Oregon State Beavers

CORVALLIS, OR - NOVEMBER 15:  The mascot "Benny" of the Oregon State Beavers performs on the field during the game against California at Reser Stadium on November 15, 2008 in Corvalis, Oregon.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
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One of two four-star OSU signees won’t be playing for Beavers after all

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A 2016 recruiting class for Oregon State that garnered its highest Rivals.com rating (41st) since 2013 included a pair of four-star signees.  When the Beavers return to Corvallis for summer camp in a couple of months, that number will be cut in half.

In a tweet posted to his personal Twitter account, and citing “unforeseen circumstances,” Shurod Thompson revealed that he will not be attending Oregon State in the fall as previously.  While no specific reason was given, it’s believed academics played an overriding role in the decision.

247Sports.com had Thompson rated as the No. 7 safety in the country and the No. 34 player at any position in the state of California. Thompson and Texas athlete Christian Wallace were the highest-rated members of the Beavers’ most recent recruiting class.

The Oregonian writes that “Thompson was rated the No. 8 safety in the country and at one time held offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, Colorado, Indiana, Kansas and others, but several programs had backed off due to concerns about whether or not he would be admitted into college.” It’s believed Thompson will now go the junior college route in an effort to get his academic house in order.

Utah St. transfer Darell Garretson sits atop Oregon St.’s QB depth chart

LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 09:  Quarterback Darell Garretson #6 of the Utah State Aggies throws against the UNLV Rebels during their game at Sam Boyd Stadium on November 9, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Utah State won 28-24.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
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Entering spring practice earlier this year, many an observer viewed Darell Garretson as the favorite to win the starting quarterback job at Oregon State.  Exiting the spring, those views have been officially validated.

OSU released its post-spring depth chart Wednesday afternoon, with Garretson’s name sitting atop the quarterback position.  While it’s not the be-all, end-all, Garretson put the finishing touches on the spring portion of the competition with a 21-32, 263-yard, three-touchdown, no-interception performance in the recent spring game.

Garretson had been in a competition with sophomore Marcus McMaryion and early-enrollee Mason Moran.  McMaryion, who started the regular-season finale last season, is listed as the No. 2 quarterback and Moran No. 3.

The competition is expected to continue on into summer camp, although Garretson will, again, enter as the favorite to start the season opener against Minnesota Sept. 1.

Garretson transferred to OSU from Utah State in July of 2015.  NCAA bylaws forced him to sit out all of last season.

After starting seven games as a freshman in 2013, Garretson played in just five games in 2014 before suffering a season-ending wrist injury.  It was announced in late March of last year that he was transferring out of USU.

Seth Collins rejoins Oregon State with a new position to play

Oregon State quarterback Seth Collins (4) looks for a receiver during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Washington State, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015, in Pullman, Wash. (AP Photo/Young Kwak)
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Oregon State’s dual-threat quarterback Seth Collins has had a change of heart and will return to the Beavers program in 2016 instead of following through on a plan to transfer to Northern Illinois. He will do so playing a new position according to a report from The Oregonian. Collins will make a switch to wide receiver.

Collins was to play quarterback for the MAC program, but he will now be used as a wide receiver in Oregon State’s offense. He says he is ready to make up for lost time this spring and embraces the chance to be welcomed back bu his Oregon State teammates.

“I’m very humbled that my teammates and coaches have provided me the opportunity to rejoin the team,” Collins said in a released statement. “Coach [Gary Andersen] did not always agree with the direction that I was headed during this process, but was always there to talk and support me as a person first.”

Collins made a surprising and seemingly out-of-the-blue decision to leave the Oregon State program in January with the intent to continue his playing career elsewhere. No reason for the decision to transfer was given at the time, but something clearly has changed for Collins in Corvallis.

Collins started seven games for Oregon State in 2015 before a knee injury put him on the sideline for the next four games before he returned for a season finale game against Oregon, where he was used in a variety of ways in the offense. Despite missing time due to the injury, Collins still finished the year as Oregon State’s leading passer with 935 passing yards and six touchdowns and leading rusher with 575 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns.

Oregon State’s quarterback depth appeared to take a hit with the loss of Collins and Nick Mitchell transferring to Division 2 Dixie State. The Beavers see a quarterback competition ongoing between Utah State transfer Darrell Garretson, Marcus McMaryion and early enrollee Mason Moran with JUCO transfer Daniel Prieto joining the mix later this summer.

QB-turned-TE Brent VanderVeen has left the Beavers

Brent VanderVeen
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Looking up at more players above him on the depth chart than he’d care to, Brent VanderVeen has decided to call it a night in Corvallis.

VanderVeen was a participant in Oregon State’s first spring practice session of the year Sunday.  A day later, OSU officials confirmed, VanderVeen had decided to leave the Beavers football team.

A school spokesperson confirmed to The Oregonian that VanderVeen will remains enrolled at OSU and finish his degree.  Whether he uses his final season of eligibility at another football program remains to be seen.

VanderVeen began his career at OSU as a three-star quarterback in the Class of 2012.  Upon the hiring of Gary Andersen as head coach, VanderVeen was moved to tight end for the 2015 season.

His only catch (for 14 yards) and pass attempt (an incompletion) came during what appears to be his last season  with the Beavers.

Beavers lose one RB to dismissal, another to retirement

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In one fell swoop, the running back position at Oregon State has taken a double shot of attrition.

Second-year head coach Gary Andersen confirmed Thursday that backs Chris Brown (pictured, right) and Deltron Sands are no longer a part of his football program. While the school confirmed that the fifth-year senior Brown was forced to retire due to medical issues, no explanation was given for Sands’ departure.

However, The Oregonian, citing a source close to the program, is reporting that Sands, who would’ve been a second-year sophomore in 2016, was dismissed by Andersen for violating unspecified team rules.

For his career with the Beavers, Brown ran for 376 yards and four touchdowns on 73 carries. In 28 games, he also caught eight passes for 49 yards.

Last season, injury issues limited him to seven games, although he did carry a career-high 32 times. Those 32 carries netted Brown 141 yards, three off his career-best total set during his redshirt freshman season in 2013.

Sands, meanwhile, ran for 23 yards on six carries as a true freshman in 2015 before his own injury sidelined him for the remainder of the season.

Despite losing a pair of backs who saw action in 2015 as well as their leading rusher (Storm Barrs-Woods, 502 yards), The Oregonian explains the Beavers should be just fine in the backfield.

The Beavers will return sophomore Ryan Nall (73 carries for 466 yards), junior Damien Haskins (seven carries for 65 yards) and junior Tim Cook, a three-star transfer from Eastern Arizona College who missed last season with an injury.

OSU will also add junior college transfer Kyle White in the spring and freshman Artavis Pierce (Auburndale, Fla.) in the fall.