The defensive end from Salem (Ore.) Sprague had three elite seasons in Corvallis. He capped his Oregon State career off in 2004 when he became the first Beavers player to be named conference (then Pac-10) Offensive or Defensive Player of the Year, dating back to the award’s inception in 1975. He also claimed the Morris Trophy, given to the league’s top defensive lineman as voted on by the Pac-10’s offensive linemen. Swancutt is Oregon State’s all-time sack master by a wide margin with 37.0 career QB sacks, including three consecutive seasons with 11.5 sacks. He also leads OSU with 59.5 tackles for a loss. He was selected by the Detroit Lions in the sixth round of the 2005 NFL Draft.
The Woodland (Calif.) High product had one of the best three-year careers in Corvallis. As a star center, Didion led the Beavers to three AP Top 20 finishes in all three years and was a leading member of the famed “Giant Killers.” He was a two-time All-American, garnering unanimous first-team honors in 1968. The seventh-round pick played linebacker in the NFL for six seasons in Washington and New Orleans. He is on the ballot for the College Football Hall of Fame voting in 2013.
Hailing from Richmond (Texas) Lamar, Rodgers was one of the most dynamic and productive players in school history. He owns the OSU school record for career all-purpose yards with 6,377 — his 2,578 receiving yards are fifth all-time. He added 1,410 yards rushing and 2,385 return yards and scored 30 total touchdowns. His 222 career receptions were first all-time in school history when he departed (since broken) and his 91 catches in 2009 is still tied for the single-season school record. Rodgers is considered by many to be one of the most influential Beavers of all-time both on and off the field.
If there is a tackle record in the Oregon State books then Brown’s name is there leading the way. He owns the single-game record with 22 tackles (tied) against Stanford in 1972. He owns the single-season record with 186 stops in 1972. And he is the school’s all-time leading tackler with 415 stops — in just three seasons. He never played in the NFL.
The star tailback from Pittsburg (Calif.) High made his mark immediately at Oregon State. He rushed for at least 1,000 yards in each of his first three seasons, culminating in the Fiesta Bowl win over Notre Dame during the historic 11-1 2000 campaign. His 1,559 yards that year were tops in school history at the time and his 1,486-yard sophomore season was No. 2. He is still the school’s career leading rusher with 5,044 yards and his 366 points (59 TDs) are still No. 1 all-time for a non-kicker (Alexis Serna). Simonton deserves credit for not only leading Oregon State to a share of the conference title in 2000, but beginning the elite running back tradition in Corvallis.
The younger brother of OSU great James Rodgers (No. 8 on this list), “Quizz” exploded onto the scene as a 5-foot-6 freshman. He rushed for 1,253 yards as a freshman, 1,440 as a sophomore and 1,184 as a junior while scoring 51 total touchdowns. The Richmond (Texas) Lamar product was a three-time all-conference selection and earned Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year honors in 2008. His 3,877 rushing yards are second all-time, and, had he stuck around for his senior year, he could have broken the all-time record. He was taken by the Atlanta Falcons in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL Draft.
The Portland (Ore.) Jesuit High School walk-on receiver might be the most decorated Beavers player in history. After one season on special teams, Hass became the first Pac-10 player to produce three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, which are three of the 10 such seasons in school history. His 1,532 yards in 2005 set an Oregon State record, breaking his own mark set the previous season (1,379), and led the nation by a wide margin. Hass also was honored with the Fred Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s top wide receiver that season. In 2004, he set OSU single-game records for receptions (14) and yards (293) in separate games.
The Dallas (Ore.) native was a three-sport athlete at Astoria High School and is one of the greatest players to set foot in Corvallis. He stared in baseball, basketball and football at Astoria and was talented enough to be drafted by the Florida Marlins. He instead went to Oregon State and played in all 13 games as a freshman. Three seasons and 153 tackles, 13 interceptions, 36 passes deflected, 3.0 sacks, 2,032 return yards and four total touchdowns later, the consensus All-American departed OSU as one of the most versatile and talented players in school history.
The big defensive tackle came to Oregon State from Auckland, New Zealand by way of Snow College in Ephraim, Utah. In three years in Corvallis, Paea posted 129 tackles, 29.5 tackles for loss, 14.0 sacks and nine forced fumbles from his nose tackle position. One of the strongest Beavers to ever play, Paea was a consensus All-American, Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year and Morris Trophy winner — given to the league’s top defensive lineman as voted on by the offensive lineman — in 2010 and was drafted in the second round by the Chicago Bears in April 2011.
Many in Corvallis believe that Jackson is the most physically dominating athlete to ever suit up for the Beavers. And at 6-foot-2 and 240 pounds, they are right. After a promising freshman season behind Ken Simonton (390 yards, 5 TD), Jackson took over as the starter in 2001 and set the single-season rushing record in his first year (1,690 yards). He carried the ball 669 times for 3,235 yards and 34 touchdowns while catching 61 passes for 635 yards and five more touchdowns in just two seasons as the starter. His 2,015 all-purpose yards in 2003 were No. 2 all-time in school history and his 132 points set a school record as well. His 4,545 all-purpose yards — in just three seasons — was No. 2 all-time when he left (No. 5 now). The No. 24 overall pick by St. Louis in the 2004 NFL Draft, Jackson has already added his name to the record books with eight consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons for the Rams (2005-12).
Spring practice has ended, here are all the key injuries, personnel decisions and storylines
Depending on your point of view, spring practice is either a respite from the football-free months of winter and a taste of things to come in August. On the other hand, it’s only appealing to the hardcore football fan.
Sure, there’s the same questions every year -- is my team’s defense really good or is the offense really bad, or vice versa. But there’s also plenty of news and notes.
Who are the best sleepers NFL teams should be targeting after Round 1?
The first round of the NFL Draft monopolizes coverage in the media and fan’s minds alike. While the first 32 picks are important and generally feature the most elite talents, the best organizations in football are competitive year after year because of quality middle round work.
The pecking order in the Pac-12 North is pretty clear. Oregon and Stanford should be the top two teams in the division, while Washington and Oregon State are likely battling for third place.
Washington had a disappointing 2012 season, as the Huskies had hopes of being a top-25 team. However, despite a much-improved defense, the offensive line struggled, and quarterback Keith Price was never able to get on track.
Mike Riley and company have some big holes to fill this spring.
Mike Riley finished the 2011 season with a nasty taste in his mouth after losing nine of 12 games. It was his worst season as the head coach in Corvallis and his defense was the issue. Last season, Riley reinvented the defense and it led to nine wins. Now that Oregon State is back in contention, Riley is faced with battling Stanford and Oregon for Pac-12 North Division supremacy.