Jake Blair was itching to play in a program with the infrastructure, the competition and the culture he found at Oregon State.
So much so, that the senior Camas quarterback was willing to commit immediately after the school offered him a spot as a preferred walk-on.
“They’ve always been the school that I wanted to go to,” Blair said of the commitment, which he announced Friday night surrounded by close friends and family.
When Oregon State offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Brian Lindgren called Blair and offered him a roster spot, Blair committed sight unseen.
“It was all about fit for me,” Blair said. “Knowing that I’ve already built a relationship with their coaching staff. I like their coaching staff. Like the campus. Like the program. Pac-12 school, so you know you’re going to get good football.”
Blair, who 247 Sports labels a 3-star recruit, passed for 1,136 yards and 15 touchdowns with a 66 percent completion rate as a junior and helped the Papermakers out to an undefeated seven games before he suffered a broken collarbone during Camas’ 4A Greater St. Helens League rivalry win over Skyview, sidelining the quarterback and team captain for the remainder of the season.
Though he missed the remainder of the season, league coaches voted him a first team all-league selection. Camas went on to win the 4A state championship.
Blair’s commitment comes at a time when he’s helping lead Camas’ football program through its first in-person practices under strict COVID-compliant guidelines. He’s also hosted positional weight lifting sessions multiple time per week throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
He held offers from Columbia and Georgetown before making his pledge to the Beavers this week. University of Idaho had offered Blair, but he wanted to wait to make a decision. When two other 2021 offerees committed to the Vandals, coaches told Blair they didn’t have a spot for him.
All along, the Oregon State circled Blair and stayed in the picture. And his desire to be a Beaver remained.
Blair attended two camps in Corvallis, Ore., the latter between his sophomore and junior high school seasons. There, OSU offensive coordinator Brian Lindgren asked Blair and now-Colorado commit Drew Carter (Tigard, Ore.) to stay after and undergo a throwing session.
Three Camas High School alums currently play for Oregon State in Jack Colletto, Caleb Lightbourn and Dakota Napierkowski. A year from now, that number could now be four.
Camas coach Jon Eagle hints that may not be an accident.
“We do things schematically that a lot of colleges do,” Eagle said. “We copy from them. We do concepts they do, so the transition might be easier.”
Eagle, who initiated contact with Lindgren last week leading to Blair’s PWO offer, touts the Blair’s leadership, his arm strength, his ability to run and above all, his work ethic. Blair was one of the 100 best high school football players in the state of Washington heading into the 2020 season, which has been postponed into 2021 due to the coronavirus.
Blair will join his little brother Zach Blair, a 2023 baseball recruit who committed to OSU in August, and could be one of his older brother’s favorite targets if a high school football season occurs in Washington in February and March, as is currently scheduled.
“We just want kids who work that hard to be rewarded,” Eagle said. “Everything is right with the world when the guys that work like that, it pays off. Every parent wants to see their child learn that, see, if you work hard enough, do things right, it’s going to pay off for you and that’s what it appears to be for Jake.”