By Con / PNW Sports Fans
Still basking in Civil War victory glory and Gary Andersen is going home to his wife and two dogs to watch the film. That is the mark of a coach committed, level headed, not too high not too low and the right person for Oregon State football for as long as he lives.
Here at PNW, we have had the chance to interview a few of his players and all say similar things regarding Andersen’s demeanor and attitude: He does things the right way. He cares about his players. He knows what Oregon State is and what it isn’t and he doesn’t give a crap about the outside vultures looking to shoot him down. And remember this, he is one of the only coaches in the country to have a clause in his contract for an incentive for beating a rival. You think that was just thrown in? No, Andersen asked for it.
After he wiped the funeral-esque floor at Reser with Mark Helfrich’s tears, he soaked it in, joked with his players, and gave all the credit to them. He got off on the recruiting trail and found a band of players that can play right away at some spots and that have the attitudes of building something special. David Morris comes to mind as a mini Ryan Nall. One of our writers, seeing him in person described him “as fluid of a football player as there is in the state of Oregon.” Not only that, the guy is loyal. Andersen is building an army of loyal soldiers that hit hard, hit fast and take no prisoners. With a coach that will go for the throat when necessary and doesn’t want to change any of it win or lose.
The impressive set of DB’s brought in, including Trajon Cotton, Morris, Justin Gardner, etc. will all compete for immediate play time. The lack of depth in the secondary in 2016 was not promising. Behind the starters were sub-par athletes but the right attitudes. That can only take you so far in the Pac-12. Defensive coaches have also highlighted the huge depth at D-Line and LB’s and mentioned key players playing 45-50 snaps vs 80-90. This is a HUGE departure from the lack of subbing, quality backups, depth shown in the past few years before Andersen.
At PNW, our favorite part of Andersen in recruiting: When players are wishy washy, decommitting, recommitting, soft committing, etc. Andersen moves on. This is incredible and takes so much self-restraint and belief in your staff. To back off on a player, even high rated players, takes guts. Takes the belief in your staff that they will get someone better who “is the right fit for Oregon State” as Coach A says. Contrary to many schools and coaches that promise playing time among other things that lead to dissatisfaction, transfers, probations, etc. Andersen sticks to his guns like no one else in the country.
Attention Scott Barnes: LOCK HIM UP.