Oregon State surprised some Oregonians when it didn't sign a single in-state recruit last year. Consider it an anomaly. The Beavers, eager to move past a disappointing 2013 campaign, inked local products Ryan Nall (Central Catholic) and Tanner Sanders (Crescent Valley) on Wednesday. The additions continued an effort coach Mike Riley called "uncovering all the rocks in this state." Though OSU often struggles to add the highest-profile in-state prospects, Riley prides himself on sifting out the hidden gems. "I think there's a limited number of prospects in Oregon," Riley said, "but I think there might be a few more under the radar than some people think." At this point, Mike Hass and Jordan Poyer serve as prime examples of unheralded Oregonians who thrived in the orange and black. Riley believes Nall and Sanders can fit into a similar mold. Nall, who was named 6A offensive player of the year after leading Central Catholic High School to its first state title in 60 years, seems to own the trademark résumé for a signing day theft. He boasts a solid 6-foot-3, 225-pound frame capable of adding muscle. He emerged as an elite playmaker his senior season, rushing for 1,684 yards and 22 touchdowns. He can play tight end, defensive end, fullback, running back, H-back, linebacker and even long snapper. CBSSports.com took notice and named him the Class of 2014's No. 2 steal. Riley, though, didn't need an article to validate what he learned the first time he watched Nall run through drills. "This guy is a no-brainer," Riley recalled thinking of Nall, who will begin his Beavers career as an H-back. Sanders, too, offers OSU a versatile weapon. The 5A Honorable Mention All-State quarterback is listed as an athlete, meaning Beavers coaches have yet to determine his ideal spot in college. He figures to start out as a wide receiver, BeaverBlitz.com's Angie Machado told The Oregonian last week. "Like, back to Jordan Poyer, we just knew he was a good football player and a good athlete," Riley said. "He's just a good football player. With that athletic ability, that kind of size and speed, he'll find a good spot." Before last year's mini-drought, OSU had signed at least two Oregonians in four of its previous five signing classes. So Wednesday didn't mark any major news development. It was merely a return to norm. "We want to do our homework," Riley said, "and then we want to get some guys from our state."
Beavers return to norm, sign two in-state recruits
Oregonian | Feb 7