120 Players To Know - OSU LB Keaton Kristick
Oregon State LB Keaton Kristick
Oregon State LB Keaton Kristick
Posted May 4, 2009

Who are the players you need to know about? Maybe they've been under the radar, or maybe they're the future NFL stars who'll be a really big deal next April. Get to know the stars of 2009 as CFN profiles 120 Players You Need To Know over 120 days (one for each team) continuing with Oregon State LB Keaton Kristick.

120 Players You Need To Know

Oregon State LB Keaton Kristick

By Richard Cirminiello

Who is Keaton Kristick? … Kristick is the key veteran of the Oregon State defense and a returning All-Pac-10 performer at strongside linebacker. After patiently waiting his turn for two seasons behind a talented group of veterans, he capitalized on the Beavers’ attrition a year ago, finishing second on the team in tackles and third in tackles for loss. A product of Arizona, he only seriously considered two schools, Northwestern and OSU. Shortly after visiting the campus, Corvallis just felt right and Mike Riley was exactly the type of player’s coach and human being he was seeking. Over the last three years, it’s been a good fit for both sides. Kristick has the athletic ability and intelligence that coordinator Mark Banker recruits to play on his defense. He’s solid in pass defense and will use his speed and instincts to make big plays behind the line of scrimmage. While not quite a known commodity outside the Pacific Northwest, he’s poised to have a national coming-out party in 2009.

Kristick’s best game so far was
… last year’s upset of USC. While RB Jacquizz Rodgers was the hero that Thursday night, he wasn’t the only reason the Beavers shocked the nation. Kristick did his part to keep the Trojans from scoring in the first half, making a season-high 10 tackles, two tackles for loss, and a sack of Mark Sanchez.  

Why you should care about Kristick? … Of the six linebackers named to the All-Pac-10 first or second team, only two are back in college in 2009. Kristick is one of them. He enjoyed a breakthrough season as a junior, his first as a starter, making 82 tackles, 14 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. On a defense that’s losing a bunch of starters on the front and back end, he’s being counted on to do even more this fall.

Positives about Kristick … Yeah, he’s an outstanding, 230-pound athlete who’ll flirt with a 4.5 in the 40, but his biggest strengths have no measurements. Kristick does a great job of knowing his opponents and learning their traits. In other words, he has terrific instincts for the position, which allow him to sniff out a play before it fully develops and make a ton plays for minus yards.

Negatives about Kristick … While Kristick does a nice job in pass coverage, he’d like to turn a few more of those batted balls into picks in his final year. He also has trouble maintaining ideal weight, which could become a problem with durability. Although he’s 230 pounds today, he’ll sometimes drop as low as 210 pounds during the season.      

A cool thing about Keaton Kristick you probably didn’t know … A self-described laid-back goofball, Kristick derives a lot of his energy from caffeine. He rarely misses a day without consuming coffee or some caffeinated beverage, a habit he started almost a decade ago.    

Career Statistics
2007: 15 tackles
2008: 82 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, and four pass breakups

Statistics, information and photo provided by the Oregon State sports information department