The Oregon State defense in 2019 could be a lot better if certain things happen. First, stay healthy and second getting much improved play from a variety of positions. One of the areas with a ton of potential for improvement is Safety.
Jalen Moore is a redshirt senior....the above video shows you that throughout his OSU career he hasn't backed down from anyone.
Overall he has been one busy member of the Oregon State Defense:
• Has seen action in 34 games, starting 28
• Enters 2019 with 196 tackles, including three for loss. Also has eight pass deflections, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries
2017 (REDSHIRT JUNIOR)
• Played in and started all 12 games
• Finished with 102 tackles, the first Beaver since 2013 to reach the century mark
• Recorded 14 tackles against Arizona, including 13 solo
• Tallied 13 tackles against California and 11 versys Oregon
• Forced a fumble and finished with eight tackles against Washington State
• Reccovered a fumble and grabbed six tackles versus USC
• Credited with at least six tackles in 11 of his 12 games. Had at least six solo tackles in eight games
He will anchor the Safety position and he also has a desire to go out in this his final season a winner
Remember how pumped up he was right after the Beavs beat Colorado in Boulder. He is from Denver:
Jalen Moore can't improve the Safety position by himself. David Morris was one of the team's best players in 2017 but last year he was hampered by injuries. He was able to use his redshirt season so he enters 2019 with three years of eligiblity remaining. Look at his numbers from his Freshman season when he was healthy.
• Played in two games and utilized his redshirt
• Made one tackle versus Oregon and recovered an onside kick at Washington
• Played in 11 games, making seven starts
• Totaled 75 tackles, tying for second on the team, with four going for a loss. Added one interception and one pass breakup
• Made 17 tackles against Minnesota, the most by a freshman player in the Pac-12 Conference and third-most nationally
• Made nine tackles against Colorado, with half for a loss, and eight against Oregon in the season finale. Two of the eight went for a loss
• Picked off a pass and returned it 6 yards against Washington
• First career TFL went for 10 yards against Portland State, one of his six tackles on the afternoon
• All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention
Morris and Moore have two excellent teammates who will see significant playing time:
Omar Hicks-Onu also had injuries in 2018 and did not play a down. However as a redshirt Senior he provides experience, leadership and if healthy will contribute in a big way.
• Has played in 24 games over two seasons, making two starts
• Enters 2019 with 49 tackles, 2.5 for loss, along with two pass deflections, one interception and a forced fumble
2018 (REDSHIRT JUNIOR)
• Did not play
2017 (REDSHIRT SOPHOMORE)
• Played in all 12 games, starting twice, including for the first time of his career against Stanford
• Ended the season with 38 tackles, including 17 solo. Added 2.5 tackles for loss, one forced fumble, one interception and one pass breakup
• Tallied a season-best six tackles against USC, and forced a fumble while on special teams
• Posted two more six-tackle games: against Arizona State and at Oregon, Added a pass breakup against the Ducks
• Picked off a pass against Stanford - the first of his career - to go along with five tackles
• Tallied TFLs twice: 1.0 at Colorado State and 1.5 against Stanford
Kee Whetzel is one of the most compelling players on the entire roster. He is a redshirt junior from Clearwater, Florida who had a tough childhood and is now one of the most grounded and tremendous student-athletes I have met. His life was chronicled in a tremendous feature on "The Drive" on the Pac-12 Network.
Whetzel has a chance to make a big impact in 2019: He could see significant playing time at Safety or Defensive back:
• Enters the 2019 season having played in 24 games with two starts
• Totals 65 tackles, including five for a loss, with two pass deflections, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, two quarterback hurries and four sacks with one pass reception (on a fake punt)
2018 (REDSHIRT SOPHOMORE)
• Played in all 12 games, making one start, against Southern Utah
• Accumulated 39 tackles with two sacks, a fumble recovery, a QB hurry and one pass deflection
• Picked up seven tackles with 1.5 sacks at Washington. That equaled a season-best, achieved previously against Southern Utah
• Tallied half a sack and four tackles against Arizona
• Opened the season with five tackles and a fumble recovery at Arizona State
The most impressive player on defense in the 2019 Spring game was Jeffery Manning Junior. He was the hardest hitting defender and had the passion you want to see on the football field at anytime.
Overall he had a pretty good freshman season:
2018 (REDSHIRT FRESHMAN)
• Played in all 12 games, starting twice
• Made 35 tackles, with one TFL and one pass breakup
• Recorded a season-high seven tackles at Washington
• Finished with five tackles in back-to-back games at Arizona State and versus Washington State. Finished with a tackle for loss versus ASU
• Named Pac-12 All-Academic Honorable Mention
Shawn Wilson have also been mentioned at the safety position...keep an eye on them during training camp to see if they will become contenders to get playing time at Safety or will play defensive back.
Akili Arnold is a newcomer straight out of Mission Viejo, California. New defensive back coach Blue Adams talks Akili Arnold:
Next up: defensive backs!