The Oregon State Beavers are looking to build off their surprisingly successful 2012 season, but they have some major holes to fill for next fall, particularly along their defensive line, if they hope to contend in the Pac 12. While they has some excellent skill and experience returning at the defensive end position, the team is low on bodies for their all-important defensive tackle position. That will prompt Mike Riley to turn to a trio of JUCO transfers to fill the middle of his defense in 2013.
Last season, the defensive tackle position was manned primarily be Castro Masaniai and Andrew Seumalo. The pair combined for 61 tackles, including 9.5 for loss, but both were seniors and are no longer on the roster. The Beavers didn’t have much of anyone ready to step up behind them, so Riley went out and focused on landing some immediate-impact recruits from the junior college ranks.
That puts the pressure on Edwin Delva, Siale Hautau and Kyle Peko to come in and be major producers right from the start. Delva and Hautau both participated in spring practice until Hautau broke his hand and Peko will be joining the team this summer. Two of them will slide into the starting jobs in Oregon State’s 4-3 scheme while the third will be the first man in the rotation.
Beyond that, the Beavers don’t have much to turn to. If this trio struggles or gets hurt, Oregon State experimented with different fronts that involved just three defensive linemen and only one defensive tackle. Riley would certainly like to avoid that route, but has to rely on the unproven JUCO trio and hope they find some early success.