The Oregon State football team has charted a new trajectory under head coach Jonathan Smith, hoping to finally get back to its winning ways.
Over the years, the program has had its ups and downs, but one thing has remained consistent: The wide receiver corps.
Chad Johnson. TJ Houshmandzadeh. Mike Hass. Markus Wheaton. Brandin Cooks... and that's not all of the great wide receivers that have come through Corvallis.
Last season, the Beavers were led by Isaiah Hodgins who hauled in 83 receptions for 1,171 yards and 13 touchdowns.
His production led him to be drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the sixth round of the 2020 NFL draft, leaving a void at receiver for the Beavs.
So, who will the next Hodgins be for OSU?
All signs point to freshman wide receiver Zeriah Beason.
Beason, a three-star recruit out of Texas, has been turning heads at camp.
While making the rotation or starting as a freshman is hard to do, Coach Smith thinks Beason can do it. "I think Beason has a chance, if he can continue to go, to be in the rotation receiver wise and be out there as a freshman."
Whether as a starter or off the bench, Beason can make an impact. He has a powerful frame, at 6'0", 197lbs. Size-wise, he is very comparable to Cooks (5'10", 183), Wheaton (5'11", 185), or even a Sammie Stroughter (5'10", 189). In fact, he's even bigger!
But Beason is more than just size. His performance at practice shows he is ready to take the season on.
"I think it’s physically and mentally understanding the offense, the nuances of route running," said Coach Smith of Beason. "He’s strong and can run. He’s got strong hands. He’s had a couple of contested balls where the DB is right on him and he’s able to pull it down. He doesn't look too young out there."
If Beason performs anywhere close to the receivers of the past, then Beavers fans are sure to be pleased.
Oregon State has a very long list of great receivers that have worn the black and orange. Beason is here to make the list a little longer.