Oregon State has its first high school pledge of the Trent Bray era, and it comes courtesy of a running back who can’t touch the football without falling into the endzone.

On Sunday, the Beavers received a verbal pledge from Corona (Calif.) Centennial tailback Cornell Hatcher II. A 6-foot, 206-pound runner, Hatcher just recently took an official visit to Corvallis. He chose the Beavers over interest from Air Force, Montana, UNLV, and Wyoming, among others. He also held scholarships to Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, and Penn.


Hatcher doesn’t yet have a rating in the industry-generated 247 Composite, but he’s rated as a 3-star by the talent evaluators at 247Sports. They have him ranked as the 85th running back in the 2024 class.

As a senior this fall, Hatcher had 10 games with multiple rushing touchdowns. He ran for 2,257 yards and 42 touchdowns on 268 carries. He averaged 8.4 yards a carry and averaged a rushing touchdown every seventh attempt. He also cleared 100 yards on the ground 11 times in 12 games.

In a 42-35 win on Sept. 22, Hatcher ran for 305 yards and four touchdowns on 31 carries. In the final two games of his season, he had 10 rushing touchdowns on 60 combined carries. On Sunday, he was named The Los Angeles Times‘ football back of the year.

With his pledge, Oregon State now has seven known commitments in the 2024 class. The Early Signing Period opens on Wednesday; Bray and his staff are looking to add some depth to a class that has suffered quite a bit of attrition since Jonathan Smith left town.

Hatcher looks like a promising find. You can see his highlight tape below, via Hudl: