5 Questions Heading Into Spring Practice: Part II

Dan Norz continues with his five questions. This time he inquires about the 2003 cornerbacks, the secondary receiver, and Steven Jackson.

3. Who are the 2003 cornerbacks going to be and how do they compare with the departed Dennis Weathersby and Terrell Roberts?

Aric Williams will replace Dennis Weathersby. (Getty Images)

For now, the starting cornerbacks for the Beavers will be 5 foot 11, 184-pound senior Shamon Jamerson and 6 foot, 171-pound junior Aric Williams. But, 6 foot 4, 193-pound redshirt freshman Brandon Browner will challenge for a starting role. Browner's physical tools are similar to Weathersby's, which could lead to an excellent career at OSU.

Tim Euhus could be one of Anderson's primary targets in 2003. (Getty Images)

4. Who is going to be the Beavers second receiver after James Newson?

James Newson had a monster year in 2002 and opposing defenses will be keying on Newson as the Beavers go-to guy. Luckily, the Beavers have several outstanding receivers who are ready to have a breakout year.

Jayson Boyd and Josh Hawkins are just two quality receivers that the Beavers have in their arsenal. George Gillet, Cole Clausen, and Kenny Farley will also work hard to earn starting spots in the lineup.

Boyd was probably the most hyped player coming out of 2002 spring practice, but failed to deliver during the season. Several times he dropped easy passes, including the first pass of the season aginst Eastern Kentucky which should have gone for a 80-yard touchdown. With normal expectations and a year of playing experience, Boyd should emerge as one of the Beavers' premeire receivers.

After taking a year off, Josh Hawkins returns to the Beaver receiving corps. He played in 11 games in 2001 and caught six passes for 74 yards and one touchdown. Hawkins could be overlooked by many opponents because of his absence last year, but he does have playing time which could help him have a solid sophomore year.

The former walk-on Cole Clausen returns after another solid season where he caught 23 passes for 273 yards and one touchdown in 12 games. He is a great possesion receiver who runs strict routes and catches almost anything thrown his way.

Kenny Farley started the 2002 season off in style by catching 11 passes for 280 yards, and two touchdowns in four games. The rest of the season Farley would catch 18 passes for 246 yards and one touchdown which made him the second most productive receiver on teh team. But, the Beavers second leading receiver last year dropped off the map as soon as Pac-10 play started, and some have questioned his work ethic. He has the size and speed to get open, but many Beaver Believers feel that he just needs to make a commitment to work harder.

Beaver fans should not forget about speedy junior college transfer, Deondre Alexander, who has been with the OSU program a year and is ready to start contributing.

The Beavers will also look to the tight-end postion where several exceptional, experienced players reside. Tim Euhus returns for his senior season while sophomore Dan Haines returns after an excellent freshman year. The two combined for 32 catches for 529 yards and two touchdowns in 2002.

5. Is Steven Jackson a legitamate Heisman Trophy candidate?


Kanan Sanchez and Matt Brock hope to open up holes for Jackson this year. (Getty Images)

Most definitley. But, his run at the Heisman Trophy will rely heavily on the play of the 2003 offensive line and the arm of Derek Anderson.

With the Beavers returning five offensive lineman that started at least five games in 2002, the men in black up front will be looking to rip big holes in opposing teams' defensive lines. Due to a unusual number of injuries to the offensive line last season, several younger players received significant playing time, which will help the Beavers this year.

Jackson's success also relies heavily on the arm and mind of Derek Anderson. His success relies directly on how well Anderson throws the ball and reads the defenses. At the beginning of the year teams will stack the box to stop Jackson, forcing Anderson and the receivers to make plays. Big plays from the passing game will force to teams to pick their poison, line up to stop the run or line up to stop the pass. Hopefully, no team can

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