Beavers Fall Camp: What We've Learned

CORVALLIS --- What have we learned so far? To mark the second week of Oregon State’s fall camp, here are a few of my impressions at each position.

Quarterbacks: Sean Mannion looks brilliant when he’s just throwing to his receivers, but when you put a defense on the field he’s had a few issues.

He might be expecting too much of his receivers at this point, because everyone has a few drops, and some receivers have more than others.

As for the backups, Luke Del Rio seems to be decently entrenched as the second-stringer, if second-team reps mean anything at this point. He looks like he has good mechanics and he’s made a lot of throws, but he doesn’t have great height and sometimes doesn’t see every defender.

Brent Vanderveen has a somewhat unorthodox throwing motion, but he’s got great size and has made good decisions so far in team drills.

Running Backs: Storm Woods is the most present player in camp. He wins the Brandin Cooks award for practicing hard and taking reps seriously. He also looks sharp as a receiver and as an athlete in general. In fact, all the running backs do.

Terron Ward and Chris Brown are the other players splitting reps with Woods, and running back coach Chris Brasfield shows more enthusiasm toward his players than any other position coach. The running game might be back in Corvallis.

Wide Receivers: I find myself rooting for Jordan Villamin to impress the coaching staff if only for his size. The redshirt freshman is a chiseled 6-foot-4, 240 pounds, and he definitely has the body to be great.

While we’re speaking of physical traits, Xavier Hawkins is really, really fast. He needs to tighten up most of his game, but with the ball in his hands he’s a blur.

And I’m calling it now, Richard Mullaney and Victor Bolden will make for a solid receiver tandem this year. If they stay healthy, the passing game will be fine, but I will note a pretty sizable drop off in talent or polish after those two.

However…

Tight Ends: Connor Hamlett, Caleb Smith, Kellen Clute, and even Jacob Wark all look like they will be valuable weapons in the receiving game. The Beavers have been practicing quite a few two tight-end sets, as well.

Offensive Line: There is some experience up front. Grant Enger and Josh Andrews are gone, but Sean Harlow was a starter last year, Grant Bays played in every game, Isaac Seumalo was a starter, Gavin Andrews doesn’t have mono like he did last year, Dustin Stanton played on special teams, and Garrett Weinreich is healthy.

Defensive Line: Defensive tackle Jalen Grimble and defensive end Dylan Wynn both look really good, really fast, and really strong. On the other hand, Obum Gwacham has been pretty quiet so far in camp.

Linebackers: They’ve gone through some adversity with Darrell Songy’s suspension and D.J. Alexander’s hamstring pull, but they have a good amount of depth and experience that they should still be fine. Kyle Haley and Rommel Mageo have both been making plays among the second unit, and they each look ready to play if things keep going wrong.

Secondary: Ryan Murphy, Tyrequek Zimmerman and Dwayne Williams have all recorded interceptions during the team drills, and cornerbacks Steven Nelson and Larry Scott have been reliable in coverage and in spacing.

Punters: When Keith Kostol can get the ball to spiral off his foot, they’re usually good for 50-plus yards, and his coffin-corner punts are on point. He looks pretty good.

Kickers: Garrett Owens has made a higher percentage of his kicks than Trevor Romaine. I’m pretty sure Owens is 100 percent from within 37-yards. Romaine is not, but he did boot a 55-yarder the other day.


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