OSU NOTEBOOK: Riley, Seumalo, Perry weigh in

CORVALLIS – Two days in, what's the story on the defensive line? Is the TE/H-back position already coming into clearer focus? What about the cornerback battle on one side? Three OSU coaches spoke into the BF.C mic about that and more on Tuesday after practice....

So is honors candidate and Beaver DE Scott Crichton 100 percent after sitting out the spring?

"I think he is ready to go," Beav d-line coach Joe Seumalo said. "Obviously there are some things we need to do fundamental-wise to keep things flowing, but I think he is ready to go."

Might fellow DE Dylan Wynn slip into the interior of the D-line more often with all the questions there? John Braun is already in the middle of a similar switch, can we expect the same of other members of Seumalo's crew?

"I think of all those guys – you look at Dylan you look at John Braun, you look at Scotty and then Mana Rosa, all those guys have played either end or tackle one time or another.

"In a pinch you can always put Dylan inside, you can put Devon Kell () inside. Those guys have those position flexibilities to be able to play inside and be successful with it. It's not just Dylan, it's those five guys that I'm going to rely on to get everybody else caught up."

Siale Hautau's injured foot from Day 1 doesn't appear like it will be a significant problem moving forward.

"The X-rays were negative," Mike Riley said. "So whatever it is, it should heal pretty fast."

"He will be back out tomorrow, he's got no choice," Seumalo quipped. "Pain tolerance."

Hauta is a dumptruck in the middle, at 6-3, 345 pounds. But he's now already hand and foot injuries since he arrived in the spring.

"If we can keep Siale healthy – he is such an athletic kid, a big, brawly looking kid – if we can just keep him healthy, we have a good mix of guys that can get in there and compete." Seumalo said. "But I think we will love what we see out of (Hautau)."

MEANWHILE, RILEY GOT to talking about the potential increase in plays designed around getting h-back Connor Hamlett the football.

"Well we need that (Hamlett being more involved) to happen," Riley said Tuesday. "One of our goals in the offseason was to try and enhance that position's production in the passing game. He has made nice strides each year so we hope we get that again. (Hamlett) teaming up with Caleb Smith- that is a really good duo – it provides us two guys."

The important thing to note here with Riley talking about his TEs/H-Backs is the bit about Smith.

Smith brings speed and athleticism to the table while Hamlett has great hands and decent blocking talents. But Riley never leaves a man in the dust.

"I see three more guys that might be helpful, as I look at it," Riley mentioned. "Kellen Clute, he has a different body, he has really worked hard, he might be strong enough to block. He's always been an athletic guy (at TE). Then Tyler Perry looks the best I've ever seen him. And the kid that made a big jump from spring was Dustin Stanton."

OVER IN THE defensive backfield, assistant Rod Perry gave us some insight into how corners Sean Martin and Steven Nelson have been coming along.

He started off by mentioning that Martin having to leave practice early for a class will not affect his ability to compete for a starting role. Perry then went right into talking about how Nelson has really stepped up his game.

"He is much more confident. He knows what to do and knows how we want it done at the college level," Perry said. "Now he is doing it with some energy and he is doing it with confidence."

How long before a winner is declared in that position battle? That probably won't be known for a while.

"What we have is a nickel situation, with both of them on the field," Perry said. "A lot of teams are playing with three-wide, and the nickel position is like (having two) starters, so both of them will be in the field a lot."


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