No DE falloff for Oregon State

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

DeLawrence Grant and LaDairus Jackson begat Bill Swancutt, who begat Jeff Van Orsow, who begat Dorian Smith, who begat Victor Butler and Slade Norris, who begat... we'll see.

There's been a lot of productive begetting for Oregon State at defensive end. The Beavers have recorded 130 sacks over the past three seasons, most of which have come from ends adept at defeating blocks and smacking quarterbacks.

That's why recent reports from preseason camp of defensive domination -- and defensive ends roaring -- suggests the position will be in good hands this fall with new starters Ben Terry, a senior, and sophomore Kevin Frahm.

Still, Frahm, as exuberant a player as you'll see, admitted the Beavers legacy at the position creates pressure.

"Totally -- I think anybody who has to come in and replace somebody who ended up going on to the NFL and was as successful as Vic and Slade were would feel pressure," Frahm said. "But I guess I try not to think about it. I just focus on doing my job. Let the chips fall as they may."

Defensive coordinator Mark Banker compared Frahm to Van Orsow, a player who wasn't spectacular at anything but was good at everything. He finished his career 29.5 tackles for a loss, which ranks eighth on the Beavers all-time list.

"I kind of saw the same style in Jeff when I was a true freshman," Frahm said. "I think that comparison is a big credit to all the teaching and tips I got from Jeff. Without all of that, I wouldn't be the player I am today."

While powerful Frahm and the speedy Terry, a converted tight end, are the starters, Gabe Miller, Matt LaGrone and Taylor Henry all could see playing time.

The Beavers entered spring practices with just three returning starters on defense. That seemed like a big concern, but the situation was exactly the same in 2008, when the Beavers so-called rebuilding defense finished ranked 23rd in the nation.

So is 2009 a rebuilding year with two new defensive ends?

"I kind of feel like that same question has been coming up every single season since I've been here," Frahm said. "Last season, no body thought Vic and Slade could step up and replace Jeff and Dorian, but they did."