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Oregon State football recruiting: a new era in Corvallis?

Gary Andersen didn't inherit a ton of blue chip talent, but he just added some with two big commitments

Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

With only nine commitments in this class and currently being the eleventh ranked class in the conference, Oregon State isn't exactly lighting the world on fire in recruiting. That's not exactly unexpected considering that Corvallis has never been known as a top choice for recruits even when Dennis Erickson and Mike Riley got them to double digit wins a couple of times.

Their roster has always been built on mostly 2 and 3 star prospects. They actually only have three former 4 or 5 star prospects on their current team and two of those are transfers. That roster composition is a big reason why most thought it was crazy for Gary Andersen to leave Wisconsin where he could at least have a shot at bringing in higher caliber recruits every year. History suggests that Andersen wouldn't be able to make that happen at Oregon State.

As I mentioned off the top, the Beavers aren't making a big dent with their class up to this point in terms of overall numbers, but Andersen has already proved people wrong by getting recent commitments from two 4 stars, safety Shurod Thompson and athlete Christian Wallace.

Two blue chip recruits is not a big deal to most programs. If you're a program who has only signed two blue chips in the last five recruiting classes, it's a very big deal.

Wallace competed at The Opening at safety, but the Beavers coaching staff is pitching cornerback to him. I'm not sure if that is going to be his ultimate destination because he is already so big at 6'3" 211. I thought after seeing him in person that he would likely project to linebacker at the next level because he is a physical tackler and is a little tight hipped. That could have been said about former Oregon State cornerback Brandon Browner as well and he's made a living in the NFL by being a physical press man corner. Perhaps Wallace could follow the same path.

Thompson is a former Cal commit who is projected to play safety. He's a very good athlete who has knack for creating turnovers. He is a little raw with his technique and footwork, but if he cleans that up he can be that rare safety that can excel in man coverage. Both he and Wallace have the potential to develop into impact defenders in the Pac-12 and multi-year starters for Oregon State.

Before he was at Wisconsin, Andersen did a tremendous job of identifying and developing talent to turn Utah State into one of the best group of five programs in the nation. He won games with less talent than most of the other programs he competed against and he'll have to do the same in the Pac-12 North. Unlike Utah State, he'll have to have at least a few blue chippers sprinkled in to hang with the top dogs in the conference. Two 4 stars might not seem like much, but it's a start and a really good one for a program who has struggled to sign any blue chip recruits at any point in their history.