Its been a good week for the Oregon State Beavers. Saturday began with a Pac-12 schedule opening win against the UCLA Bruins. The victory propelled Mike Riley and his squad into the top 25 rankings, and might have helped snare a recruit in the process.
Days after the win in Pasadena, athlete Walter Jones out of Redlands, California pledged his commitment to play football in Corvallis. With the Jones pledge, the Beavers add yet another Californian.
The current 2013 collection of verbal commits to OSU has six young men from the Golden State out of a possible eight. News of a Pac-12 team using California as its staple diet of recruiting isn’t exactly groundbreaking news or a bad play at that. However, OSU would certainly like to nab more kids in the Northwest.
Last year, the Beavers class of 24 recruits included 10 from California. Seven hailed from the American Northwest counting the state of Washington and Oregon itself.
Putting a fence around one’s home-state should be the goal of any major collegiate program. For Oregon State, winning the recruiting battle in the Beaver State is pretty tough, considering Chip Kelly has a perennial top ten team in Eugene.
It would be dishonest for any observer to rate Oregon in the same ballpark as states like California, Texas, or Florida at producing FBS talent. However, there are plenty of division one athletes for Riley to court near campus.
ESPN has rated the top 13 prospects in Oregon. The top two have committed to the rival Oregon Ducks including phenom Thomas Tyner. Another two have given verbals to Rich Rodriguez and the Arizona Wildcats. Count the BYU Cougars as a third program that has two verbal commits in Oregon. At this point none of the state’s top players have committed to Oregon State.
Three star athlete Johnny Ragin III and three star receiver Tanner Shipley have been offered scholarships by OSU. Both Oregonians are on Riley’s radar which is good.
California should remain the bedrock for the Oregon State’s talent pool. Attracting home grown kids is more symbolic than anything else. Local kids know better than others the dirty laundry of the nearby university.
If the Beavers can get back to the winning seasons Riley expects, there will be plenty on the OSU roster just a short ride away from mom and dad’s. Not a bad place to wash that dirty laundry.