Oregon State names Jonathan Smith head football coach

Oregon State names Jonathan Smith head football coach

CORVALLIS -- Jonathan Smith, one of the most successful student-athletes in Oregon State University history, has been named head football coach of the OSU Beavers, Vice President and Director of Athletics Scott Barnes announced Wednesday. His appointment is contingent on the completion of all university hiring processes.

“We are very excited about having Coach Smith lead our program,” Barnes said. “We interviewed several qualified candidates and Coach Smith emerged as our top choice.  He brings to Oregon State football an impressive plan to build our program. He has a unique perspective on what it means to be a part of Beaver Nation and to be successful for our student-athletes on and off the field.”

Smith is the first OSU graduate to serve as a Beaver head football coach. He returns to Corvallis after a highly successful stint at the University of Washington as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.  Smith spent the last four years with Washington, helping the Huskies to the Pac-12 Conference 2016 championship, an appearance in the College Football Playoff and ending the year with a No. 4 Associated Press Poll ranking. Washington earned a share of the Pac-12 North division title this season, and is ranked No. 13 in the nation while awaiting its selection to a bowl game.  

“I want to thank President Ray and Scott Barnes for their confidence in presenting me this opportunity to return to Oregon State University to be the head coach,” Smith said. “I also want to express my gratitude to Coach (Chris) Petersen for providing me a path to realize my dream as a head coach.”

With Smith as offensive coordinator, the 2016 Huskies narrowly missed setting a school scoring record, averaging 41.8 points, which was tops in the Pac-12 and eighth in the nation.

The 38-year-old Smith molded junior Jake Browning, the first true freshman season-opening starting quarterback in Huskies’ history, into one of the top players at the position in the country. Browning was the 2016 Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year and has been among the top candidates for the Heisman Trophy over the last two seasons. 

As a student-athlete, Smith was a four-year letterman quarterback at Oregon State from 1998-2001.  He joined the program as a walk-on from Glendora, Calif. Smith earned his first start on Oct. 31, 1998 and never relinquished that role for the final 38 games of his career. The two-time team captain led the Beavers to the 1999 Oahu Bowl and the 2001 Fiesta Bowl, where OSU capped an 11-1 season with a dominating 41-9 victory over Notre Dame and a No. 4 final Associated Press ranking.

“Oregon State University is a special place and I have many memories of being a part of Beaver Nation,” Smith said. “I played for some of the best coaches I have ever been around and learned many of the qualities I have utilized in my coaching career.”

Smith left OSU as the school’s all-time leading passer with 9,680 yards -- he now ranks third among all Beaver quarterbacks in total passing yardage. At the time of his graduation his records included career touchdown passes (55); single-game passing yards (469 yards vs. the Huskies); and single-season passing yards (3,053 yards in 1999). He still holds the mark for the longest touchdown pass at 97 yards to Chad Johnson in 2000. Smith left OSU ranked No. 3 at the time in conference history for passing yards and total offense.

“I’m in the process of putting together a coaching staff that will share the same vision and goals that I have for this program,” Smith added. “I’m looking forward to working with the young men we currently have in the program and solidifying a recruiting class.”

His honors as a player were numerous while wearing the Orange and Black. He was the Fiesta Bowl Offensive Most Valuable Player, earned Pac-10 Conference Offensive Player of the Week multiple times and was a two-time member of the Pac-12 Honorable Mention team.

Smith succeeded as a graduate assistant coach in 2002 and 2003 under both Dennis Erickson and Mike Riley, respectively. He helped the Beavers to the 2002 Insight Bowl and 2003 Vegas Bowls, and in the process assisted in the grooming of longtime NFL quarterback Derek Anderson.

Smith’s first full-time coaching position came at the University of Idaho in 2004, where he served as the quarterbacks coach through 2009. In his final season with the Vandals, the team ranked ninth in the NCAA for total offense (451.4 yards per game); 12th in the nation for passing offense (286.7 yards per game); and 20th in scoring (32.7 points per game). Under Smith, Vandals quarterback Nathan Enderle finished the year ranked No. 5 in the NCAA in passing efficiency.

From 2010-11, he was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) powerhouse University of Montana, leading the Grizzlies to the NCAA Division I semifinals in 2011. While Smith was at Montana, the Grizzlies’ offense ranked in the top 20 nationally in multiple categories.

Smith joined Boise State University for the 2012 and 2013 seasons as the Broncos’ quarterbacks coach and helped guide the team to the 2012 Mountain West Conference co-championship and to a victory over the Washington Huskies in the Las Vegas Bowl.

Following the 2013 regular season at Boise State, Smith followed head coach Chris Petersen to the University of Washington to serve as the Huskies’ offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

A three-year starting quarterback at Glendora (Calif.) High, Smith graduated from high school in 1997 and earned his bachelor's degree in liberal studies from Oregon State in December, 2001.

He and his wife, Candice, have three children, Robert (9 years old), Bella (7) and Charles (3).

COACHING HISTORY

2014-2017 – Washington – Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
2012-2013 – Boise State – Quarterbacks
2010-2011 – Montana – Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
2004-2009 – Idaho – Quarterbacks
2002-2003 – Oregon State – Graduate Assistant

WELCOME RALLY: Oregon State will host a “Welcome Rally” that is open to the public Thursday night at 7 p.m. in the Club Level of Reser Stadium.

What They Are Saying

“The one thing that gives me the most confidence is that since the first time I met Jonathan, that’s all he’s ever wanted to do; coach the game. Obviously, he’s an intelligent man; he could have done anything with his life. He didn’t even pursue his own athletic career because that’s what he knew from the start he wanted to do. I’m very excited to have a man with that kind of focus coming back to lead your program. This is something he has been preparing for, for a very long time. I’m excited to see him move up the ranks and get this opportunity.”  OSU record-setting running back Ken Simonton

“This is a tremendous move by Oregon State, not only for the players who are going to play for him, but also for the community. He’s a true Beaver. He has moved up the coaching ranks and really deserves this opportunity. You know it’s a win-win and I’m so excited for Jonathan.”  Former Oregon State and NCAA champion head football coach Dennis Erickson.

“I’m very excited what he can bring to the program. He’s a young guy who has been there and knows how to get it done, and has been successful at other schools. He’s become a great coach and I think he’ll be a great leader for our school.” NFL veteran and OSU record-setting quarterback Derek Anderson

“What makes me happy about this hire are two things. Number one, he’s a player who competed at Oregon State and who cares about the university. But on the flip side, he was a player at Oregon State when we were at an all-time high. He knows what it takes to get there because he was there, he did it, and he was a part of it.” NFL Veteran wide receiver and Fiesta Bowl champion T.J. Houshmandzadeh

“What has always stood out to me about Jonathan is his competitiveness and his love of football. He was a great player for Oregon State and obviously what he has done as a coach speaks for itself. He loves Oregon State and I think he’s a great fit for the Beavers.” Former OSU Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach and current Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst

‘I’m very happy for Coach Smith and his family.  Jonathan is an excellent football coach and an outstanding person, and I’m confident he will have a lot of success at Oregon State,” Washington head coach Chris Petersen

“An incredible hire for Oregon State and I’m very happy for Jonathan. When I joined the Oregon State staff I could tell right away that Jonathan Smith was going to be a head coach. A great leader; someone who thrives under pressure; an overall terrific field general.  He’s going to be a great head coach, it’s something he has always wanted to do, and Oregon State made a terrific choice.”  Former Oregon State assistant coach and current Los Angeles Rams’ receivers coach Eric Yarber

“First of all, I was one of the fortunate ones to see him play here, going from a walk-on to a superstar, leading our football program to one of the greatest years in the history of our team. Jonathan will be an absolute rock star as a head football coach. He will give us the energy, the excitement, the competitiveness, all those things. If I had to say one thing about him, is that he is  a competitor. Everything I’ve witnessed him do, first as a student-athlete here, and then during his coaching career, is not surprising because I know what kind of competitor he is. Not to mention the fact he is a first-class human being, and a quality family man. When I talked to him, one thing he said to me is how important the community would be to him and his family.” Oregon State baseball head coach Pat Casey

“This is an exciting time for Beaver Nation having one of its own come back to lead our football program moving forward. I spent a couple of years with Jonathan at the University of Montana and found him to be a class act, a hard worker and a sharp football mind.” Oregon State basketball head coach Wayne Tinkle

Jake Mulholland to return to Oregon State, has ‘unfinished business’

Jake Mulholland to return to Oregon State, has ‘unfinished business’

Not even one month after ace pitcher Kevin Abel shared his decision to return to Oregon State, another familiar face will take the field at Goss Stadium for the 2020-21 season. 

Left-handed pitcher Jake Mulholland announced Wednesday he will also be returning for his fifth and final season in Corvallis.

“Beaver Nation, it’s been a great four years. Let’s do one more. We’ve got some unfinished business,” Mulholland said in a post. 

Despite the NCAA canceling winter and spring sports due to the coronavirus pandemic this year, Mulholland is still aiming to become the first four-time All-American in Oregon State history this upcoming season. 

In 2019, Mulholland pitched in 28 games, all in relief, and was 3-3 with a 1.93 ERA in 46 2/3 innings. He struck out 41 and recorded eight saves. He made an appearance in just five games with one start in 2020 before play was suspended. 

The Snohomish Wash., native took home All-Pac-12 first-team honors in 2019 and Honorable Mention recognition in 2017 and 2018. He was also named an All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) in 2017 by the NCBWA and Collegiate Baseball in 2018 and by Perfect Game in 2019.

Mulholland has been an integral part of three rather successful teams for the Beavers. He saw Oregon State compile a 147-38-2 record and was a part of two trips to the College World Series. 

Along with Mulholland, redshirt junior Mitchell Verburg, juniors Reid Sebby and Nathan Burns, sophomores Jake Pfennings, Joey Mundt, and Andrew Walling, and freshmen Jack Washburn, AJ Lattery, Will Frisch, Ryan Brown, Kai Murphy, and Cooper Hjerpe will return to the bullpen next season. 

[RELATED: Oregon State Baseball has a long history of pitchers getting drafted in MLB]

Kevin Abel primed to do something special in return to Oregon State

Kevin Abel primed to do something special in return to Oregon State

Kevin Abel is returning to Corvallis, and no one is more excited than Oregon State baseball coach Mitch Canham, who will have one of the best pitchers the program has ever had back in the fold.

Canham joined Beavers Insider Ron Callan this week on the Talkin’ Beavers podcast to discuss the right-handed pitcher electing to return to Oregon State for another season of action after not being selected in the shortened MLB draft’s format of five rounds.

Kevin’s no doubt a very special young man. Not just what he does when he holds the baseball in his hand, but what he does without the baseball. How he impacts the clubhouse, how he goes about everything that he does…Everything he does, he’s extremely competitive and you can see that fire. He made a post on social media about coming back and no doubt it’s going to ignite excitement all across Beaver Nation. -- Mitch Canham

Abel could certainly have a shot at being an early-round selection in 2021 if he returns to his pre-Tommy John surgery form that garnered national attention in the 2018 College World Series. 

Abel and the Beavers were about to begin Pac-12 play when the season was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Canham said he and his players were getting on a plane to Arizona when they received the news.

Getting off the plane and getting everyone together and addressing it was very important. Getting back to the clubhouse and trying to focus on these guys, making sure they know that they’re loved and that we are going to work through this thing together. -- Mitch Canham 

Hear more from Canham on the Talkin’ Beavers podcast. He discusses how he’s managed to find good in the coronavirus pandemic, how he’s always dreamed of coming back to Corvallis, the guidelines of returning to baseball this upcoming season and more. 

Oregon State reports a positive test for COVID-19 among athletes

Oregon State reports a positive test for COVID-19 among athletes

Last week, Oregon State had one athlete test positive for the coronavirus during the second week of welcoming student-athletes back onto campus in preparation for future seasons, per The Oregonian. 

The university did not disclose who the athlete was or what sport they play. 

Two weeks ago, Oregon State began welcoming student-athletes back on campus, with precautions, for voluntary workouts. The university had no positive tests after the first week of testing.

The latest positive test is the second positive test of an Oregon State student-athlete since the beginning of the pandemic. The timing of the first one has not been revealed but Oregon State Athletic Director Scott Barnes said it was "very early on."

[The latest on the Talkin’ Beavers Podcast with host Ron Callan and special guest Oregon State women’s basketball forward Taya Corosdale].

Before beginning voluntary workouts, Barnes and Senior Associate Athletic Director for Sports Medicine Dr. Doug Aukerman held a press conference via Zoom for media members to ask questions about the school's protocol surrounding the coronavirus. 

[RELATED]: Oregon State football to begin testing, voluntary workouts this week

Each athlete was required to complete a 14-day quarantine at their homes and then complete a coronavirus test when arriving at Oregon State. From then on, each athlete will be tested once a week with more frequent testing possible given new information. 

"We will not allow any [players] to be in [the facilities], doing workouts or exercising until we've gotten their test results back and it shows they're not an asymptomatic carrier," said Dr. Doug Aukerman. 

He later estimated that 25% to 35% of college-aged coronavirus carriers are asymptomatic which makes the virus tougher to defend against. The university will have a better idea of which athletes have had it before and which haven't once they take the antibody tests. 

Athletes will workout in the brand-new, 20,000 square foot facilities in groups of ten. Two groups can workout at the same time but in different sections of the facilities and all of the athlete's workouts must be confined to their specific section. All strength and conditioning staff will wear masks and gloves while in the facilities. When a group completes its workout, then the area will be cleaned before the next group of student-athletes uses the facilities. 

Each athlete will need to pass a temperature test before entering the facilities. 

Back in May following Oregon governor Kate Brown's recommendation of all mass gatherings being cancelled through September, Scott Barnes reassured everyone that Beaver football will be played sometime during the 20-21 academic school year. 

"One scenario we are not working on is not playing football," said Barnes. 

Then in the most recent press conference, he said that they're all planning for many different avenues for athletics next school year but haven't made any final decisions because they're waiting for more information.

We'll keep an eye out on how Oregon State continues to navigate the landscape of the pandemic as the fall season approaches. 

Oregon State forward Taya Corosdale ready for her redemption tour

Oregon State forward Taya Corosdale ready for her redemption tour

The 2021 season will bring a new look to the Oregon State women’s basketball program.

As the team eventually takes the court at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis, Oregon next year, you might recognize a few key pieces missing: four-year guard Mikayla Pivec has graduated and two-year starter Destiny Slocum has found a new home with the Arkansas Razorbacks. 

Those two pieces were a huge part of head coach Scott Rueck’s system that was staring down the No. 1 national ranking early last season.

But, the page has turned and it’s time for new players to step into those roles.

One of those players includes the highly anticipated return of redshirt junior Taya Corosdale.

The basketball journey has been all but smooth for Corosdale. She suffered a hamstring injury just two games into the 2019-2020 season that kept her sidelined for the rest of the year. The road to recovery wasn’t easy, but she is ready for her redemption tour.

And Beaver Nation is ready to welcome her back to the court as well.

I’ve never played in front of a crowd like Beaver Nation before… I just think that support and knowing that they have your back, it’s the best feeling in the world. — Taya Corosdale

[The latest on the Talkin’ Beavers Podcast with host Ron Callan and special guest Oregon State women’s basketball forward Taya Corosdale].

The 6-foot-3 forward from Bothell, Washington averaged 6.9 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game her sophomore year. Her absence this past season forced freshman Kennedy Brown into action. The duo of Brown and fellow freshman forward Taylor Jones was stellar this past season and showed the Pac-12 conference that it’s in for a ride for the next three years.

Corosdale was excited to see her teammates succeed, but the pain from injury and not being on the court was still there.

She had torn three tendons that attach to the bone and had surgery Nov. 21 following the annual Beavers Beyond the Classroom game, according to Steve Gress of Beavers Authority.

It was a hard year for me, not going to lie, but what kept me going was my teammates and my family. I had a really good support system from the coaching staff, athletic trainers… It made it a lot better not going through this by myself. — Taya Corosdale

Year after year, women’s basketball in Corvallis, Oregon is something to spotlight with the growing popularity of the sport on a national level. Gill Coliseum’s capacity feels like a lot more than 9,604 fans and presents a real challenge for opponents. Oregon State posted a 14-3 record at home last season.

That challenge will also include a new-look team featuring the anticipated return of Corosdale on the court.

Oregon State Baseball has a long history of pitchers getting drafted in MLB

Oregon State Baseball has a long history of pitchers getting drafted in MLB

If you want to pursue a pitching career in Major League Baseball but want to craft your game at the college level first, then Oregon State University is your destination.

The Beavs have a long standing of pitchers getting selected in the MLB Draft… 20 years in a row to be exact.

You have to go back 21 years in history to find an Oregon State pitcher not selected in the draft. 

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Beavers Podcast with host Ron Callan and special guest Oregon State men’s basketball coach Wayne Tinkle and his family].

Here’s a list of all the Oregon State pitchers that have been drafted in the last 20 years:

2000: Scott Nicholson (Texas Rangers- did not sign)

2001: Scott Nicholson (Colorado Rockies)

2002: Mark McLemore (Houston Astros)

2003: Ben Rowe (Texas Rangers- did not sign)

2004: Nathan Pendley (San Francisco Giants); Jared Sanders (Cincinnati Reds); Kyle Aselton (Minnesota Twins); Jake Postlewait (Colorado Rockies); Andrew Baldwin (Philadelphia Phillies)

2005: Nathan Fogle (Texas Rangers)

2006: Jonathan Koller (New York Mets); Jonah Nickerson (Detroit Tigers); Kevin Gunderson (Atlanta Braves); Dallas Buck (Arizona Diamondbacks)

2007: Anton Maxwell (Texas Rangers); Joe Paterson (San Francisco Giants); Michael Stutes (St. Louis Cardinals- did not sign); Daniel Turpen (San Francisco Giants); Eddie Kunz (New York Mets)

2008: Mark Grbavac (New York Mets); Michael Stutes (Philadelphia Phillies)

2009: Greg Peavey (Houston Astros-did not sign); Kraig Sutton (Boston Red Sox- did not sign); Jorge Reyes (San Diego Padres)

2010: Kevin Rhoderick (Chicago Cubs); Tanner Robles (Cincinnati Reds); Josh Osich (Anaheim Angels- did not sign); Kraig Sitton (Colorado Rockies); Greg Peavey (New York Mets); Tyler Waldron (Pittsburg Pirates); Taylor Starr (Cleveland Indians- did not sign); James Nygren (Florida Marlins)

2011: Josh Osich (San Francisco Giants); Sam Gaviglio (St. Louis Cardinals)

2012: Matthew Boyd (Cincinnati Reds- did not sign)

2013: Dan Child (Philadelphia Phillies); Scott Schultz (Florida Marlins- did not sign); Matthew Boyd (Toronto Blue Jays); Ben Holmes (Philadelphia Phillies- did not sign)

2014: Scott Schultz (Arizona Diamondbacks); Ben Holmes (Florida Marlins); Jace Fry (Chicago White Sox); Travis Eckert (San Francisco Giants- did not sign)

2015: Andrew Moore (Seattle Mariners)

2016: John Pomeroy (Pittsburg Pirates); Travis Eckert (Kansas City Royals)

2017: Max Engelbrekt (Washington Nationals); Jake Thompson (Boston Red Sox); Drew Rasmussen (Tampa Bay Rays- did not sign)

2018: Drew Rasmussen (Milwaukee Brewers)

2019: Dylan Pearce (St. Louis Cardinals); Bryce Fehmel (San Francisco Giants); Brandon Eisert (Toronto Blue Jays); Grant Gambrell (Kansas City Royals)

2020: Christian Chamberlain (Kansas City Royals)

That streak likely won’t end in the 2021 MLB Draft either.

Oregon State received great news that ace pitcher Kevin Abel, who led the team as a freshman in 2018 to a National Championship, will be returning to Corvallis, Oregon next season. Abel had to sit out all last season from Tommy John surgery, but will be back out on the mound at Goss Stadium in 2021. 

Wayne & Tres Tinkle: How father & son balance coach & player relationship

Wayne & Tres Tinkle: How father & son balance coach & player relationship

The Oregon State men’s basketball program began a new path to success when it hired Wayne Tinkle on May 19, 2014. 

Tinkle was swooped away from Missoula, Montana to Corvallis, Oregon after a successful coaching tenure with the Montana Grizzlies.

Tinkle was named the 21st head coach in OSU history on May 19, 2014, after leading Montana to three NCAA Tournament appearances and seven winning records in eight seasons.  His Grizzlies captured Big Sky Conference regular-season titles in 2010, 2012 and 2013, and Big Sky Conference Tournament championships in 2012 and 2013.

The Beavs weren’t just getting one basketball star, but five.

The Tinkle family - Wayne, wife Lisa, daughters Joslyn and Elle, and son Tres - are each dominant on court at the D1 level.

Wayne and Tres were not just father and son, but also coach and player. For four seasons, these two made quite the splash in the Pac-12 conference. 

What was it like for Tres separating father from coach? Not always an easy path, but the two learned how to do it together.

Earn what you get. If you want something, you have to work for it. That blue collar, hard hat lunch pail mentality. If you don’t like something, you got to look in the mirror and self reflect and ‘What can you change?’ — Tres Tinkle

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Beavers Podcast with host Ron Callan and special guest Oregon State women’s basketball player Aleah Goodman].

Tres will now pursue his NBA dreams in the upcoming 2020 NBA Draft (date set for October) while Wayne continues his coaching tenue in Corvallis. Tres finished as the program's all-time leading scorer with 2,233 points. He also holds the school record for career free throws made (570), consecutive games scoring in double figures (96) and consecutive free throws made (35). The 24-year-old is a three-time All-Pac-12 First Team selection and was named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) District 19 First Team and U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) All-District IX Team in 2019 and 2020.

While Wayne never coached either Joslyn or Elle on the basketball court, parenting is like coaching in a way.

I think something he’s always kind of hounded whether it’s basketball or off the court is attitude and effort. His advice is leading by example. — Joslyn Tinkle

Joslyn played in three basketball Final Fours during her four-year career at Stanford. Elle played basketball at Gonzaga and helped lead the Bulldogs to the Sweet 16 in 2015.

Happy Father’s Day from NBC Sports Northwest!

Tres Tinkle upped 'his street cred' following Arizona ejection

Tres Tinkle upped 'his street cred' following Arizona ejection

Arizona fans jumped for joy when Oregon State basketball star Tres Tinkle was ejected during his final game at McKale Center in Tucson, Arizona last February. 

It was a surprising moment for the Beavers senior, who is often described as a poised and high character player on and off-the-court. His father, head coach Wayne Tinkle was visibly frustrated as well. Oregon State was down 13, and their best player was headed out of the game. 

When asked about Tres’ lonely walk to the Beavers locker room on a recent episode of Talkin’ Beavers, the father-son duo donned smiles. But four months prior, Coach Tinkle was not pleased with the officials calls and non-calls. 

I got t’d up about two minutes after that. It was only my second technical since I’ve been at Oregon State. Not characteristic for either of us, but at some point, you don’t ever want to condone a play like that, but you also got to stand up and try to protect yourself. -- Wayne Tinkle 

Arizona’s Sean Miller later called Tinkle’s ejection bogus. Tres' sister, former professional basketball player Joslyn Tinkle, said the exit caught her off guard as well. 

I am a little shocked because he is such a composed player, but I kind of loved it honestly too. I’d say I was hoping that it would fuel up the rest of the game, unfortunately it was just one of those games.

Maybe it just goes to his street cred a little bit, makes him look a little tougher. -- Joslyn Tinkle

Ultimately, the Beavers would fall to the Wildcats 89-63 after crushing them 82-65 in Corvallis during the second week of conference play. 

Luckily, Tres 10-point, three-rebound performance in Tucson didn’t hinder his successful career at Oregon State. 

Tinkle finished as the program's all-time leading scorer with 2,233 points. He also holds the school record for career free throws made (570), consecutive games scoring in double figures (96) and consecutive free throws made (35). 

The 24-year-old is a three-time All-Pac-12 First Team selection and was named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) District 19 First Team and U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) All-District IX Team in 2019 and 2020.

What’s next for Tinkle? He discusses his basketball future with COVID-19 impacting the NBA, his best advice from Dad and his favorite memories of Joslyn’s playing career on the Talkin’ Beavers podcast. 

Check out the full Talkin’ Beavers Podcast with host Ron Callan and special guests Wayne Tinkle, Tres Tinkle and Joslyn Tinkle. 

Nation's No. 5 All Purpose RB Damir Collins commits to Oregon State

Nation's No. 5 All Purpose RB Damir Collins commits to Oregon State

Coming off a competitive 2019 football season and with enhanced facilities ranked No. 23 in the nation, the Oregon State Beavers are ready to welcome better talent to Corvallis.

One huge domino fell for them Wednesday afternoon when Damir Collins, the nation's No. 5 all-purpose back and four-star recruit per 247Sports, decided to stay in-state and committed to Oregon State. 

"I'll be committing to, you already know, hometown hero, Oregon State University," said Collins making his decision on the Jefferson High turf. 

Coach Smith is excited for the Beavers' newest commitment.

Same with running backs coach Michael Pitre who served as one of the primary recruiters of Collins.

The 5-foot-9, 190-pound Jefferson running back ran for 2,453 yards and 30 touchdowns as a junior last season leading his team to a playoff berth in 6A. He had been ranked No. 2 until this morning when 247Sports updated the rankings. 

Collins is the seventh commit of the 2021 Beavers recruiting class that the school hopes will be the program's best in years. Oregon State already has a commitment from 247Sports four-star inside linebacker Easton Mascarenas, the highest-graded defensive commitment in program history, and made the top-12 for 247Sports four-star Derek Wilkins. 

As a part of the 2021 recruiting class, Collins will arrive on campus following the upcoming junior season from Oregon State star running back Jermar Jefferson. If Jefferson decides to enter the 2021 NFL Draft following his junior season, then Collins would most likely be competing with Bj Baylor for the starting running back spot in Corvallis. 

With Jefferson struggling through injury last season as a sophomore, the coaching staff elected to play him five games instead of only four to utilize a redshirt season. The team elected to do the opposite with wide receiver Trevon Bradford who sat out against Washington State to return as a redshirt senior in 2020. 

Oregon State head coach Jonathan Smith has stated the program wants to secure in-state talent when they can: “We do want to recruit this state. There’s good players in this state, so we’re always going to chase guys in this state that we think can fit.”

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Beavers Podcast with host Ron Callan and special guest Oregon State women’s basketball senior Aleah Goodman].

When Collins announced his top-four of Oregon State, Cal, Arizona State (later swapped out for Ole Miss), Maryland, on May 1st, The Oregonian's Andrew Nemec reported that Collins was thought to be leaning towards the Oregon Ducks, but the hiring of former Jefferson head coach Don Johnson as Director of High School Relations meant the program could no longer pursue Collins. NCAA rules mean that the Ducks cannot recruit any players from Jefferson High School for the next two recruiting classes. 

247Sports National Recruiting Editor Brandon Huffman compares Collins to Tarik Cohen.

Runs with surprising power but doesn’t carry the ideal size for an every down back. Shows burst through the line of scrimmage and superb hands out of the backfield as a receiver. Shifty with ability to make defenders miss. Can line up in the slot and be used on sweeps and as an open field runner while also being able to return punts and kicks. Projects as multi-year Power 5 starter and projects as third day pick [in the NFL Draft].

You can watch his junior season highlights here:

Ken Simonton, Mike Hass named to CFB Hall of Fame national ballot

Ken Simonton, Mike Hass named to CFB Hall of Fame national ballot

Two former Oregon State Beavers have been named to the college football Hall of Fame ballot: running back Ken Simonton and wide receiver Mike Hass.

The ballot will be distributed to more the 12,000 members of the National Football Foundation and current Hall of Fame members this month after both individuals received enough votes by the district screening committee personnel to qualify.

KEN SIMONTON

Ken Simonton was a running back for Oregon State from 1998-2001. He played for two head coaches, mike Riley and Dennis Erickson. The All-time leading rusher at Oregon State with 5,044 total yards had an impeccable four-year in orange and black. He rushed for 100-plus yards in a game 26 times and had three performances of 200-plus yards in a contest. 

FRESHMAN: Rushed for 1,028 yards on 224 attempts and 13 touchdowns

SOPHOMORE: Rushed for 1,486 yards on 294 attempts and 19 touchdowns

JUNIOR: Rushed for 1,559 yards on 284 attempts and 19 touchdowns

SENIOR: Rushed for 971 yards on 239 attempts and eight (rushing) touchdowns

Following his four-year career in Corvallis, Simonton signed with the San Francisco 49ers as an undrafted rookie free agent, but was shortly released thereafter. He signed with the Buffalo Bills in 2003 before getting sent to the Scottish Claymores of NFL Europe. Sinomton apprised in two games for the Bills and rushed twice for four total yards.

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Beavers Podcast with host Ron Callan and special guest Oregon State women’s basketball senior Aleah Goodman].

MIKE HASS

The 2005 Biletnikoff Award winner as the nation’s top receiver came to Oregon State as a walk-on in 2001. Hass was the first player in league history with three 1,000-yard receiving seasons and concluded his career with 3,924 yards.

SOPHOMORE: 44 receptions for 1,013 yards and seven touchdowns

JUNIOR: 86 receptions for 1,379 yards and seven touchdowns

SENIOR: 90 receptions for 1,532 yards and six touchdowns

Following his three-year career in Corvallis, Hass was drafted in the sixth round (No. 171 overall) by the New Orleans Saints in the 2006 NFL Draft. He spent limited time with the Saints, Chicago Bears and Seattle Seahawks before finishing his professional career with the Omaha Nighthawks.

Simonton and Hass would join former Beavers in the College Football Hall of Fame that include Heisman Trophy recipient Terry Baker, Bill Enyart, Tommy Prothro, and Dennis Erickson. The 2021 class will be announced early next year with the induction ceremony in New York City Dec. 7, 2021.