By CLIFF KIRKPATRICK
Recruiting is a year-round endeavor, but some times are busier than others.
Oregon State’s football coaches plan to take advantage of the week off and this whole month to the fullest.
All coaches who are allowed by NCAA rules to be out this week are making home visits to recruits each night.
The families they are meeting include players that have already committed. Others are still being pursued.
“It’s a great time to meet the family for the first time,” receivers coach Brent Brennan said. “It’s fun.”
The No. 15 Beavers are also using their upcoming appearance in the Dec. 29 Alamo Bowl against Texas as another key selling point.
OSU is returning to the postseason for the first time since 2009. The team is young and expects to be a fixture in the bowl scene in the near future.
“We will be more visible, for sure, because of this game,” coach Mike Riley said. “I think it’s positive. The notoriety from this game will be good.”
The Beavers will be exposed to the Texas market for a month because of the Alamo Bowl.
The region’s media will be reviewing the Beavers’ turnaround from 3-9, Riley’s coaching connections to the San Antonio Riders and local ties on the roster.
Playing the Longhorns helps drum up interest. They are the most prominent college football team in the state, so fans want to know about the opponent.
The Beavers were in line for the Holiday Bowl and could have had the same impact in Southern California, a cornerstone of their recruiting areas.
However, they’ve made inroads in Texas starting with recent stars James and Jacquizz Rodgers from the Houston area.
Current starting running back Storm Woods is from Pflugerville near Austin. He’s been an impact player with 98.9 all-purpose yards a game.
Three others on the roster are from Texas: defensive end Rudolf Fifita from Euless, safety Peter Ashton from Keller and safety Kendall Hill from La Marque.
Ashton and Hill are still young and in development, but Fifita has been an impact pass rusher off the bench.
The Beavers also recruit neighboring states Oklahoma and Louisiana with linebacker Michael Doctor from Tulsa and safety Tyrequek Zimmerman from Lawton, Okla.
“It would have been good either way,” Riley said of the bowl game exposure. “We recruit California hard and we are getting more and more of a foothold with guys from Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana. Before and after the game we’ll see guys we are recruiting.”
Running backs coach Chris Brasfield, a native of San Antonio has ties to the state’s sports scene. He has been recruiting Texas high schools the last two years and has been visiting families all week.
The Beavers have gone a long way in their recruiting for the 2013 class that will be signed in February. There are 11 known verbal commitments with four defensive backs and three receivers.
One recruit is running back Damien Haskings from New Boston, Texas. Linebacker X’Zavier Preston is from Shreveport, La.
The Beavers must replace 15 scholarship seniors and four others who left the team this season for various reasons. The number they are looking to sign is around 20.