BY KERRY EGGERS/PORTLAND TRIBUNE/Oregon State consultant Mike Riley praises quarterback Tristan Gebbia as football junkie

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The two Nebraska players who have transferred to Oregon State "are going to help us for sure," OSU consultant Mike Riley says.

Riley recruited both quarterback Tristan Gebbia and linebacker Avery Roberts to Nebraska when he was the Cornhuskers' coach. Both were true freshmen and four-star recruits in the 2017 recruiting class.

Gebbia, a 6-3, 185-pound quarterback from Calabasas, California, was rated by 247Sports as the nation's No. 9 pro-style QB as a prep senior. As a senior, he passed for 5,338 yards and 61 touchdowns with 11 interceptions. Through his career, Gebbia threw for 13,109 yards, second-most in state history at the time. OSU head coach Jonathan Smith recruited him when he was offensive coordinator at Washington.

After redshirting last season for the Cornhuskers, Gebbia lost a battle with true freshman Adrian Martinez for the starting QB job in training camp. He decided to transfer to Oregon State.

Gebbia graduated early from high school and enrolled at Nebraska in January 2017.

"He dived right into what we were doing," Riley says. "He's one of the most motivated guys I've been around at that age."

Three months after arriving in Lincoln, Gebbia threw for nearly 300 yards in the Spring Game.

"And he was on the lesser of the two teams that day," Riley says.

Riley says Gebbia is a football junkie.

"Tristan would spend every spare minute he had studying (video)," says Riley, Oregon State's head coach from 1997-98 and from 2003-14. "He loved it. You could tell he was going to be something special. That kind of quality is almost necessary in a quarterback, that capability to grow.

"We were so fortunate at Oregon State with our long string of quarterbacks — from Jonathan to Derek Anderson to Matt Moore to Sean Canfield to Lyle Moevao to Sean Mannion. Tristan looks like that kind of guy. We'd be up there watching (video) after practice. It was a running joke. I'd go in and tell him, 'Tristan, turn out the lights when you leave.' I loved his dedication as well as his skills."

Riley says there is another reason to be excited about Gebbia.

"He had a great relationship wth his (Nebraska) teammates," he says. "He was a magnet. The guys admired him. You could tell he was going to be a guy who had a great position as a leader."

The 6-1, 230-pound Roberts, rated by 247Sports as the No. 8 inside linebacker in the nation out of high school in Wilmington, Delaware, played special teams and was a backup linebacker as a true freshman last season. He made four tackles.

"Avery would have played a lot more, except he injured his foot in the summer and wasn't as ready as he might have been," Riley says. "He would have played a lot. He has all the qualities Jonathan wants in a linebacker, and he has strong character. He'll be a great teammate and a great addition for our defense."

Gebbia and Roberts are both on campus and will be enrolled for fall term at OSU. They will sit out the 2018 season and have three years to play three seasons.

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