Beavers search for major foe, big payday
OSU willing to go on road to help athletic department budget
Louisiana State, Oklahoma and Wake Forest remain on the 'possible' list as Oregon State Athletic Director Bob De Carolis tries to work a shuffle and provide a quality opponent instead of Temple in the Sept. 4 opener.
De Carolis has the blessing of coach Mike Riley to seek a 'money' road game. It probably would not include a return visit to Corvallis, but it would help the athletic department through what could be as much as a $1 million payday.
De Carolis has been working on the situation for a month, knowing that a replacement opponent must be found for Temple. A possibility arose this week when Kansas State called De Carolis and said it had an opening for a game with the Owls.
'It may be a game Temple doesn't want to play, but they haven't ruled it out,' the AD says. 'Louisiana State has an open date and a couple of other options, but they would like to play us. The date doesn't work with Oklahoma, but they are working at moving things around in case we would be available. That's why this thing is so hairy. You just never know what might work out.'
Riley doesn't have the aversion that his predecessor, Dennis Erickson, did to playing a single game in a difficult place.
'It would be great,' Riley says. 'I don't think we should worry about what effect (a loss) could have in that situation. If we can get one of those games, let's take it. It would be fun for our fans, fun for our players and good for our program.'
Quarterback C.J. Bacher of Carmichael, Calif., who had verbally committed to OSU, appears headed to Northwestern as the Feb. 4 letter of intent signing day approaches.
One prospect who had narrowed his choices to Michigan and Oregon State, wide receiver/cornerback Keston Cheatham of Pomona, Calif., has chosen the Wolverines. Cheatham's high school teammate, -6-4, 250-pound defensive end Eugene Germany, is still considering OSU, Michigan, Miami, LSU and USC. Rivals.com ranks Germany fourth among the nation's top strong-side defensive ends.
It is down to OSU and Washington for 6-2, 225-pound linebacker Alan Darlin of Elk Grove, Calif.
Pernell Booth, a 6-3, 285-pound defensive tackle from Billings, Mont., is considering OSU, Oregon and Washington State. He is the cousin of Beaver defensive tackle Dwan Edwards.
Among those who visited Corvallis last weekend was J.T. Diederichs, a -6-2, 215-pound tailback from Ballard High in Seattle who has committed to WSU.
Lamar Herron, a running back and safety out of Natomas High in Sacramento, Calif., has committed to USC but reportedly is thinking about reneging, and the Beavers could be in the picture.
Also making visits to OSU are highly regarded tailbacks Patrick Fuller -(6-0, 200, Covina, Calif.), Keith Johnson (5-10, 170, Elk Grove, Calif.) and Arian Foster (6-1, 205, San Diego). Johnson is said to be choosing between OSU and WSU.
OSU, Oregon and several other -Pac-10 teams are in it for Brent Russum, a 6-4, 270-pound offensive guard from Lewiston, Idaho.
Also high on OSU's list are junior college players Keith Ellison, a linebacker from El Camino, Calif., and receiver Marcel Love from San Francisco City College.
Riley received a $50,000 bonus for coaching Oregon State to its seven-win regular season. É Riley has interest in 5-11, 175-pound Beaverton High quarterback/safety Greg Laybourn but has not offered a scholarship. É Oregon State and Arizona State have moved their Oct. 9 game at Tempe to Sept. 25, making it the Pacific-10 Conference opener for both teams.