Oregon State has made phone contact with a pair of Utah colleges about the Beavers' vacant head coaching position, according to Jamie Newberg, a national recruiting analyst for scout.com.

"I have been told that Oregon State has had phone discussions with four candidates for their head coaching vacancy — Brady Hoke, BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall, Utah State coach Matt Wells and Eastern Washington coach Beau Baldwin," Newberg wrote Tuesday.

Oregon State was left looking for a new coach when Mike Riley accepted the head coaching position at Nebraska last week.

Mendenhall has ties to Oregon State. He played there in college in the late 1980s and served as a grad assistant with the team in 1989 and 1990. Mendenhall later joined the coaching staff as the defensive line coach in 1995, then was made the defensive coordinator in 1996 before being let go when the Beavers overhauled their coaching staff. He's in his 10th season at BYU and has the Cougars headed to the Miami Beach Bowl to face Memphis on Dec. 22.

Wells has no ties to Oregon State but is in his second season as head coach of the Aggies. In those two seasons, he has compiled an 18-9 record and taken his team to the postseason both years. Utah State will be aiming for its 10th win in 2014 — doing so while injuries have forced them to play their fourth-string quarterback — when it faces UTEP in the New Mexico Bowl on Dec. 20.

Email: bjudd@deseretnews.com; Twitter: @brandonljudd