OSU Fall Camp Day 9: Haskins, tempers rising

CORVALLIS – It’s day 9 here at Oregon State’s fall camp, where running back Damien Haskins had arguably the highlight of the entire camp thus far. Plus, the Beavers added a wrinkle to their full team drill, when things got so heated that coach Mike Riley had to momentarily stop practice.

Monday’s practice was probably the hottest of camp so far, and then yesterday’s practice had thunder and lightning which forced the team to move indoors. Today brought a return to comfortable weather.

The Beavers rolled out a new twist to their full team drill. Normally, the line of scrimmage is the offense’s own 25-yard line, and so they have a large majority of the field to work with. Today, that was not the case. In two iterations of the team drill, the offense set up on the defense’s 1- and 12-yard lines.

Lined up one yard from pay dirt, Haskins received a handoff from Sean Mannion, and took a pretty good hit right the line of scrimmage. Haskins disappeared for a moment behind all the bodies of the offensive and defensive players, only to emerge upright seconds later before running in for a touchdown.

It was such a good second effort that it caused the entire offense to celebrate.

“All the players took note of that,” Riley said, “I really like that kid. He’s bigger than most of the backs that we’ve ever had, and he’s got great feet. Those are the qualities right there that make you a great zone runner. He’s got quick feet and power, and balance.”

When discussing the running backs, Riley also made note of another player.

“The most interesting guy in the world to me is (Ryan) Nall. I do not know what I’m going to do with him yet, but I know I like him a lot.”

Nall is a true freshman from Sandy, Oregon listed as a running back at 6-feet-2, 241 pounds. Along with taking reps at running back, Nall has, despite his size, also been getting most of the work as the team’s primary kick returner.

Speaking of the special teams, placekicker Trevor Romaine was perfect or close to it with regards to extra points and field goals.

I didn’t see Garrett Owens try a kick. He didn’t look like he was injured.

In the skelly drill (with the line of scrimmage being the usual 25-yard line), Sean Mannion was 6-of-9.

Tight ends Caleb Smith and Kellen Clute, as well as receiver Blair Cavanaugh caught passes as Mannion’s third or second read.

Redshirt freshman receiver Jordan Villamin caught two passes off of two targets from Mannion.

True freshman receiver Xavier Hawkins caught one pass on four targets. Hawkins’ routes are considerably longer than the other receivers’, it should be noted.

In the full team, live tackling, goal-line drill, the Mannion-led offense scored a touchdown on all four downs.

In the skelly, Luke Del Rio had two completions. One of them was a really nice looking deep ball to sophomore receiver Malik Gilmore. Gilmore made the catch after battling with senior corner Malcolm Marable for a 35 or so yard gain.

Del Rio was also capable in the red zone, completing 2-of-3 passes from 12 yards out.

Brent Vanderveen also made a nice play. Immediately after Haskins made his play of the day, Vanderveen showed his athleticism by rolling out and scrambling in for the touchdown.

Shortly after this drill, Riley must have seen something he didn’t like from his players’ demeanor, because he called practice to a halt and had a huddle to address his team.

“I’ve got to settle it down so it doesn’t continue, but the fire is good,” Riley said, “When you get down to the goal line, they get mad if they don’t stop them and they get mad if they don’t score, so it’s a fairly natural reaction. What I’m trying to prevent is somebody throwing a punch, getting kicked out of a game, and being stupid.”

Concerning the goal-line drill that was implemented in practice today, Riley said, “The thing I want to do is make sure we can score while running the ball.”

So it must have been some relief to see Haskins demonstrate his ability.

“The issue is we’re not as strong as we might be in the offensive line.” Riley said, “We’ve jumbled things around to find the best players, we’re missing our best player, and we’ve missed an assorted number of tight ends so far. I don’t think we’ve reached any kind of a point where we can say that this is going to turn around, naturally.”

The offensive line helped the offense get four consecutive touchdowns, so it isn’t all bad. Defensive line coach Joe Seumalo even said that this means his group can still get better.

“That was good for our offense to get some success. Obviously we’ve got some stuff to do up front as well,” Seumalo said.

For the most part, the defensive line has been getting the better of the offensive line in the full team drills this camp.

“I think we’ve got some guys that are veteran guys,” said Seumalo, “You think about (Jalen) Grimble, he’s played two years in Miami. Then you think about Dylan (Wynn), think about Siale (Hautau) and those guys - they’ve all played a lot of football. So I would think that those guys would have the upper hand in terms of experience.”

Seumalo had good things to say about Grimble.

“He’s had a great summer, he’s obviously a great athlete, a special athlete in that way in terms of a big kid that can move, run, and be explosive.”

When thinking beyond the starters, Seumalo also said that he likes what he’s seeing from the 2’s and 3’s.

“Yeah” he said, smiling, “Little bit, which is good. In terms of the D-tackles you’ve got Ali’i Robins is having a good camp… That is the key, to get our reserves, get our guys that are going to rotate in. Get those guys ready to go. But yeah, I love their progress.”

New in the injury report is receiver Hunter Jarmon. I didn’t see it happen, but he walked off limping from one drill and was trying not to flex or bend his right leg.

Offensive lineman Isaac Seumalo was out of his walking boot, but it sounds like there’s still a long way to go before he’s healthy.

“The next two weeks he’s going to be without it,” said Joe Seumalo, Isaac’s father. “But the only movement he can really do is the treadmill underwater.”

Running with the 1’s Offense
QB – Sean Mannion
TB – Storm Woods / Chris Brown / Terron Ward / Damien Haskins
FB – Tyler Anderson
H-Back – Ricky Ortiz
TE – Connor Hamlett / Caleb Smith / Kellen Clute / Jacob Wark
LT – Gavin Andrews
LG – Garret Weinreich (Sean Harlow also got reps)
C – Grant Bays (Josh Mitchell also got reps)
RG – Sean Harlow
RT – Dustin Stanton
FL –Xavier Hawkins (Malik Gilmore)
SE – Jordan Villamin (Datrin Guyton also got reps)
SB – Malik Gilmore (Blair Cavanaugh also got reps)

DE – Dylan Wynn (Obum Gwacham also got reps)
DT – Jalen Grimble (Edwin Delva and Siale Hautau also got reps)
DT – Siale Hautau (Delva also took reps)
DE – Jaswha James (Obum Gwacham also got reps)
WIL –Rommel Mageo
MIK – Jabral Johnson
SAM – Michael Doctor
CB - Larry Scott
CB - Steven Nelson (Malcolm Marable also got reps)
FS – Tyrequek Zimmerman
SS – Ryan Murphy

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