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Oregon State football recruiting: scouting take on linebacker Christian Folau

Folau is the highest ranked player in the Beavers recruiting class and one of the top inside linebacker recruits in the nation

Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Gary Andersen finally landed the big recruit he was looking for.

While the Beavers have added some solid pieces trying to rebuild their 2015 recruiting class since Mike Riley's departure, there hasn't been a bigger addition than linebacker Christian Folau. He is the highest ranked commitment in their recruiting class and one of the best inside linebackers in this recruiting cycle.

What kind of player are the Beavers getting in Folau?

Christian Folau - 4 star linebacker

Folau is an old school inside linebacker. He's physically built to play at the college level tomorrow and has solid speed and decent lateral movement. He's not the best athlete at the position, but he makes up for that in other ways.

One way is by being a downhill, physical linebacker that does an outstanding job of working through the muck to find the football. His recognition skills are very good and that helps him not have to make up ground because of false steps.

There is a violence to his game, both in the way he tackles and the way he takes on blocks. He hits through ball carries on contact. He aims for a spot behind the player and then tries to get there. There are so many players his age that rely on running around blocks, often to their detriment, but that's not how Folau plays. He will take on a guard and shed the block to make a play. He plays the run extremely well.

The questions about Folau have to do with him in coverage and how effective he may be. He blitzed a lot more than he dropped back in high school so it remains to be seen what kind of player he is when asked to play the pass. It shouldn't be a surprise based on how I described the violent way he tackles and takes on blocks that he is also is a very good blitzer.

Folau is LDS and plans to take a mission and if he plans to do that right away, obviously he won't be making an impact any time soon. When he gets to step on the field for the first time for Oregon State, there is no doubt in my mind that he has the potential to be a great run defender. If he can develop the coverage part of his game, he could develop into one of the top linebackers in the Pac-12.