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With Oregon State heading into head coach Jonathan Smith's third year leading the program, recruiting has seen an upside. However, on Monday, it took a big hit.
Alex Lemon, the nation's No. 2 JUCO SDE (strong-side defensive end), according to 247Sports' Class of 2021, and the Beavers have agreed to mutually part ways.
The 6-foot-4, 275-pound defensive end from Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge, Iowa, chose Oregon State over offers from Auburn, Florida, LSU and Oklahoma amongst others.
He committed to Oregon State on June 23, 2019.
With a lot of prayers and talks with my family and loved ones i would like to announce that i am 100% committed to The Oregon State University ☣️🤫 @Coach_Smith @BeaverFootball #BTD20 #AGTG pic.twitter.com/HeRQmiSZVy
— 🍋 (@alexlemon_) June 23, 2019
[Listen to the latest Talkin' Beavers Podcast with host Ron Callan and special guests Oregon State men's basketball guards Gianni Hunt & Jarod Lucas].
According to Andrew Nemec of the Oregonian, Lemon had some academic trouble that was unlikely to qualify him during the 2019-2020 school year. At the time, Lemon also stated personal situations and family matters kept him from joining the team in 2019.
"I still plan on signing with Oregon State - it's possible. But because of some personal situations with my family I won't be graduating until next winter," said Lemon.
JC DE Alex Lemon (nation's No. 2 DE) and Oregon State have mutually parted ways. Lemon indicated he had academic, personal issues that kept him out of 2020 class. Hasn't played football since 2018.
— Andrew Nemec (@AndrewNemec) August 3, 2020
The Beavs return one of the best linebacker groups in the Pac-12 conference, led by Hamilcar Rashed Jr., Avery Roberts and Omar Speights. The secondary will take a huge step forward as well with the addition of Laney College JUCO transfer Rejzohn Wright, the brother of Nahshon Wright.
Lemon would have been a big addition to the defensive line, which returns junior Isaac Hodgins and redshirt senior Jordan Whittle that ranked No. 10 in 2019 in rushing yards allowed per game (169.5).
The line also may welcome redshirt freshman and Auburn transfer Charles Moore who joined Oregon State in November. However, the nation's No. 6 DE in the 2020 recruiting class again entered the transfer portal in April, but he remains on the Beavers spring football roster. It's unclear, but unlikely, he'll be joining Oregon State this fall.
Oregon State football, JUCO DE Alex Lemon elect to part ways originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest