OSU could have a stellar class
- Kerry Eggers
- Portland Tribune - Sports
Beavers have 22 verbal commitments as signing day nears
In the last two weeks, Oregon State has received verbal commitments from several players the coaches feel will have a major impact on Beaver football.
Between now and Wednesday's national letter-of-intent signing day, OSU representatives will work toward landing a few more recruits who can help change the face of the Beavers' future.
Nothing is binding until signing day. But Oregon State has 22 commitments as it winds toward its full complement of 28 scholarships with this class.
Among the commitments received in recent days:
• Lamar Herron, a 6-1, 190-pound safety from Sacramento, Calif., who is ranked as the 36th-best high school player in the West by Rivals.com. Herron originally committed to Southern Cal.
• Keith Ellison, a 6-2, 220-pound linebacker from El Camino (Calif.) Junior College. He is ranked by Rivals.com as the 43rd-best JC player in the nation.
• Keith Johnson, a 5-10, 170-pound tailback from Elk Grove (Calif.) High, sought by Washington State, among others.
• Isaiah Cook, a 6-3, 195-pound linebacker from Claremont (Calif.) High. He is ranked 15th in the nation among prep outside linebackers and 38th overall among players in the West. Cook originally had committed to Kansas State.
• Adam Speer, a 6-4, 270-pound center from West Hills (Calif.) High, ranked 11th in the nation among prep centers.
Oregon State's recruiting group includes four linebackers Ñ three of them high school standouts Ñ whom its coaches believe will continue the recent tradition of players who move on to the NFL.
The group also includes a pair of receivers from San Francisco City College Ñ Kevin Swanigan and Marcel Love Ñ who should help OSU immediately.
Johnson and another tailback, Patrick Fuller from Covina, Calif., also were major commitments for the Beavers.
Eugene Germany, a 6-4, 250-pound defensive end from Pomona, Calif., who was recruited heavily by such schools as USC, Miami, Tennessee, Michigan and Louisiana State, apparently has narrowed his choice to the Trojans or Beavers. Germany is ranked as the sixth-best player in the West.
The Beavers also think they are in the race for Will Price, a -6-3, 240-pound linebacker from Anaheim (Calif.) Western High who has committed to UCLA but is said to be wavering. Price is ranked 22nd among the nation's inside linebackers.
OSU coaches believe Pernell Booth, a 6-2, 285-pound defensive tackle from Billings, Mont., will commit to them. Booth, cousin of ex-OSU defensive tackle Dwan Edwards, is also being sought by Oregon and Washington State.
The Beavers continue to pursue tailback J.T. Diederichs of Ballard, Wash., who has committed to Washington State. They hope they are still in it with Marty Tadman, a 6-foot, 185-pound standout athlete from Mission Viejo, Calif., who has committed to Boise State. Tadman was the MVP of the recent Florida/California high school all-star game. É Jon Ioane, a 6-4, 315-pound offensive lineman from Tustin, Calif., was athletic enough to play tight end this season. He is ranked as the 86th-best player in California.
Twins Bryan and Jeremy Payton of West Covina, Calif., would like to play together in college and are expected to come to Corvallis for a visit. Bryan Payton is a cornerback who has verbally committed to UCLA, while Jeremy, a receiver, has made a verbal commitment to Arizona State. É OSU is contemplating offering a scholarship to a long-snapper Ñ J.J. Jensen of Phoenix.
Ra'Shon Harris, a 6-5 1/2, 280-pound defensive tackle from Pittsburg (Calif.) High, is said to be choosing between OSU and Oregon. He is ranked 47th among the nation's defensive tackles. Among others OSU coaches are still recruiting: Domata Peko, a 6-4, 270-pound defensive lineman from the College of the Canyons (Calif.) JC; offensive linemen Tavita Thompson, 6-6 and 280 pounds; Jeremy Perry, 6-2, 290, of Hawaii; and three players from O'Perry Walker High in New Orleans.
OSU coaches are high on two nonqualifiers from last year's recruiting class Ñ defensive end Keith Robertson from Lake Oswego and tailback Charles Burnley of Valencia, Calif. Both are working to get academically eligible, and if they do, a scholarship will be waiting. They would count among this year's class. É JC recruits Swanigan and Chris Miller are already in school and do not count against this year's class. É OSU coaches maintain interest in Bend running back Matt Sieversen and Beaverton cornerback Greg Laybourn.