SAFETY: Post spring evaluation

THE DEFENSIVE BACKFIELD coming out of the spring looks like a Beaver strength. Maria Bruggere was on hand for each of Beavs' 15 spring football practices and breaks down the Oregon State safety position.

BF.C: Did the 1s at safety seem pretty well established coming out of the spring?
Maria Bruggere: I think you can say that. Lance Mitchell and Anthony Watkins looked pretty solid out there.

BF.C: What makes Mitchell a potential headliner-type?
Maria Bruggere: He's another one of those leaders, first of all, with guys like Brandon Hardin, Cameron Collins and Kevin Frahm.
BF.C: But what about his play on the field, what makes him potentially Pac-12-kind-of-special?
Maria Bruggere: He's very athletic, and he just plays the position really well. He's consistently good at everything you need a safety to be good at.

BF.C: How about Watkins?
Maria Bruggere: He got better and better as the spring went along and you saw more of what he could do. He had a pretty good spring game. I think he can be a real asset to the secondary as he continues to develop.

BF.C: Who are the guys behind them and how ready did they look?
Maria Bruggere: Dax Dilbeck and Josh LaGrone are probably the two that come to mind most. Dilbeck didn't practice much coming off the injury which ended his season. So I don't know that OSU fans or coaches for that matter have seen what he can do. I think he has a lot of potential, but he needs to get healthy before we see if that potential is ready to be realized.

BF.C: And LaGrone, and how about Ryan Murphy -- he redshirted last year but he was a nice get by the Beavs and has always seemed like he could be a very good player at some point?
Maria Bruggere: Murphy played well, and LaGrone did too. I think with both of them it's all about time and reps. They just need some more experience. Safety is a hard spot to play, it takes a while before you consistently make all the right reads and calls. It's not like you're just reacting, you have to do a lot of stuff, and do it correctly each and every time, before the ball is snapped.

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