The Oregon State Beavers had the best passing attack in the Pac 12 last season thanks to the 1,000-yard receiving duo of Markus Wheaton and Brandin Cooks. Only one of them return for 2013 (Cooks) to be the clear-cut No. 1 receiver for the Beavers, but he will need some help on the other side of the field to prevent defenses from loading coverage to his side. Is junior Obum Gwacham the man for the job?
If you were going off his production, you wouldn’t think so. Gwacham enters 2013 with just 10 career receptions in Corvallis, including only two for 12 yards last season (though he did turn one of those catches into a touchdown). He finished second-to-last on the team in receiving last season, but has put in a strong spring session to move his way up into the starting lineup.
At 6-foot-5, 224-pounds, Gwacham is a big-bodied receiver who is also a standout high-jumper in track. That size and leaping ability gave Mike Riley reason enough to recruit Gwacham even though the receiver had very little football experience (he didn’t start playing until his freshman year). The raw talent and immense upside were too much for the Beavers to pass up and their investment in him may start to pay dividends in 2013.
Gwacham has all the tools to be an elite pass-catcher if he can learn to put it together on the football field. By all accounts, he’s ready to take the next step in his game and become an impact player on the field for Oregon State. Will he be able to fill the shoes vacated by Wheaton next fall?