Oregon State football: Looking at the Beavers' offensive weaponry
This story is the fourth of six in a summer series breaking down Oregon State football by position group leading up to the first official practices before the season.
Oregon State football is coming off one of its best seasons in the past decade. However, some of the most productive offensive players from a year ago are now preparing for their first season in the NFL.
As a result, the Beavers have plenty to replace at the offensive skill positions if they hope to have an even better year in 2022. Here is a look at who is climbing up the depth chart heading into the fall.
Thanks to an extremely formidable offensive line and a bevy of talent in the running back room, Oregon State excelled in the rushing game last year.
BJ Baylor used his potent mix of speed and power to score 13 touchdowns on the ground for OSU, while leading the team — and the Pac-12 — with 1,337 yards. He averaged over 100 yards per game and was named to the All-Pac-12 First Team.
Meanwhile, fan favorite Jack Colletto gave the Beavers the ability to switch up looks and keep defenses off-balance. Officially listed as a linebacker, Colletto often lined up as a shotgun quarterback in short-yardage situations, rushing for eight touchdowns on just 31 carries. Expect him to reprise a similar role in 2022.
Now, with Baylor gone, another pair of backs look poised to take up his mantle. Oregon State will feature a thunder-and-lightning duo of Deshaun Fenwick and Trey Lowe in the backfield. The 6-foot-2, 231-pound Fenwick provides the power; the 5-foot-9, 189-pound Lowe supplies the speed.
A year ago, Fenwick and Lowe combined for 134 carries, 807 yards and five touchdowns. A native of Bradenton, Florida, Fenwick was the stronger runner in 2021, racking up 448 yards and four touchdowns on his own. Conversely, Lowe was most dangerous as a pass catcher out of the backfield. Lowe, a Jesuit High School graduate, led all Beaver running backs with 23 receptions for 200 yards, nearly doubling the combined output from the rest of the OSU backfield.
Another possibility is that incoming freshman Damien Martinez, a three-star recruit out of Texas measuring 6-foot and 228 pounds, earns the starting job over both Fenwick and Lowe — if he can realize his lofty potential. Martinez was impressive during the spring game, his only action as a Beaver so far, and has many wondering if he will be the feature back by year's end. Meanwhile, former four-star recruit Jamious Griffin transfers in from Georgia Tech and could contribute in the rushing attack.
Further down the depth chart, redshirt sophomore Isaiah Newell (6-1, 228) and redshirt junior Kanoa Shannon (5-8, 190) are back after combining for five total carries last season. In addition to those two, OSU also has a pair of local products looking for their first career carries in Gavin Haines (6-0, 213), a West Linn graduate, and Jesuit alum Logan Horton (6-1, 230).
The Beavers will need to replace the production of wideouts Trevon Bradford, Champ Flemings and Zeriah Beason, who combined for 77 catches, 1,137 yards and seven touchdowns in 2021.
Tre'Shaun Harrison, Tyjon Lindsey and Anthony Gould are back to lead the receiving corps in 2022, with that trio going for 58 catches, 800 yards and seven touchdowns last year. Harrison, a 6-foot-1 senior out of Seattle, will likely be the top target in the Beavers' air attack after finishing second on the team behind Bradford in receptions and receiving yards. Conversely, Lindsey and Gould are smaller, quicker options at 5-foot-9 and 5-foot-8, respectively.
Other Beavers who could step up this year include Silas Bolden, John Dunmore and Makiya Tongue. While those three players had just five catches between them in 2021, both Dunmore and Tongue were rated as four-star, top-150 prospects by ESPN prior to arriving in Corvallis. Bolden, meanwhile, was a three-star recruit who made two of his three catches during the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl.
Among the other receivers further down the depth chart, notable Oregon products include Trent Walker (Beaverton HS), Jeremiah Noga (Hidden Valley HS) and Walker Riney (Crescent Valley HS).
Oregon State featured a two-headed attack at tight end last year, with Luke Musgrave and Teagan Quitoriano making life difficult for opposing linebackers and safeties. Quitoriano was a fifth-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, leaving Musgrave as the top returning option.
Statistically speaking, Musgrave was the Beavers' third-best receiver last season. The 6-foot-6, 250-pound bruiser out of Bend High accumulated 304 yards on 22 receptions, though he has only found the end zone once in his career.
As for who might join Musgrave in the attack this time around, redshirt freshman J.T. Byrne may have the best chance. Byrne was rated by 247Sports as a top-50 tight end in the Class of 2021, and the 6-foot-5, 246-pound California native makes for a massive target. Jake Overman and Gabe Milbourn were also three-star recruits coming out of California and could factor into the equation.
A trio of Oregonians round out the depth chart, with Bryce Caufield (Lakeridge HS), Malik Kelley (Roosevelt HS) and Carter Neuman (Sheldon HS) all looking to make their first contributions this season.
While Oregon State bid farewell to some of its most explosive offensive talents from last year, the Beavers still have a strong contingent coming back. Between the thunder-and-lightning combo of Deshaun Fenwick and Trey Lowe in the backfield, a trio of productive wide receivers led by Tre'Shaun Harrison on the outside and the return of Luke Musgrave at tight end, the OSU offense will continue to be a headache for opposing defensive coordinators in 2022.
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