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January 10, 2008Oregon State University head football coach Mike Riley has announced the following walkons have joined the program and are expected to participate in spring practice. Joining the Beavers are quarterback Zach Anderson from Yamhill, placekicker Tyler Cope from Portland, offensive/defensive lineman Nick Lewis from Tigard, running back Jeff Sampson from Sisters, placekicker/punter Sean Sehnem from Simi Valley, Calif., and defensive back Brian Watkins from Burien, Wash.
Anderson is a 6-3, 215-pound true freshman who was named to the class 4A First Team in 2006. The Yamhill-Carlton graduate was the Cowapa League Co-Offensive Most Valuable Player his senior season. He also was named the 2007 Player of the Year for class 4A in basketball.
Cope is a transfer from the University of Colorado, where he was a walkon. He must use the 2008 season as a redshirt year due to NCAA transfer regulations. Cope attended Jesuit High School in Portland where he was a first team all-state and all-league selection his senior year. As a senior he set the state record with 83 successful extra point kicks (86 att.) and added six field goals. He helped Jesuit to a pair of state titles.
Lewis attended Jesuit High School. The 6-3 266-pounder was a 2006 first team All-Metro League selection following his senior season.
The 6-1, 220-pound Sampson was a 2006 class 4A First Team linebacker and also played running back. He was a key figure in the Shrine Game for the East team and scored a fourth quarter touchdown.
Sehnem is a transfer from Western New Mexico University and will be a redshirt-junior for the 2008 season. He made 15 of 20 field goal attempts and 20 of 23 extra point tries for the Mustangs in 2006. He was a 2007 Division II preseason second team All-America selection by Lindy's before electing to transfer. He originally began his post high school education at the College of the Canyons after graduating from Crespi High School in Encino, Calif.
Watkins is a 5-9, 170-pound graduate of Highline High School and the twin brother of Anthony Watkins, who signed a national letter of intent to attend OSU last February. Anthony delayed his enrollment at OSU until this month.
The Beavers have a strong history of walkons becoming major contributors, including recent All-Americans Alexis Serna and Mike Hass.
The walkons will participate in offseason drills until spring practice starts, tentatively scheduled for March 31. The team has sights on its third consecutive bowl game and fifth straight postseason victory.