Canby’s Jacob Strand, an All-Three Rivers League talent and 2021 Lineman of the Year, made it official on National Signing Day Wednesday, inking a commitment to continue his athletic and academic career at Oregon State University.
The 6-5, 255-pound prospect was the No. 1-ranked lineman in the state this season and won the Lineman of the Year award even while playing a significant number of snaps as tight end.
He verbally committed to the Beavs before the 2021 season had actually begun, but didn’t put ink to paper until the winter signing day, as his parents, brothers, coaches, teammates and friends looked on.
The multitalented Strand, who currently starts at center for the 5-0 Canby boys basketball team, also received a football scholarship offer from the U.S. Air Force Academy.
His former coaches Paul Huggins and Jimmy Joyce, both also teachers at Canby High, spoke about Strand’s talent, hard work, sportsmanship and — most of all — leadership qualities.
“Over these last four years, I got to watch Jacob grow as an athlete, a student, and most importantly, a leader,” Huggins said at Strand’s signing. “It will only grow exponentially at Oregon State, and I’m so excited to watch him play.”
While the typically humble Strand had confided in Joyce before this season that he was not fully convinced he had what it takes to play football at the next level — his coach was never in doubt.
“I sat watching his highlight film with him, going ‘Yeah, you can play college football,'” said Joyce. “‘You can dominate college football.'”
Strand was the lone in-state signee for Oregon State in a 16-man signing class that’s rated the best of coach Jonathan Smith’s four-year tenure.
For the senior, Wednesday’s signing day marked the start of his football career at his dream school — a school that he would have attended no matter what.
“OSU has always been my favorite college,” Strand told the Current. “I would’ve gone there even if I couldn’t play football. I just got lucky enough to be able to go to my dream school for free.”
Strand joins three other prospective candidates for the Beavs’ offensive line — an area of particular need next year — the 6-5, 295-pound Nathan Elu, of San Mateo, Calif., 6-2, 293-pound Dylan Black, from Eastvale, Calif., and 6-5, 275-pound Luka Vincic, from Bothell, Wash.
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