Now that his outstanding four-year football career at Santa Monica High has ended, Ryan Katz is about to embark upon the next phase of his development.
The record-breaking quarterback will go to Oregon State. It won’t be surprising if he redshirts next season since the Beavers have two returning quarterbacks and since redshirting is encouraged in Coach Mike Riley’s program.
But if Katz wants to become a starter in time and even impress National Football League scouts, he’ll be in a good situation.
You see, Riley has an excellent reputation for selecting talented quarterbacks going back to when he was in the NFL and lobbied for the selection of Tom Brady, who wasn’t an obvious choice for pro football stardom. Brady lasted until the fifth round of the draft, but is now at the top of his profession.
More recently, two Oregon State graduates have risen from obscurity to starting positions in the NFL. This has been a season of emergence for Derek Anderson with the Cleveland Browns and Matt Moore with the Carolina Panthers.
Moore began his collegiate career at UCLA. He transferred to Oregon State, and in 2006 led the Beavers to a victory over USC.
He wasn’t one of the heralded quarterbacks in the draft, but made an NFL roster and has worked his way up to a starting job.
As for Katz, he was so impressive at an Oregon State camp last summer that he was quickly offered a scholarship. And, reportedly, Riley is very happy about that.
After Katz made that strong showing, Washington expressed an interest but it was too late. Katz had made his decision.
At Oregon State Katz will be reunited with Cameron Collins, the former Samohi star receiver and defensive back. Collins redshirted this season and attended a Samohi game the night before Oregon State played USC in the Coliseum.
Katz has two important attributes for future football success. He throws the deep ball very well, and his arm strength has steadily improved. Then there’s his ability to run and escape tacklers, which gives him an advantage over less mobile quarterbacks.