This article is a part of the START issue, a guide for all incoming Oregon State University students and their families going through START, which aims to help familiarize them with the campus, college life, academic success and more.
Last season, the Oregon State football team had a total of 28 true freshmen on the team, all of them playing different positions and all of them coming from different walks of life. One of those freshmen was Oregon State defensive back Alex Austin, a native of Long Beach, Calif.
Austin committed to Oregon State after receiving 16 offers from different colleges around the nation, including San Jose State, Colorado State, Utah State, Washington and Hawaii.
“I committed to Oregon State back in July last year. For me, I started off getting recruited pretty late, I didn’t get my first scholarship until after my junior year, going into senior year,” Austin said. “I was just being patient, working hard, and once that time came, I was just happy.”
Austin had always had an interest in Oregon State and their football program, so when he received an offer from them, it was as if a dream had come true.
“It was my first PAC-12 offer coming out of high school, and I actually always had an interest in Oregon State,” Austin said. “Since I was in high school, I had always watched them. I enjoyed the atmosphere and culture standpoint when I came up here for my visit.”
Transitioning from practicing with a high school football team to a college football team can be a challenge for some, but not for Austin. Instead, he merely focused on creating bonds and friendships within his new team.
“The first couple weeks of practice were great,” Austin said. “I enjoyed bonding with my brothers and creating a new bond with where I’m going to be for the next four years.”
After weeks of practicing with the Beavers, Austin was finally given the opportunity to play in his first game as a Beaver in front of Beaver Nation.
“My first beaver game was versus Stanford. It was a great experience,” Austin said. “I wasn’t expected to play, but I got in the game, I held my own and did what I had to do. It was great to be out there and playing for Beaver Nation and seeing all the fans in support.”
Austin even gave some insight to how the locker room is before all of their games, saying that the football team only has one thing on their mind: winning.
“The atmosphere in the locker room pregame is all business. Everybody is ready to go out there and put it all on the line for one another, for their brother right next to them,” Austin said. “The locker room is strictly business, but when we’re on the field, it’s a war mentality. We’re just out there to handle what we have to do and come out victorious.”
Austin also said that being on the Oregon State football team, and just playing football in general, has taught him so many lessons, some from the good, and some from the bad.
“Some lessons that football has taught me is trustworthiness. It taught me how to be a leader, and lead by example,” Austin said. “If you’re somebody that leads to work hard everyday, then you’re gonna push your other teammates around you to work hard everyday. And it taught me how to be able to lose, how to be able to take a loss and bounce back from it.”
Being a freshman on the team, Austin needed a role model to look up to to see how a student-athlete should behave and act. Austin credits Oregon State senior defensive back Isaiah Dunn as someone he looks up to on the football team.
Although Austin is truly passionate about playing football and dreams of playing in the big leagues, he understands that football does not last forever.
“I do plan to go to the NFL, and if I am blessed to go to the NFL, I want to start my own franchise businesses, open up franchise businesses around the country, especially in Southern California,” Austin said. “I also want to start my own clothing line and get into sports broadcasting. If football doesn’t work out, that would be what I want to do. And even if football does work out, that is something that I would want to pursue after football as well.”
But Austin still has three more years of football at Oregon State, and is ready to go to war with his brothers for next season.
“I’m excited to go out there and have another season with my brothers, and do better than we did next year, bring home some wins, and go to a bowl game.”