CORVALLIS – Over on defense on Day 14, some of the youth squeezed in some reps with the starting defensive line, and a pair of picks had things going the other way. A JUCO defensive tackle took some steps in the right direction and more...
Practice Notes – Day 14 Defense
LB Michael Doctor and CB Sean Martin snared two picks off of Cody Vaz on Tuesday in 1 vs. 1 action. They weren't gimmes, they were good plays by each, but the passes also could have been put elsewhere.
Defensive tackles Siale Hautau and Edwin Delva – juniors-but-still-Beaver-rookies who have received a lot of attention from the BF.C notebook – saw time with the 1's at various intervals during Tuesday's practice session. John Braun and Mana Rosa still appear the frontrunners at the starting DT spots, but Hautau and Delva did well Tuesday and could make a push for PT in the form of, at the least, heavy rotation.
Hautau's progress has been a tad more pronounced than Delva's in my view. Hautau is incredibly quick with his upper body for a guy listed at 6-1, 345 pounds. Speed is not necessarily Hautau's friend -- that's more the case with Delva -- but what the big guy lacks in speed is made up for with technique and some genuinely valuable size in the middle.
It is starting to seem like senior Dyllon Mafi and junior Jaswha James will get some significant playing time in 2013. Both are LB's turned defensive ends this fall camp, and their collective speed and notable pursuit skills were on display Tuesday. Adding Mafi and James into the mix at DE also should also allow for larger and more seasoned defensive linemen such as Dylan Wynn, Scott Crichton and Devon Kell to play more on the inside when called for.
Wynn jumped offside and drew a hypothetical encroachment penalty from the line judge at practice on Tuesday, the second day in a row that Wynn has jumped the gun on a play. Wynn has actually tried shooting the play early multiple times this camp, although if one wants to work on timing the snap and is to err on the early side, now's the time to do it and not after the season gets underway.
Brandon Bennett and Lavonte Barnett experienced a handful of reps with the 1's and 2's on the DL, and both were causing some trouble for the offensive line. The defensive line saw many players rotating in and out, and formations changed in the blink of an eye for segments of Tuesday's session. Barnett and Bennett were chief among those rotating athletes, and the pair did a solid job of keeping the successful running plays to a minimum.
Rod Perry, Mark Banker and Mike Riley seem relatively unconcerned that their second team cornerback lineup consists of three players that all stand below 5-11. With that said, Larry Scott (5-11), Dashon Hunt (5-8) and Malcolm Marable (5-7) - have some game. Scott has really emerged this fall camp, and Hunt is going to play as a true freshman rather than redshirt. Scott has been seeing ample time with the 2's since spring ball and has really come into his own as a strong option at corner.
Marable, a junior, may be the smallest defender on the OSU roster, but he had no issue defending the 6-5 Obum Gwacham on Day 14, and Marable has proven in the past that bigger athletes are not going to stand in the way of him making some good plays. Hunt has been a mixed bag of good and bad at this point, which I feel should be almost expected out of a rookie, even if he is a four star recruit. But once he gets used to Pac-12 play, the future is very bright for him.
Darrell Songy was pumped on Tuesday and saw time with the 2's as a backup for Jabral Johnson. Songy made a couple good reads against the scout team offense when OSU ran Eastern Washington prep for the final portion of Day 14. Songy seems pretty effective as a pass defender when he makes proper reads, as his size (6-0, 210) allows him to move quickly throughout the defensive zones and disrupt some plays. Where Songy's game might need improvement is in pursuit and his reads -- something to be expected out of a rookie linebacker.
Is sophomore walk on cornerback Naji Patrick is making a case for playing time? With what OSU has at corner ahead of him, probably not. But similar to Marable, Patrick seems particularly solid against Gwacham in recent weeks. Patrick uses speed instead of physicality to disrupt the offense, and his ability to quickly close gaps on the field is something that Brent Vanderveen and Vaz had a hard time accounting for on Tuesday.
MIK Joel Skotte, OLB Caleb Saulo and Rommel Mageo, who ran at second team MIK, all put in decent work on Tuesday. Skotte has continued to improve in the middle. Mageo and Saulo remain in learning mode. But from what I've seen the two freshman ‘backers should be adequate members of the defensive rotation. Mageo and Saulo are at the top of my list of OSU players that would really benefit from a scrimmage or two.
Today was freshman Manase Hungalu's first day running in shells with Trent Bray's linebacker unit.
Running with the 1's – Day 14
DE – Dylan Wynn
DT – John Braun/Edwin Delva
DT – Mana Rosa/Siale Hautau
DE –Scott Crichton
WIL –Jabral Johnson/Caleb Saulo
MIK – Joel Skotte
SAM –Michael Doctor
CB- Rashaad Reynolds
CB- Steven Nelson/Sean Martin
CB-Sean Martin (Nickel)
FS – Tyrequek Zimmerman
SS – Ryan Murphy