Fox to Beaver: Three on the Oregon State football roster

November 2015 Posted in School, Sports


Ian Crist

Ian Crist
Position: Place-kicker
Year: junior
Height: 5-10
Weight: 181
Major: Economics and
Previous experience:
Silverton High, Portland State


Sam Kuschnick
Position: Linebacker
Year: Freshman (redshirt)
Height: 5-11
Weight: 209
Major: Crop and Soil Science
Previous experience: Silverton High


Jonas Dahl
Position: Safety
Year: sophomore
(redshirt freshman athletically)
Height: 5-10
Weight: 196
Major: Kinesiology
Previous experience: Silverton High

By James Day

There are a variety of paths in which to enter the world of big-time college football. And the three Silverton High graduates on the Oregon State University roster got to Corvallis via three distinct routes.

Ian Crist, a 2011 Foxes graduate, transferred to OSU after playing at Portland State. Sam Kuschnick, a 2015 graduate, was invited to walk-on. And Jonas Dahl, who graduated in 2014, took the most surprising path of all, earning a spot on the roster via an open tryout on Labor Day, when the Beavers already had played two games.

Here is a look at the experience of the three players:

The transfer

“Living in Portland was a bit of a shock,” Crist told Our Town in an interview after a recent practice. “I wanted a little bit of a change and a different campus feel. (Silverton) Coach (John) Mannion had some connections down here, and I’m super happy with my decision. It’s exactly what I was looking for.”

Crist is the lone player among the Silverton three who has seen action this season. Crist kicked off against Weber State and is listed as the second-team place-kicker behind sophomore Garrett Owens.

“My best opportunity to get on the field will be the kickoff role,” Crist said. “That’s what I’m shooting for.”

A big plus for Crist has been the facilities and staff upgrade he found by moving from PSU to the Beavers.

“When I was at PSU I had to shag my own balls after kicking,” he said. “Here we have an equipment staff that throws them back to you. We’ve got an indoor facility. PSU didn’t have that. I have three fields here plus the stadium. PSU had just one field and they share it with other teams and intramurals. When I wanted to go out and kick field goals there would be ultimate frisbee and soccer players on the field. We kind of have free reign here. It’s so different.”

The walk-on

Kuschnick has been battling the injury bug. A knee injury reduced his effectiveness late in his senior season at Silverton and he has battled back from a dislocated knee cap and partially torn patella tendon he suffered two weeks into fall camp. “I’m starting to get there now,” he said of his rehabilitation..

Kuschnick is a redshirt, which means he attends school and practices with the team but does not participate in games, thus saving a year of football eligibility.

Kuschnick said the time commitment was the biggest adjustment he had to make.

“After 12 (when practice ends) I have the playbook to study and school. It’s more like a job. But it’s going really good. My classes are good. My grades are good.”

“Everybody wants to be a starter,” he noted when asked about his prospects for playing time. “I’d like to get in on special teams. That’s my goal.”

Like Crist, Kuschnick found the facilities and support staff at OSU to be an eye-opener.

“There are all kinds of advantages,” he said while holding a helmet stuffed with a protein shake and two bottles of Gatorade.

“There are so many people to help you with nutrition and weight training.”

The tryout

Dahl did not play much his senior year at Silverton High School in 2014 because of injuries. He moved on to Oregon State to begin studying kinesiology.

“But I didn’t let go of that dream.”

Dahl started working out and gaining some weight back, and then heard about the Labor Day tryout, where more than 50 individuals sought spots on the squad.

“I was out there for a couple of hours,” Dahl said. “We did physical tests, they checked our height and weight. Then they made some cuts and there was more drilling.

“I got an email later that night that said ‘Congratulations.’ Now I’m blessed with the opportunity to continue playing.”

Dahl was a quarterback and wide receiver in high school but is playing safety for the Beavers.

“I’m adjusting really well,” he said. “The coaches have been fantastic.”

Dahl, like Kuschnick, is a redshirt. He cited the speed of the game and turning out late as his biggest challenges.

“It doesn’t get much bigger than the Pac-12,” he said. “That was a dream of mine growing up and watching Oregon State and Oregon. It’s really special to be able to play here.”

Dahl, also praised the university’s support staff.  “The academic support staff can’t be overlooked. The tutors and academic advisers are a huge asset.”

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.