DEFENSIVE END: Post spring evaluation

THERE WERE MORE than a few bodies competing at defensive end this spring for the Beavers. Maria Bruggere was there for each of OSU's 15 spring football practices, and is here to put things into context at the d-end position.

BF.C: With Dominic Glover moving inside to d-tackle and Gabe Miller graduating and being selected in the NFL Draft, Oregon State looks to have two new starters this season out on the edge. Who got the most turns with the starters this spring?
Maria Bruggere: Taylor Henry and Rusty Fernando go the most time with the 1s. I'd say they look to be your starters coming out of spring ball but there are other guys you can't forget about either.

BF.C: Henry was injured much of last year, playing hurt when he was out there, and just wasn't the same guy as he had been in the spring. How did he look?
Maria Bruggere: Taylor Henry, I liked him a lot. This spring, he showed an instinct. He's got more to do, I think, but "it" is definitely there with him. I think he's one of those guys where it's just a matter of time. He can be really good, and hopefully he can stay healthy.

BF.C: Fernando has made the transition from junior college to Pac-12, obviously, fairly well?
Maria Bruggere: Rusty Fernando, he played well out there this spring. He didn't do what Taylor Henry did in the sense that he was getting as many sacks and interceptions. But he defended and did his part. He needs more experience of course, and that game experience will be huge for him. But he really clicks with the other guys on defense and that's such an important part of playing effectively on D. I think that will end up showing through this year.

BF.C: How about some of the other guys?
Maria Bruggere: Scott Crichton, we didn't see a ton of him, he came in for some guys here and there. I know a lot of people were keeping an eye out for him and I think he's ready to be a dependable backup this season but he didn't get in as many reps as some of the other guys who were starting. Maybe fall camp will be different. Blake Harrah, same thing as Crichton, if fall camp unfolds the same way as the spring then I think he's probably a dependable backup this season. He just needs experience. He was the first string d-end at the first practice along with Fernando but Henry was the guy there this spring.

BF.C: How about Mana Rosa?
Maria Bruggere: I don't recall seeing a ton of him…bottom line is I think he's going to have to work his way up. There are a lot of quick and strong guys out there this spring at defensive end, even with Dom (Glover) and Andrew Seumalo moving over to defensive tackle it looks like a good group. They're faster as a group than they were last year, they can cover a lot of ground.

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