SPRING BALL KICKS OFF TODAY!

WITH APOLOGIES to Steve Martin in The Jerk and to President Gerald Ford, the new phone books are here! The new phone books are here! Because, my fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over! Beaver Football returns to Corvallis today, as Oregon State embarks on the first of 15 spring practices. BF.C will be there with boots on the ground, bringing you all the action from start to finish.

Maria Bruggere, former Editor and sportswriter of the Daily Barometer, will be leading BF.C's coverage over the course of the 15-practice OSU spring session that kicks off today and runs through the Spring Game on April 30.

Look for Maria's first report later this evening on BF.C.

It's been nearly four months since OSU took the field. Position battles? New coaches? Unknowns? Surprises? Oh my yes, and much more.

OSU, coming off a 5-7 season -- their first losing campaign since 2005 -- will be without top playmakers DT Stephen Paea (NFL), RB Jacquizz Rodgers (NFL) and WR James Rodgers (knee, rehab). Also gone are linebackers coach Greg Newhouse and running backs coach Reggie Davis, with Mark Banker taking over the linebackers, new wide receivers coach Brent Brennan and new running backs coach Chris Brasfield, and Keith Heyward now in charge of the safeties as well as cornerbacks.

Starting QB Ryan Katz participation level is suspect, with a slow-to-heal broken bone in his throwing hand. WR Jordan Bishop, No. 1 on the depth chart in the slot, is out this spring with an ankle injury. The offensive line returns four but only one will be at the same position as last season.

And those are just some of the opening storylines before spring drills begin -- get ready for a whole lot more and across the board on offense, defense and special teams. Spring ball begins today, and BF.C has you covered -- check back a little later this evening!

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