SPRING BALL DAY 14: OL, Gwacham and more

CORVALLIS--The storylines on the last practice before the Spring Game? Numerous. The o-line for the second straight session looked like a different unit. The athletic stylings of one Obum Gwacham were in play -- he was a monster, especially in the red zone, grabbing three TDs. Mike Riley talked about what to expect on Saturday. And what about the center battle between Roman Sapolu and Jake Welch?

It won't be a lengthy scrimmage on Saturday, probably equivalent to about two quarters of a normal spring game.

"We want to get 50 live plays and mix a lot of special teams in the middle. We have to give the linemen a break because there's not many of them, but it should be good for us and exciting for the fans too. The players are excited for some live action so it should be good for everybody," said Mike Riley.

Practice Snapshot:
2:45 Players stretch, QB's warm up arms
3:00 Special teams/individuals
3:20 Special teams, PAT/field goals
3:30 Individuals
3:45 Team offense/Team defense
4:05 11-on-11
4:35 7-on-7
4:50 Redzone

Depth Chart, Day 14 practice notes
Offensive Line (The offensive line did Tuesday's session one better, with arguably its best practice of the spring thus far, looking sharp in both pass protection as well as running the ball.

An interesting position battle has been at the center position where Roman Sapolu and Jake Welch are fighting for the starting spot heading into spring. While Welch has come on strong as of late, Sapolu has probably been more consistent, especially considering Welch had a rough practice on Day 14, with back-to-back exchange problems with Mannion, both of which resulted in fumbles, and missing an assignment on a different play.

Riley has liked both of their play this spring but did not say who has the advantage at the moment when BF.C asked him the question.)

Left Tackle:
Justin Addie
Colin Kelly

Left Guard:
Josh Andrews

Center: ("There's a real battle at the center position and it's fun to watch," said Riley. "Both have done a fantastic job and the battle will continue in the fall for sure. I've liked what I've seen from both of them.")
Roman Sapolu
Jake Welch

Right Guard:
Mike Beaton
David Vieru

Right Tackle:
Michael Philipp
Derek Nielsen

Wide Receivers (Obum Gwacham had by far his most consistent, and therefore best, practice of the spring. The lanky receiver made two diving catches in the 11-on-11 period and caught three touchdowns from Mannion in the red zone period. Riley has said all camp that he'll see playing time in the fall as long as he knows his assignments -- and it looks like he's learning the offense well to this point.)

Brandin Cooks
Micah Hatfield (After Gwacham, and usual suspects Cooks and Wheaton, Hatfield was the most impressive receiver. He caught everything that was thrown his way, including one of the toughest catches a receiver can make – a ball that somehow went through both the hands of Doctor and Poyer.)

Split End:
Markus Wheaton
Richard Mullaney
Geno Munoz (Out with concussion like symptoms)
Jeff Bedbury

Obum Gwacham
Kevin Cummings
Mitch Singler
Kramer Ferrell
*Jordan Bishop

Tight Ends/H Backs (Connor Hamlett continues to impress, but all the tight ends were good on this day. The biggest hit of the day came on a crossing route from true freshman Smith who was hit hard by Poyer. Both players dropped hard from the booming collision but both were fine.)
Colby Prince
Connor Hamlett
Tyler Perry (Out with concussion like symptoms and is expected to miss the spring game.)
Kellen Clute
Caleb Smith

Running Backs: (Agnew was very impressive, outshining the other backs. He had multiple carries of 10-plus yards that included some dazzling moves to get through the holes created by Riley's zone blocking schemes. "We want this thing to play out because they all bring something different to the table. They all do certain things well, some better than others, so it's an interesting dilemma but it's a good one to have," said Riley.)

Malcolm Agnew
Storm Woods
Terron Ward
Jordan Jenkins
*Jovan Stevenson

Quarterbacks: (The quarterbacks were inconsistent, but were much better in the red zone. "I think it's been good," said Mannion referring to the spring as a whole. "When you look where we were at Day 1 compared to Day 14, we've come a long way. We're going to get better during the spring game and carry that momentum into fall camp.")

Sean Mannion
Cody Vaz
Jack Lomax
Richie Harrington

Defensive Line (The defensive line was outplayed for probably the first time all spring by the offensive line. On Tuesday the o-line did a stand-up job in pass pro but struggled at times in the run game. On Thursday, the o-line held the upper hand in both areas.)

Left Defensive End
Scott Crichton
Devon Kell
Rusty Fernando
Lavonte Barnett

Left Defensive Tackle
Mana Rosa
Joe Lopez
Brandon Bennett
*Castro Masaniai

Right Defensive Tackle
Andrew Seumalo
Desmond Collins
Mana Tuivailala
Noa Aluesi

Right Defensive End
Dylan Wynn
Rudolf Fifita (One of the lighter moments in practice came when the defensive and offensive lines switched, with the d-line trying to block the o-line -- and Fifita laid out Welch and Philipp in separate plays, much to the delight of the rest of the linemen. Then again, with only 8 healthy bodies on the o-line this spring, maybe it's a situation that bears watching when it comes to Fifita. Just kidding. I think.)
John Braun
Na'Alii Robins
*Blake Harrah

Linebackers: (D.J. Welch was still out with a hamstring pull, but the linebackers were solid all practice. Doctor broke up a couple of passes and the rest of the corps brought decent heat at times.)

SAM Linebacker
D.J. Welch
Jabral Johnson
Will Storey
Kyle Egan

MIK Linebacker:
Feti Unga
Rueben Robinson
Josh Williams
Jaswha James
Kyle Gardner
Charlie Gilmur

WIL Linebacker:
Michael Doctor (Doctor has made plays all spring. The coaching staff expects big things from the WIL linebacker in 2012.)
Cade Cowdin
Shaydon Akuna
Zeke Sanders

Secondary: (The secondary played very well for most of the practice, but struggled in the red zone period. Poyer, Murphy, and Zimmerman all made multiple plays beforehand. Zimmerman stood out in particular, diving to break up a couple of passes. Ashton also stood out in the penultimate spring practice, a day that included Ashton making a big hit over the middle during 11-on-11.)

Left Cornerback:
Jordan Poyer (Poyer looks ready for the regular season already. The first team All-Pac-12 candidate has been outstanding in just about every facet of the cornerback position for virtually all of spring ball.)
Keynan Parker
*Larry Scott

Ryan Murphy
Peter Ashton

Tyrequek Zimmerman (Definitely stood out on day 14, with probably his best practice of the spring.)
*Anthony Watkins
Micah Audiss

Right Cornerback:
Rashaad Reynolds
Sean Martin
Malcolm Marable
*Brian Watkins

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