CORVALLIS, Ore. -- For high school football players in Oregon, being recruited by the Beavers means more.
"Its teams you grow up watching your whole life," said Teagan Quitoriano.
Quitaniano, is currently a junior tight end for OSU. He's from just up the road in Salem where he attended Sprague High School.
"As soon as Coach Smith got here, especially is nailing down a fence around the state and really wanting to get those best guys," he said.
Out of the 27 incoming freshman from the class of 2021, 11 players are in-state Oregon talent. That's the largest number since Jonathan Smith took over as head coach, just three seasons ago.
"It definitely means more for the in-state kid," said Jake Cookus, special teams coordinator.
As a kid from Roseburg who played for the Beavs, he understands the connection when it comes to playing for your home state.
"We take a lot of pride in it," he said.
Oregon State has found success when it comes to recruiting preferred walk-ons. These are players who guaranteed a spot on the roster with the chance to earn a scholarship in the future.
Sheldon's Carter Neuman is the latest talent to that this route into Division 1 football.
"I'm just excited to get out there and prove that I can play at that level," Neuman said.