Apparently the iconic Oregon Trail does go through the state of Arizona after all.
Well, for the Oregon State football program, at least.
The Oregon Ducks have been no strangers to the Valley plucking stars like Dion Jordan, Tyler Johnstone, Devon Allen, Jalen Brown, Jalen Jelks and others. More recently their not-so-friendly neighbors to the north have convinced a host of players to call Corvallis their college football home.
Eight players with Arizona ties appear on the Beavs’ 2016 roster.
“The kids that we’ve had from Arizona have had great success,” head coach Gary Andersen said at Pac-12 Media Days last week in southern California. “Our coaches have done a good job going in there and showing the direction we expect our program to move.”
One of those who experienced great success is former Chandler High star wide receiver Markus Wheaton who is entering his fourth season with the Pittsburgh Steelers after a decorated career at OSU. He was a third-round pick (79th overall).
The Beavers landed a commitment from another talented Chandler Wolves skill player when Kolby Taylor decided to join former teammates Mason Moran and Hamilcar Rashed, both incoming freshman recruited by Andersen’s staff.
Committed to Oregon State!!!🔸▪️🔸Go Beaves!!! pic.twitter.com/VJvBN6pRsi
— Kolby Taylor (@5wolves5) June 1, 2016
“Kids know that Corvallis is a definite match,” Andersen explained. “It’s a college town. If that’s what you’re looking for, there’s not a lot of places inside our conference that you can go out and get that environment. There’s a few. But there’s just a few.”
Oregon State’s starting quarterback also hails from the Chandler High pipeline as redshirt junior Darell Garretson is set to get the keys to the offense after transferring in from Utah State where he played for Andersen.
“I think Darell has done a tremendous job since he walked in as a transfer, went through his transfer year, did a great job of running the scout team,” Andersen explained. “Right now Darell is definitely our starter.”
Pretty sure he won’t be the first present or future starter from the state of Arizona to wear black and orange in the coming years.