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Oregon State football recruiting: satellite camps a necessity for the Beavers

Gary Andersen and his staff know they won't find enough talent in their home state so they're forced to search elsewhere to try and compete in the Pac-12

Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon State signed one football player from the state of Oregon in 2015. They signed two in 2014, zero in 2013, and one in 2012. I think it's fairly obvious by those recent numbers alone that there is not an abundance of FBS talent within the state of Oregon.

It's not a situation where all of the top players are signing with the more successful Oregon Ducks either. Mark Helfrich signed zero players from Oregon in 2015 and did so with good reason: the other players he signed from other places in the country were better prospects.

Even this recruiting cycle, which is considered a good year for talent in Oregon, the state has only five players ranked within the top 1,000 prospects in the nation. Two of them are already committed to the Ducks, one is committed to the Beavers, and the other is committed to UCLA. The uncommitted and highest ranked of the five is linebacker Lamar Winston and he is currently favored to sign with Oregon.

This is all a long way of saying that if Gary Andersen wants to build a successful program in Corvallis, he's not going to be doing it on the backs of football players within the state. They have to look elsewhere to find talent and he is well aware of that.

That's a big reason why Oregon State is holding satellite camps in Salt Lake City, the Bay area, Bakersfield, and Los Angeles in attempt to work with and identify talent that might fit what they are looking for with the Beavers.

It's not new for the program, they ran satellite camps under Mike Riley as well, but it is a necessity that Andersen continue on and even do more with it than his predecessor if they want to compete in the Pac-12. This isn't a program that frequently wins battles for blue chip players no matter where they are located. They need to find players who may not be on the radar of other teams in the conference because they aren't going to win a ton of head to head battles against the upper tier of the Pac-12. They are looking for players with the traits that could help them develop into elite players even if they aren't ranked like elite players currently.

This is who satellite programs are for. It's not for programs like Michigan. The state of Michigan isn't Florida or California when it comes to quantity of high level recruits, but it certainly has its fair share of blue chippers every season. Michigan is also a national brand that can gain interest from elite recruits all over the nation. For them, a satellite camp is luxury that they can use if they want. It's more for PR than actual evaluation of talent.

These camps are for schools like Minnesota (who is running a camp in the Kansas City area this summer) and others like them in the Big Ten. It's for schools like Colorado, Utah and Oregon State in the Pac-12. The Beavers don't have a ton of talent from their own backyard to fill out their roster. They need to go elsewhere to find it and they need to work smarter than schools like USC and Michigan to find players who are capable of playing at the next level.

Just because a school is in a Power 5 conference, it doesn't make them a power program. Less than half of Power 5 football programs could never be considered power programs because they will always be fighting uphill while others have more built in advantages. For them, satellite camps aren't an added bonus. It's a necessity for Gary Andersen and other coaches at similar schools to use these camps to find players and help close the talent gap between the schools at the top.