CORVALLIS - Calling it a "very successful day," Oregon State head football coach Gary Andersen exuded optimism on National Signing Day.
Of course, coaches across the country expressed optimism about their recruiting classes Wednesday, and the proof won't be ascertained until a few years down the road.
Andersen noted that OSU's 2017 recruiting class, which consists of 25 players overall - 20 high school signees and five from the community college ranks - passes the eye test when viewed on film.
"I think if you know much about football you'd agree that those are talented young men," Andersen said. "What they do and how they go about it and how they grow and where they put themselves in position to move through the Pac-12, time will tell."
According to 247Sports, OSU's class ranks 49th nationally and 11th in the Pac-12. Rivals has the Beavers slightly higher at No. 45 nationally and ninth in the conference. USC was tops among Pac-12 schools.
The majority of players in OSU's class are rated as three-star (out of five) recruits with the exception of Isaiah Hodgins, a four-star wide receiver from Oakley, California. He is rated as a top five receiver in the west by Scout.com, and is considered a top 25 receiver recruit nationally by multiple recruiting services.
Hodgins and wide receiver Kolby Taylor (Chandler, Arizona) graduated from high school early and are already on campus.
"So we'll get a real quick look at them in the next couple weeks," Andersen said. "I expect both to be players that can help us this spring and move in the fall and be contributors. That's the plan."
The Beavers added quarterbacks Jake Luton (Ventura College) and Aidan Willard (Napa, Calif.). Luton, who passed for 3,551 yards and 40 touchdowns last season for Ventura College, is enrolled at OSU and will be available for spring practice beginning Feb. 18. He originally signed with Idaho out of Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Washington, and played four games for the Vandals in 2015.
"It was a perfect fit for me," Luton said on Twitter of joining the Beavers. "It was close to home. I grew up in the Northwest."
Luton, who has two years to play two seasons, joins a quarterback competition that includes senior-to-be Darell Garretson, a co-captain last season, junior Marcus McMaryion, who started the last six games of the 2016 season, sophomore Conor Blount and redshirt freshman Mason Moran.
Andersen has made a concerted effort to recruit in-state talent and the Beavers signed three players for the 2017 class - safety Davis Morris and defensive tackle Josh Bowcut from Sherwood High School, and offensive tackle Travis Mackay from Central Catholic.
The Beavers needed help in the secondary and wide receiver, and have certainly addressed those needs. OSU signed four safeties, three cornerbacks and five wide receivers.
The Beavers also added two running backs late in the recruiting process in Benjamin "BJ" Baylor (Wharton, Texas) and Calvin Tyler (Beaumont, Texas). With junior Ryan Nall (951 yards rushing, 13 TDs) and Artavis Pierce (523 yards, four TDs) due back, this is a position of strength.
Three starters must be replaced on the offensive line and OSU signed two players - Clay Cordasco (Los Angeles Valley CC) and Justin Sattelmaier (Palomar CC) - who could contribute immediately.
One of the most important recruits could be defensive tackle Craig Evans from Arizona Western CC. Evans, who originally signed with Michigan State, was a four-star defensive tackle out of high school and was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team in 2015. He had 18 1/2 tackles for loss and five sacks last season for Arizona Western. Evans has two season of eligibility remaining.
Luton is another intriguing prospect who could draw comparisons, at least in terms of size, with former OSU signal callers Sean Mannion and Derek Anderson.
OSU showed much improvement from a 2-10 mark in Andersen's first season (2015) with zero Pac-12 wins, to 4-8 last season with a 3-6 conference mark, including wins over Arizona and Oregon to close the campaign.
The Beavers are trending in the right direction, and a recruiting class that addressed several needs should add much needed depth. There is reason for OSU fans to be optimistic.
ghorowitz@StatesmanJournal.com, 503-399-6726 or Twitter.com/ghorowitz
Oregon State Beavers 2017 recruiting class
Junior college signees
Clay Cordasco, offensive line,6-6, 330, Los Angeles Valley Junior College
Craig Evans,defensive tackle, 6-3, 330, Arizona Western College
Jake Luton, quarterback, 6-6, 230, Ventura College
Justin Sattelmaier, offensive tackle, 6-7, 310, Palomar Community College
Aaron Short, wide receiver, 6-0, 200, Fairfield, Calif.
High school signees
Kesi Ah-Hoy, linebacker, 6-0, 215, Kahuku, Hawaii
Quantino "Tino" Allen, wide receiver, 5-11, 200, Belle Glade, Florida
Benjamin "BJ" Baylor, running back, 6-0, 190, Wharton, Texas
Josh Bowcutt, offensive/defensive line, 6-6, 290, Sherwood, Ore.
Jaelen Bush, defensive end, 6-6, 225, Lacey, Washington
Onesimus Clarke, offensive guard, 6-4, 325, Waianae, Hawaii
TraJon Cotton, safety, 6-1, 185, Sacramento, Calif.
Isaiah Dunn, cornerback, 6-0, 175, Antioch, Calif.
Arex "Champ" Flemings, wide receiver, 5-6, 150, Altadena, Calif.
Justin Gardner, cornerback, 6-1, 170, Charlotte, N.C.
Kaleb Hayes, cornerback 6-0, 190, San Bernardino, Calif.
Isaiah Hodgins, wide receiver, 6-4, 210, Oakley, ,Calif.
Travis Mackay, offensive tackle, 6-6, 270, Portland, Ore.
Jeffrey Manning Jr., safety, 6-1, 195, Lakewood, Calif.
David Morris, safety, 6-3, 200, Sherwood, Ore.
Kolby Taylor, wide receiver, 5-11, 195, Chandler, Ariz.
Calvin Tyler, running back, 5-9, 190, Beaumont, Texas
Charles "Moku" Watson, safety, 6-2, 180, Wahiawa, Hawaii
Brock Wellsfry, offensive guard, 6-6, 285, Pasco, Wash.
Aidan Willard, quarterback, 6-2, 185, Napa, Calif.
(© 2017 KGW)