OSU FALL CAMP REPORT: Day 9, Morning Session

CORVALLIS -- The first practice of the day was replete with higher temperatures than are normally associated for summer here in Oregon. But as the weather heated up, so did some of the position battles. An update on the injury front including one o-lineman whose season is over -- and how will the offensive line cope with a sudden lack of depth starting to plague its ranks?

Injury Report Day 9, Session 1:
Mike Riley frowned prior to answering questions regarding freshman Garrett Weinreich's spill on Monday evening. The prognosis was not as positive as the coaching staff had hoped for – the word on Weinreich?

"Surgery," Riley said. "Out for the year, redshirted for sure. Hopefully he can get back for (2013) spring practice. Garrett, he had really been coming on, might have even played as a backup. But this (injury) kind of defines what he is going to be doing for the next year."

Riley elaborated to say that Weinreich did not tear his ACL, but basically tore/twisted a large majority of cartilage in his kneecap, something that will take considerable time to rehabilitate.

And the hits just keep on coming – corner Rashaad Reynolds and linebacker D.J. Welch both sat out of practice today (but as more of a formality than anything else), the result of common wear and tear from playing the game, bumps and bruises if you will.

"Rashaad has got a little bit of a thumb problem, knee problem, hip problem – you know, everybody is sore," Riley said, segueing into some words of wisdom, courtesy of Junior Seau. "After the first day (of practice) you'll never feel the same again until next season."

The bread for today's injury sandwich? Tyler Perry, Caleb Smith, Gavin Andrews, Chris Miller, Anthony Watkins, Kendall Hill and Chase Eldredge were all still on the sidelines

Notable Note: Perry was looking spry today despite not participating - he ran drills of his own and shows signs that he will return shortly.

With the exception of Weinreich, not a one of the current injuries appear to be serious.

But wait! There is more – and it's good news. Sophomore tailback and contender for the No.1 rushing slot on the depth chart Malcolm Agnew returned to the field today in pads and with the middle and index fingers on his right hand heavily taped, but in working order.

Yesterday while getting in some extra post-practice work on his blocking, Agnew dislocated a finger. And it turns out the injury was initially severe enough that he had to go to the hospital to get his fingers "readjusted" later that afternoon. But Agnew was back at it today -- and he ran and carried with skill on Wednesday, and the injury did not seem to bother his performance in the least.

Position Changes/ Tweaks:
With injuries digging at the ranks, a couple of players have gotten some additional playing time on the 1's and 2's. While injuries are never desirable, the fact that a few key Beavers are sitting out has shed some light on players coming off the bench.

In the secondary: With the ongoing absence of Watkins, we have seen a lot of the sophomore safety Tyrequek Zimmerman, and will probably continue to.

Zimmerman has really been proving himself as a football smart athlete who has a nose for big hits – a solid No.2 with a bright future based on recent observations.

With Reynolds nursing a variety of small scale nicks during the first half of practice today, BF.C got some solid looks at junior defensive back Sean Martin on the 1's in lieu of Reynolds.

Martin looked fair enough. He is fast, and looked decent in zone coverage against the likes of Markus Wheaton and Micah Hatfield. However, Martin struggled against faster wide outs when it comes to man coverage - he did not look very physical off the snap, allowing for receivers to get separation from him almost immediately.

One of the more impressive substitutions on the 1's thus far has been linebacker Jabral Johnson (in for Welch currently).

Since Monday, Johnson has been seeing a timeshare on the 1's at strongside linebacker along with Welch. Johnson is one of the few guys in the ‘backer ranks that actually looks the part of a prototypical collegiate linebacker (size-wise).

Johnson, a sophomore who stands at 6-1, 234, is tough. He doesn't give up on a play. His size is ideal for stopping the run and his decent agility/speed allows him to make a big impact against short passes, screens and sweep routes. Johnson does have a weakness that Welch has yet to display though – hesitation.

Welch is very aggressive, quick to the ball, and faster than Johnson in his recognition of play direction. Johnson delays just a split second on a lot of plays trying to make his read (this really just seems the result of inexperience in game situations) and as a result, he loses his man from time to time.

Riley noted that Michael Philipp is starting to show signs of great play at his offensive tackle slot, a bit of progress with every day of practice.

Philipp, who at the onset of camp had issues with his footwork and keeping his balance when setting moving blocks, has improved markedly in the last week. His progression is needed now more than ever if the Beaver O-line is to be successful moving forward.

Phillip has been spending a lot of time on field with the 1's and 2's almost exclusively. He has thus far displayed dedication and good work ethic – he listens to Mike Cavanaugh and produces results accordingly.

Notable Note: Riley and crew are still in the midst of player rotations throughout the depth chart, so there have been a lot of guys moving about, and it is likely to remain that way at least until the end of the week.

Practice Notes Day 9 Part 1:
Offense:

Quarterback: The QB's (specifically Sean Mannion and Cody VazRichie Harrington and Brent Vanderveen were not very active) were did a nice job today in working on a particular part of the Beaver offense. Mannion and Vaz each demonstrated a good grasp on their assignments and threw the ball well. Mannion's accuracy was a bit better today than earlier in the week.

Tailback: All in all, a quiet day for the tailback corps under RBs coach Chris Brasfield. Senior Jordan Jenkins got the majority of the limited hand-offs from Mannion and Vaz.

Injured hand or not, Malcolm Agnew was looking his usual versatile self. The offensive line has been implementing more cut blocks, and the running backs have been getting in on the action too – Agnew specifically looked well versed in how to throw a cut block and be aggressive. He managed to knock down Devon Kell on two separate occasions this afternoon.

Wide Receiver: Obum Gwacham stood out today. Not because of huge plays down field and sprawling catches. The past few days have seen him under running routes and dropping easy passes – today on the other hand, Gwacham caught all but one pass thrown to him during 11-on-11's and various red zone drills.

"With Boom, he is such a raw football player… that you are able to see those big jumps in growth form him because he was kind of a blank canvas when he got (onto the football team)," said Brent Brennan. "He has learned how to play the position. I'm happy with him, and he is on a good path."

Gwacham, Kevin Cummings, and Micah Hatfield all saw extra time on the 1's and 2's this afternoon and looked consistent. Brennan mentioned specifically that Cummings has been one of the most consistent members of the receiver corps to date.

"It's fun to watch those guys compete because they're both super competitive, and they both know what's on the line," Brennan said. "So day in and day out they've got to play at a high level because they know the other one is right there to take the opportunity away from them."

Tight End: Colby Prince caught a few passes and blocked a little better today, but he's still working on his blocking. Connor Hamlett saw looks on the 1's and 2's, and also pulled in a few catches.

O-Line: Despite the injuries to their ranks, the O-line looked pretty good. Redshirt freshmen Justin Addie and Jake Welch set some good blocks during play-action drills today, and Colin Kelly has started to step up as a physical and vocal leader for the Beaver O-line.

Isaac Seumalo looked sharp with his assignments today, and blocked seamlessly for the most part. From this chair, Seumalo has (by far) the best blocking technique in the offensive line unit at this juncture.

Defense:
D-Line: The good, the bad, and the "eh, could be better". The front four that are the most likely to start (Dylan Wynn, Castro Masaniai, Andrew Seumalo, Scott Crichton) all look ready to go, and have almost since day one.

Wynn continues to show very good speed and has the ability to slip around a block with his speed and hurtle toward the QB. Crichton has been quieter but consistent, and continues to do his job well and make plays against the run.

The issue facing the defensive line for the Beavers is this – if one of the starting front four gets hurt, what happens then? They just don't look to have the desired speed and overall ability in the depth chart to cover that kind of talent gap (if say Wynn or Seumalo were to incur an injury). Joe Lopez and Mana Rosa have had their moments, but both are jumpy prior to the snap and occasionally run right past ball carriers.

Linebackers: Also in the rotation today between the 1's and 2's for the ‘backers were Shaydon Akuna, Joel Skotte, Rueben Robinson and Caleb Saulo. Akuna and Skotte saw a good deal of time on the 2's and showed patience when it came to the pass and good gap control when the offense ran the ball at them.

Feti Unga and Rueben Robinson were not as active today, but when they saw playing time, they played well. Unga was a little better in his recognition of pass plays. It will also be interesting to see what Saulo and redshirt freshman Kyle Gardner are capable of -- they are both big body players who move surprisingly fast given their size.

Secondary: The three standouts today were the redshirt freshman Peter Ashton, Naji Patrick and the senior Brian Watkins. Watkins had two interceptions, both in the end zone during one-on-one red zone drills – he really played hard today and that pleased assistant coach Rod Perry.

Patrick is really fast, and remains aggressive in his coverage, both zone and man.

Ryan Murphy, ever the ball shark, had another pick today, and is starting to take a leadership role with some of the younger guys in the secondary.

Red zone drills gave us a glimpse at how smart Peter Ashton is down inside the ten yard line – he used his bulk to his advantage and closes out a receivers route with physicality rather than speed. He uses his hands well and gets physical off the snap, causing offensive players to adjust to him, thusly altering their planned routes (ever so slightly) and effectively breaking up the play.

Depth Chart Day 9 Part 1:
Offense:

QB- Sean Mannion, Cody Vaz, Richie Harrington/Brent Vanderveen

TB- Jordan Jenkins, Terron Ward, Malcolm Agnew/Storm Woods, Chris Brown

FB- Clayton York/Tyler Anderson

WR- Obum Gwacham, Markus Wheaton/ Micah Hatfield &Richard Mullaney, Kevin Cummings/Brandin Cooks

TE- Connor Hamlett , Kellen Clute, Colby Prince

OL- OT- Michael Philipp OG - Josh Mitchell/ Josh Andrews C -Roman Sapolu/Isaac Seumalo OG- Grant Enger/ Justin Addie/ OT – Colin Kelly/ Jake Welch

Defense:

DL- DE Dylan Wynn – DT Castro Masaniai – DT Andrew Seumalo/Joe Lopez - DE Scott Crichton

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

ILB- Feti Unga/ Kyle Gardner/ Dyllon Mafi


BeaverBlitz Top Stories