OSU FALL CAMP REPORT: Day 4

CORVALLIS - The fourth day of fall camp for the Beavers went as smoothly as any fan could hope for. High energy was the name of the game for coaches and players alike this afternoon, and it showed when the offensive and defensive units went head to head during drills for the second day in a row. The news was positive on an injured Beav o-lineman, some position battles heated up and more.

And there were a few hiccups along the way.

Injury Report:
The No.1 tight tackle, senior Colin Kelly did show up to practice today – sans the uniform and pads. Kelly hyper extended his left knee yesterday afternoon on the first drill from scrimmage against the defense and had to sit out for the rest of the day.

"Well, the word is he could be back tomorrow but no later than Saturday," Mike Riley said.

Anthony Watkins also had some issues with an ongoing hip flexor strain that Riley said is not a new occurrence and something Watkins and the training staff are more than prepared for.

Position Changes/ Tweaks:
In lieu of the temporarily incapacitated Kelly, sophomore Derek Nielsen (a walk-on who played in two games last year), was filling his spot as the No. 1 at right tackle (until Kelly makes a full return). While Nielsen may not have the on-field experience some would hope for, he displayed that he has the talent and quick feet to match his teammates.

"Nielsen is probably our most versatile player (on the line) right now," Riley said. "He knows all the positions – we even worked him out at center. (Nielsen) is making a pitch into this top ten."

Watkins' hip saw him making his way toward the sideline after the first few minutes of 11-on-11's. As a result, sophomore safety and spring ball standout Tyrequek Zimmerman filled in for him on the 1's alongside Ryan Murphy.

Zimmerman looked impressive, keeping up with the likes of Markus Wheaton and Obum Gwacham and knocking down a few bullets from Sean Mannion and Cody Vaz.

Redshirt freshman Peter Ashton also saw some looks on the 2's, and displayed great field awareness and good presence against the run.

Rueben Robinson and Feti Unga did a 50-50 timeshare at the Inside Linebacker spot today, and both looked good. Unga is currently the No. 1, but Robinson demonstrated a higher level of awareness in terms adjusting to the offense when they ran certain sets and plays.

The Bright Spots:
At this stage, the two most impressive units (arguably) have been the wide receivers and secondary and they were again today Both groups have solid depth, and the players show explosiveness in all their drills.

It is not just the 1's and 2's that show considerable potential – each group is full of disciplined weapons.

"The defensive backs and the wide receivers had the best work out ethic of anyone on the team," Riley said. "I think it totally had to do with the player leadership in those groups. The guys that are going to play in the games – they really worked hard and had a great offseason. Wheaton and the older guys are the best example."

Practice Notes-

Offense:
Quarterback: As a whole, the QB's remain astute and very fluid at this juncture. Riley is optimistic about what Mannion is capable of going into fall camp and by extension, the looming regular season.

Vaz's performance was a little shaky today – some passes could have been tighter and a few of them soared over the heads of his targets. However, everyone is allowed a shoddy day or two, and Vaz has been dependable otherwise.

Tailback: It remained an aggressive battle for the No.1 tailback job. BF.C's take – the battle is still between Malcolm Agnew and Storm Woods, with Agnew's job as a starter hanging by a relatively strong thread.

However, Woods has some undeniably superb sideline speed and breakaway potential, and it is exciting to watch. Agnew and Terron Ward on the other hand, have an advantage in their game that the likes of Woods and Chris Brown cannot touch – they are shorter.

Height (Woods and Brown both stand at 5-10, Agnew and Ward at 5-8 and 5-7 respectively) is not widely considered a desirable trait amongst tailbacks because it translates into them becoming an easier target for those pursuing them on defense. Agnew and Ward have been much better at lowering their head and making guys miss in the back field that Woods or Brown.

Tight End: The group was pretty quiet today, but as a unit showed up in the pass game during drills. On the downside, Caleb Smith had an inconsistent practice, dropping a few easy passes during drills and 11-on-11's.

Wide Receivers: Dominated the air today, pulling down numerous passes against the secondary during one-on-ones. Brandin Cooks, who received a lot of praise from WRs coach Brent Brennan this afternoon, is quickly looking like a solid No.2 option behind Wheaton.

Gwacham, who is also pushing for a starting gig, looked less than impressive behind Cooks, dropping more passes than he caught.

Kevin Cummings really showed up today, and had some sticky fingers. The battle for No.2 is really heating up and looks to remain tight throughout fall camp.

Offensive Line: There was some really good play from Nielsen today.

Nielsen has had experience at guard, center, and tight tackle since the beginning of the fall, and displayed a clean command of all positions -- he has some quick feet for a guy his size. His stability on foot aided him in setting clean blocks against defensive lineman and linebackers alike during drills.

Defense:
Defensive Line: Castro Masaniai and Dylan Wynn both stood out today.

Masaniai has improved in his ability to maneuver amongst opposing blockers and plug up the more obvious running lanes. He still looks a bit shaky in his reaction time but that is a small issue that can remedied throughout the remaining days of fall camp.

Linebackers: Riley was thoroughly impressed with D.J. Welch and Michael Doctor on Day Four.

"If our linebackers outside can stay healthy with Doctor and the way he has grown, and Welch – at least we will be fast out there (on the field)."

Welch and Doctor both possess above average speed for their position, and fit snuggly in the mold of what Mark Banker is attempting to institute.

Secondary: The group for the most part continued to be successful and well prepared day in and day out. Zimmerman was particularly good today, and is proving himself as a gifted athlete and solid No. 2 option at either one of the safety spots. Look for him to get better and put up some competition for both Watkins and Murphy heading into the remainder of fall camp.

Depth Chart Day 4:

Offense:
OL: OT Michael Philipp – OG Josh Andrews – C Isaac Seumalo – OG Grant Enger – OT Derek Nielsen

QB- Sean Mannion - Cody Vaz - Richie Harrington

RB- Malcolm Agnew - Storm Woods - Terron Ward

FB- Clayton York

WR- Markus Wheaton - Obum Gwacham/Brandin Cooks - Kevin Cummings

Defense:
DL- DE Dylan Wynn – DT Castro Masaniai – DT Andrew Seumalo - DE Scott Crichton

OLB- Michael Doctor (Weakside) – D.J. Welch (Strongside)

ILB- Feti Unga/Rueben Robinson

CB- Jordan PoyerRashaad ReynoldsSean Martin/Ryan Handford/ Naji Patrick

S- Anthony Watkins/Tyrequek Zimmerman (Free) – Ryan Murphy (Strong)


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