more I realize most respect OSU academically.

        • KC says:
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          I completely agree with your sentiment. But as discussed earlier the perception around the country is that OSU is not a great institution, even though its as good or better than most of the public school in the Pac-10/12.

          For a high school recruit and his family, football aside, the choice between Cal and OSU is pretty cut and dry. Cal has a tremendous academic advantage and amazing campus facilities. That puts a lot of pressure on Mike and Co. to over sell the football program, which doesn’t work out in our favor very often.

          • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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            Not sure why you all are dissing OSU’s academics. Engineering, pharmacy, the sciences . . . to name a few . . . are all high standard, in my opinion.

          • KC says:
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            Oh millionaires compare themselves to hundred-millionaires…hundred millionaires to billionaires. We all know OSU is fine school, we all want it to be even better. Most of all I want the recognition we deserve, that is, for the perception of OSU to match the quality of the school.

          • angry angry says:
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            +1

      • JackBeav says:
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        UA and ASU suffer quite a bit from reputation, but they aren’t bad schools. The problem with ASU is that they have 50,000 students (out of 80K) who would be community college kids in Oregon and California. Arizona likes to think of itself as better with their 30,000 or so students. But they are only slightly more serious.

        In the end, they provide less opportunity for larger student bodies… meaning their resources are stretched thinner than at OSU.

        Wazzu is pretty good, but they’re a notch below OSU. USC is precisely OSU (with more money), but they’ve put on a decade long marketing blitz touting themselves as more than they are, and people buy it… sort of like UO.

        UW is a very very good school, and Stanford, Cal and UCLA are who we aspire to be. Honestly, I would be happy with an educational ranking on a par with SUNY Stony Brook. They are slightly better than UW, and they aspire to be an elite research institution.

        A decent measure of the academic reputation is the Carnegie research classifications. This is why I would have accepted schools like New Mexico, UC Davis and Hawai’i Manoa as potential Pac expansion schools over Oklahoma, OkState and TTech. Montana State, Colorado State and the two Kansas schools are the only others I can think of that fit this classification in the West. All Idaho, Utah (besides Utah) and Nevada schools fall short. I think the only considerations I might make for a new school in the lower classifications (for an academic alliance) might be UTEP. They have an absolutely gorgeous campus, and their civil rights record is tops in the nation.

        Oregon is the only Pac 12 school not to fit this classification. Obviously the standards were lowered for the Okie schools and TTech. So if UO were to be considered for an expansion school they would make it due to their location. But they previously would have a hard time getting in if they didn’t have the ties they did to the history of the league.

        • KC says:
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          You’re selling USC a bit short there. It’s a very very good school. With a hell of a lot of money. A medical center/Keck school of Medicine, Marshall school of business, Annenberg school of communication, George Lucas center…I mean this isn’t just one of the best schools in the Pac-10 it’s one of the best schools in the US. We just happen to be the best academic and sports conference in the nation. I’d say USC is behind only Stanford, UCLA, and Cal academically. UW is lurking right there with them though.

          • JackBeav says:
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            I know who USC is. Yes, they are magnificent in communications, law and medicine… three things the OUS mandate takes away from OSU and gives to UO. Their sciences however are on a par or lesser than OSU, but they have managed to hype them to the point that many think they are elite. When the Pauling Science Center opens next year, not even hype saves USC from reality. They do have a helluva lot of money though. I think their endowment is a good five times as much as OSU’s and second highest in the Pac 12. But they do more marketing than they do hard lurnin’ with all that money.

            I will say that USC doesn’t have to serve the public as other universities do. Their mandate is self-serving (not a bad thing for academic glory). So their base enrollment will automatically be a higher level of student than a public institution’s would be. But in a population center like SoCal, they still are not as elite as almost all of the UC schools.

            Btw, in case you wondered, I left out the other UC schools because their locations or commitments to athletics don’t make them a good Pac fit. If UCSD ever offered scholarships, they would be atop my list for expansion.

        • mcewalk says:
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          Oregon is an AAU University, as is Arizona, Cal, UCLA, USC, and Washington (ASU, OSU, and WSU are not):

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Association_of_American_Universities

          • angry angry says:
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            Seems a lot of this is linked to business and law programs. Why else would Oregon be on that list?

            WSU and OSU do not have law schools, and ASU has a decent one, but ASU is considered an average school due to student/faculty ratios, etc.

            I don’t think any pac-10 school is bad, but Stanford, Cal, UCLA, USC, and Washington are in one class, and UA, ASU, OSU, WSU, and Oregon are in another.

            The difference isn’t enormous, but it’s large enough that the latter should be trying hard to bridge the gap and build reputation. That OSU moved to “1st tier” in last years USN report is a good thing. Some of the new buildings and programs should help.

  • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    Seeing as the Beavers struggle with recruiting maybe Rile can go talk to Craig Robinson and have him recruit the elite talent for him I would like the Beavers chances then =D lol

  • ean says:
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    How do you know all of this? According to scout and Rivals a lot of these guys are still undecided. Not saying you are wrong just curious as to where the info came from.

    Also I agree with you on the school thing. Although maybe we need higher rated HDFS, exercise sports science and Communication programs as those are the popular ones with the athletes. Perhaps OSU should start paying off the academic rating services more often.

    • angry angry says:
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      The Army All American game is where the A-listers will announce their schools. None will pick OSU, but most are still tripping there after, so the optimist clings to that hope. What I am saying is that by picking other schools at the Army game, OSU is behind the 8 ball, as they say, and these A-list prospects are making it clear they prefer other schools. Sure, they are still open to visiting OSU. Maybe some are blown away and do commit. But, wouldn’t it be nice to have won the battle by now instead of fighting up hill? Also, doesn’t it feel like OSU is going to come up 2nd on many of these guys lists YET AGAIN? This is how recruiting has played out the past 5 years. Close by no cigar, and there’s been no real plan or progress on learning how to close. I don’t necessarily “know” what is going to happen, but after following this stuff for years, reading between the lines, and knowing how our staff operates, I think something similar to what I wrote above is what plays out.

      • ean says:
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        I see… well hopefully we get lucky this year. I hope the Beavers change their approach in the future. Although all this recruiting business seems so shady.

        • mw2 says:
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          Yeah, OSU doesn’t have a booster like Nike to throw money around for people to push these recruits in our direction, or to hold private workouts for blue-chippers with only a select few present to watch.

          I don’t see Reser Foods lining up street agents and holding private football camps in Texas.

          • angry says:
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            Oregon is on a different plane right now. They’re the #1 team in college football. I’d be happy with Cal’s recruiting class. I don’t expect the best; I expect a handful of blue chips (and not all at the WR position) that can hold down the fort and be built around. I also expect coaches to adapt. In this conference, due to Oregon, fast and conditioned athletes (at least on defense) should be a focus.

            Why not try getting these big name recruits in during the big games? That would be an adaptation as well. Nothing ever changes, so why expect different results?

          • mw2 says:
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            But you’re forgetting… how did Oregon make the title game? They had to have the athletes right? How did they get a lot of these athletes? … Ties to Nike HAS to be included somewhere. Oregon didn’t achieve all this speed by chance.

          • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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            MW2 are you trying to say the Ducks program isn’t clean? That’s just ABSURD!!!!

    • KC says:
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      The new business school building should help too!

      • angry says:
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        Yeah. That was completed and opened recently, correct?

        A law school would help tremendously with academic reputation. Not sure why that hasn’t happened as I don’t follow the political side of these things too much. My guess is that the school is rooted in a long tradition of Ag/science (weren’t we called the Aggies at one point). That we’re embracing business could mean we embrace law as well. I know I had to take many environmental law courses while in school, but again that is slanted toward the Ag/sciences. Can anyone explain this better?

        • KC says:
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          I don’t think they have broke ground on the business school yet.

          As for a law school I’m certain it has to do with the charter for OUS schools. The state says law is not our domain so we can’t touch it…similar reason why UO doesn’t have, and won’t have, an engineering program.

  • mw2 says:
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    You forgot Juda Parker and Rahmel Dockery (and a lesser extent Michael Thomas).

    Something inside me still feels its not over for Moala yet.

    • mw2 says:
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      The fact that Byron Moore has Miami as his last visit scares me. Would not be shocked if the temptations of South Beach and Miami’s tradition sway him.

      • angry angry says:
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        I really don’t see him going that far east, but maybe. Miami has been in shambles for some time, too. Moore is a JC guy trying to get his life back on track–doubt he wants more distractions.

        • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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          I agree. Byron Moore just seems to be a guy who wants to remain on the west coast. Also, he talked about the major reasons for picking a school and one is coaching stability and that kind of removes Miami seeing as they fired their coach a month ago and he’s being recruited by a new staff.

    • angry angry says:
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      I don’t consider Parker or Thomas B-list guys. Both are C+. Also, do we really want another WR and DE?

      Added Dockery.

      • mw2 says:
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        At least Parker is in the Army All-American game and Thomas is in the Under-Armour All-American game.

        • Mike says:
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          I consider Jaswha James to be a B- recruit he’s a 3 star everywhere and is the top 5 recruit of our class of 2011 and some others we recruited have to qualify so look out for some changes.

  • Warren says:
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    At this point, I’m just going to wait to see what happens. If we get some blue chippers great, if we don’t, then I can’t do anything about it. No reason to get stressed out over the whole month about it. I just have a good feeling about a lot of the guys visiting on the 14th, so I guess I’ll just what and see.

    • angry says:
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      I’m not stressed. I’m just annoyed that it’s shaping up to be the same ol’, and with the extra time and incoming resources we should be seeing progression this year. I can still be proven wrong, but this is how it feels just over a month out from the big deal. The series of weird JC signings and strange low-rated recruits suddenly on the radar just confirm my suspicion.

  • mw2 says:
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    Since Steven Jackson, Chad Johnson, Keith Ellison, etc. won’t be participating in the NFL Playoffs this year, wouldn’t it be a good idea if Riley got a couple of these guys on campus to visit with the incoming prospects on Jan. 14th?

    • angry says:
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      I don’t think Chad Johnson likes OSU.

      Jackson and Ellison probably would do it. They’ve been around in the past. You’re thinking too much outside the box for this university. 😉

      • mw2 says:
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        I don’t think Chad Johnson has a problem with OSU (he just never went to class when he was here those 9 months). I think he’s thankful OSU provided him a stepping stone to the NFL.

        In fact, I think Chad Johnson has made significant donations to OSU in the past.

        • ean says:
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          Agreed…. I believe Ocho donated a fair bit of money to the players lounge. I think there was a time that OSU was trying to distance itself from the Erickson era because of the fallout. Now that a lot of the bad has passed and been forgotten I think they are more proud of it. There was a ceremony at halftime of the ASU game to commemorate the 2001 Fiesta Bwol team. I think OSU had reached out to Ocho.

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    Read that if Harbaugh Leaves, Riley would be a candidate to be next head coach. I doubt he leaves but I found that to be interesting.

  • OSU4Life says:
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    Does anyone know what OSU’s highest ranked recruiting class was, and which year it was? Have we ever cracked the top 25?

    • angry angry says:
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      I’m not sure, but this year’s class hasn’t cracked the top 60, and rivals is spinning it as “the best ever” lol.

      Meanwhile, Oregon’s class has slowly taken off. Scary how good it looks…the “gap” has become a crater.

      • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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        This year’s class is 41st on scout’s rankings. Not sure where you’re getting the “Hasn’t cracked the top 60 from”

  • Squee-G says:
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    What concerns me most about the OSU recruiting is the fact that it hasn’t improved over the last couple of years. Is it wrong to assume that with the successes that Mike Riley has had, and with how much stronger the athletic department is compared to a decade ago, shouldn’t the recruiting have picked up as well? Mike Riley has a good reputation as a coach and as a person, the coaching staff has remained in tact (read: consistency), but yet the recruiting classes over the last couple of years seem to be the same. It does concern me that the success of the football program, athletic department, and school over the last decade haven’t translated into better recruits.

    Maybe Mike should take a class on how to sell?

  • ean says:
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    Dam rivals right now has a story about another DE coming to visit??? when is enough enough?

    • KC says:
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      yep, Rudolf Fifita! Alright I’m on board with you guys now. This recruiting class/process is ridiculous. If we land any blue chip recruit(s) before Feb. 2 it would be nothing short of a miracle.

      I really hate to believe Mike and Co. aren’t trying to get the best, but I simply can’t see it. It’s like they are aiming for nobodies.

  • CastorNation says:
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    I don’t see where the prestigious academic institution applies to the average football player. Looking at the team roster I didn’t see a whole lot of players in high end degree programs. Most of my high school classmates went to San Diego State as it was touted as the biggest party school around and they had their own nude beach. I’ve been to several USC parties in Newport Beach and wow. Models inc. Do you think the USC staff ignores the “assets” of the school? I believe Riley is a Christian and as such would not try to sell any external assets to recruits. And he has said he is looking for guys that “fit” the program. I personally respect that, but it isn’t as fun at game time. What does the average incoming freshman football player look at? How much different is a Phys Ed or Communications degree from OSU than UW et al. There are some guys really serious in high end degree programs, and they are usually singled at by the announcers at game time. But I think they are the exception.

  • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    An article published on ESPN today describes, among other things, how Chip Kelly recruited Darron Thomas: http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/bowls10/news/story?id=5995924

    The whole article is definitely worth reading in my opinion, but here’s the takeaway regarding the recruiting bit.

    It was Fall 2007. Darron Thomas was an up-and-coming spread option HS QB in Houston, but had committed to LSU. Thomas backed off LSU late in the process when Les Miles failed to confirm that Thomas would be playing QB. Thomas’s high school coach remembered that Chip Kelly had visited earlier. Kelly had told the HS coach that Thomas would be a perfect fit for Oregon’s spread offense.

    So the high school coach called Kelly and said Thomas had decommitted from LSU. Kelly was in that coach’s office the next day (!!) pitching hard for Thomas to become a Duck. Oregon then brought Thomas to the 2007 Civil War game at Autzen, and that did it — Thomas was suddenly sold on Oregon. (Note: If I recall correctly, OSU won that 2007 game in double overtime at Autzen).

    Is Mike Riley this aggressive in his recruiting efforts? If not, he should be.

    • OSU4Life says:
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      I would hope Mike Riley is this aggressive! Mike Riley isn’t a dummy! I think that he is very aware of what needs to be done to improve OSU Football. But, Mike Riley will go about it the right way! He’s not the shaddy used car salesman type. He is a high character type, a man of integrity. I think he laying down a solid foundation that will be built upon. Eventually this program will rise, I really believe this! Building a foundation is the longest proccess, and the least glamourous in the entire building process! But, it is the most important! If you want instant success a program needs a lot of money! Look down south, take P.K. out of the equation and where would they be? OSU doesn’t have the re$ource$ like uo, and Mike Riley knows this. So, OSU must go about things differently, much like what Barry Alvarez did with Wisconsin, and Bill Synder did at Kansas State, and what Hayden Fry did at Iowa.

      • KC says:
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        That’s a good point. Hope it’s true. UOs football renaissance started a decade+ before us too.

  • OSU4Life says:
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    I’m more concerned about the offensive line, play calling and scheme, than I am about recruiting rankings. The whole chicken vs. the egg debate. What helps more for your program, winning or recruiting? I’d say both! But, it doesn’t matter how high our recruiting class is ranked if our offensive system is flawed. Name one team that is in the top 25, that has a crappy Offensive Line. I can’t think of any. Usually the team that controls the line of scrimmage, wins the game! Let’s hope that our O-Line improves, gets bigger, and quicker! Also, the suspect play calling must end! I think OSU cannot afford any more slow start seasons, start winning in September and October, instead of always waiting until November to start winning. That will help OSU recruit and sign the blue chips! It will also boost the teams confidence, and maybe win 11 or more games? The overall attitude of the program needs improvement as well.

    • oneoldbeav oneoldbeav says:
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      Better play calling, better O line performance, and a better overall attitude; along with better play by the D these are also at the top of my list. Riley must realize these areas need vast improvement; unless I miss my bet he will address them all.

      While there are excuses for the D, the other areas are truly pitiful, especially attitude. Somethings got to give. I still think there is an untold story somewhere to explain the cause of the poor attitude this past year.

  • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    In non-recruiting news, Jim Harbaugh is leaving Stanford to go to the San Francisco 49ers.

  • angry angry says:
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    I bumped this post ahead of basketball because I think it’s more topical right now.

  • angry angry says:
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    It looks like Moore is now leaning Miami. So much for gaining ground with one A-lister. So, we’ve lost out on all of them. Fantastic.

  • mckalk mckalk says:
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    I am starting to think that these A-listers are never really that serious about OSU, but because of Rileys reputation as one of the good guys in college football, they give it a listen and do courtesy visits before shutting it down. It is after all Corvallis, Oregon.

    • angry angry says:
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      I have a feeling they’re interested, but Riley does the “only commit if you’re sure, this is a big decision etc etc” playing the nice “caring about the player” card to the detriment of the program.

      • mw2 says:
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        The only way OSU will get A-List recruits is if:

        1.) We start going to BCS bowls (but how are you suppose to make one without any blue-chip talent)?

        2.) An A-List recruit fails to qualify at a better program and we pick up the “reject.”

        3.) OSU starts throwing money around to get these commitments while breaking NCAA rules.

        The Ducks get away with #3 because they are owned and operated by one of the largest international corporations that also happens to sponsor half of the NCAA teams. I don’t think NCAA is going to bite the hand that feeds.

        • mckalk mckalk says:
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          I always think back on Suh and it may just be my fantasy, but how to you lose that recruting battle against Callahan and how inept NU football was at the time?
          I would have loved to be a fly on the wall and hear Rileys sales pitch, it seemed like he had a ton of bullets to use. The Beavers were much closer to BCS glory then were the Huskers and Suh might have put the Beavs over the top. Talk about the local star makes good story line!
          In the end things worked out great for Suh, but people forget that he was part of the worst defense in NU history the first couple of years (no fault of his) and even when they got better Pellinis offense was dysfunctional his last year.
          That seemed like an A-lister scenario where the stars were aligned and alas Riley could not deliver.

  • KC says:
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    We lost Moala to Cal today. No surprise there. You’re so right about playing from behind Angry. It is not the position we want to be in with these kids.

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/564502-2011-us-army-high-school-all-american-bowl-coverage-news-and-commitments/entry/40819-5-star-defensive-tackle-viliami-moala-commits-to-cal-over-usc-at-army-game

    I read that Todd Peat Jr. delayed his announcement for a later date. Doesn’t feel like we’re that close to landing him though.

    • angry angry says:
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      Beavs are in the mix for all these guys even after their commitments. Unless they cancel their official visits, then it’s over obviously.

      The Army game basically forces these top commits to pick someone. Moala is going to OSU if his linebacker buddies commit on their visit.

      Thing is, I am not going to believe this will happen until the Beavers pull it off. They never do, so why believe? That is insanity.

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