Practice report: August 8th, a.m.

The first full squad fall practice is complete and now the season is officially underway. The practice was cut short due to the fact that the team had their mile run before practice. Things went smoothly, although a handful of players were held out due to various ailments.

The special teams and quarterbacks were out early and had already completed their stretching when the rest of the team showed up. There appears to be four players vying for the punter spot. Ramey Peru has the inside track and continued to punt well. Bobby Gill, who is also competing for the place kicker position also performed well, but wasn't as impressive as Peru. A surprise was the performance of walk-on wide receiver Gens Goodman who boomed several long, high punts. He was on par with Peru and may have out distanced him a few times, but did not display as much ball control as Peru. Place kicker Ryan Slack also took a few turns punting but did not fare very well.

There were a large number of returners running back kicks. These included Gary Love, Mike Bell, Chris Harris, DeMarcus Green, Antoine Singfield, Gainus Scott, Anthony Banks, Bobby Wade, Andrae Thurman and Malosi Leonard. Singfield who is a 223-pound fullback, looked odd out there because he is much larger than any of the other returners.

The battle for the long snapper spot is also a key competition. Pedro Limon, Ben DeMolin and Peter Hansen all took turns snapping to the punters. John Vorcheck and Keoki Fraser were handling the field goal snaps.

After the rest of the team finished stretching the entire punt team went to work with coaches Scott Pelleur and Larry Mac Duff. Players not involved with the punt team worked out with their individual position coaches. With their coaches the players did basic drill and exercises.

A few minutes later all of the players went with position coaches. One interesting sight was the kickers working with the linebackers. In the spring John Mackovic said that the kickers would feel more like "regular football players" and after technique drills with Lance Briggs and the crew the kickers have to really feel like ball players. One advantage is that you probably won't see kickers and punters diving at the return men's feet. They sure demonstrated that they could "wrap-up".

After individual position workouts, the linemen went off with their coaches, while the rest of the team did seven-on-seven passing drills. Without a pass rush the quarterbacks had plenty of time to look for their receivers.

Statistically the best quarterback was walk-on Jesse Gran. Unofficially Gran was 3-3 for 49 yards. Gran a 6-4 signal caller from Buckley (White River), Wash showed good zip on his passes.

Jason Johnson didn't look sharp, but got the job done. Johnson was 4-6 for 30 yards, but was either low or high on some of his completions. On a crossing pattern to Bobby Wade Johnson's toss was high, leaving Wade vulnerable. On a second completion, an out to a tight end, Rudy Montijo had to make a sliding grab.

Cliff Watkins struggled, but did have the play of the morning. Watkins was 2-for-6, but threaded the defense on a 20-yard strike to Ricky Williams who went untouched by the defenders the length of the field.

Nic Costa was 2-2 for 12 yards, but came close to bouncing a ball.

During passing drills all of the quarterbacks had their problems, mostly with outs. There were a host of low balls or mistimed balls. For the most part the receivers displayed good hands. The bulk of the drops were by non-scholarship players low on the depth chart. One receiver who looked very impressive was Lance Relford. Relford looked very quick and showed some very soft hands. He appears to have all of the tools in practice, now the effort must be made in translating those skills into game action.

The final part of practice had the teams implementing new plays. The offense worked mainly on the run game. The few pass plays they did implement had some bugs to work out. Johnson had his pass picked off by Bell who was playing corner to give him a lookat that position. Not knowing he was only supposed to be in the area, he stepped in front of the intended receiver and could have walked to the end zone.

Almost every play includes a shift or motion. The backs usually line up split or in the "I" and then shift to the other formation. One play did have the offset "I" with the fullback lined up off the quarterback's hip, while the tailback was immediately behind him. Mike Detwiler and Tremaine Cox got all the reps at fullback, while Clarence Farmer and Leo Mills saw action at halfback.

Practice ended with Mackovic leading the players in some stretches and push-ups. Mackovic completed the ten push-ups with his troops.

NOTES: Freshman TE Carlos Williams has moved to defensive end…LB Joe Siofele and OL Dusty Alexander were among the players nursing injuries…Anthony Thomas passed his physical and is expected to rejoin the team today…DE Johnny Jackson (back) participated in some light drill work, but skipped any running and contact…Oregon State was picked as the pre-season No. 1 by Sports Illustrated, which Mackovic suggested was "great for the Pac-10."

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