February 04, 2015

From the moment he was named head coach at Oregon State, Gary Andersen was scrambling on the recruiting trail.

Andersen came to the Beavers in mid-December after two seasons at Wisconsin. He replaced longtime Beavers coach Mike Riley, who unexpectedly moved on to the top job at Nebraska.

The new Oregon State coach has a daunting task ahead of him. Not only must Andersen prepare a quarterback to take over for Sean Mannion, he's got to right a team that finished 5-7 overall and just 2-7 in the conference last season.

The key for recruiting, as it turned out, was finishing strong. The Beavers scored several of their prospects Wednesday from recent visits - and even stole away a few from other schools.

''When you're late in the process, it goes right down to the wire,'' Andersen told reporters on national signing day Wednesday.

Among Andersen's recruits was Christian Folau, a 6-foot-1, 245-pound linebacker from Salt Lake City. The one-time Stanford commit was down to Oregon State and Utah but visited Corvallis over the weekend and announced his decision via Twitter.

Anderson, who was once head coach at Utah State, got several recruits from that state, including 6-foot-2, 220-pound linebacker Thor Katou, who originally committed to Utah, but called Utes coach Kyle Whittingham over the weekend to tell him he had switched to the Beavers.

Oregon State this weekend also landed three-star running back Deltron Sands, a 5-foot-9, 177-pounder from Florida's St. Thomas Aquinas High School who had offers from Syracuse and Wake Forest. Sands joins a group of South Florida recruits, including cornerback Jay Irvine and offensive tackle Miki Fifita.

Andersen also brought in defensive tackle Elu Aydon, a 6-foot-3, 310-pounder from American Samoa, who he recruited while at Wisconsin.

A few Riley recruits decided to stay with the Beavers, including Omar Hicks-Onu, a 6-1, 172-pound defensive back from Carrollton, Texas, and punter Nick Porebski, an Australian who played at Snow College in Utah.

The Beavers lured home-state prospect Blake Brandel, a 6-7, 270-pound offensive tackle who played at Portland's Central Catholic.

The Beavers earlier announced that offensive lineman Brayden Kearsley, who played two seasons at BYU, had transferred to Oregon State. But under NCAA rules, he must sit out a year.

As for replacing Mannion, already waiting in the wings is Luke Del Rio, son of former NFL linebacker and current Oakland Raiders coach Jack Del Rio. Oregon State could try to capitalize on Del Rio's mobility by introducing more spread offense elements.

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OREGON STATE

Top 25 Class: No

Best in class: Christian Folau, LB, Salt Lake City.

Best of the rest: Deltron Sands, RB, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Late addition: Jay Irvine, CB, Jacksonville, Florida.

One that got away: Keivonnis Davis, DE, committed to Oregon State but chose Florida.

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