In exactly one week from now, the Beavers will open the season at home against Portland State. In the past few days, the Beavs have lowered the physicality of their practices, and it’s helped them return to a fairly clean bill of health.
“We’re making continued progress,” head coach Mike Riley said, “Which is something we have to do throughout the season, so that’s been good. The next thing is we’re as healthy as we’ve been. On Monday, we should have a pretty consistent group of guys.”
On the offensive side of the ball among the skill positions, there is really only one injured player, and that’s fullback Tyler Anderson.
However, Riley isn’t terribly concerned about it. Riley said he believes this team has two starting fullbacks on the roster. Anderson is one, and Ricky Ortiz is the other.
Ortiz hasn’t missed a single day of camp.
Up front, Fred Lauina returned to the field, and the only significant injury along the offensive line is Isaac Seumalo, who continues to rehab from a broken foot.
Defensively, a few players in the secondary have missed a few days. Dashon Hunt, Devin Chappell, and Naji Patrick have missed some time recently, although Hunt and Chappell were both sprinting along the sidelines and they both look pretty healthy to me.
Among the linebackers, D.J. Alexander is being brought back slowly from a hamstring injury. He’s been getting a few reps with the 2’s, but that seems to be mostly precautionary.
Along the defensive line, Kalani Vakameilalo and Brandon Bennett-Jackson sat out today. Vakameilalo has been wearing a brace on his arm, and Bennett-Jackson is dealing with a knee issue.
Even so, the defensive line is one of the deepest positions the Beavers have. On the end, Dylan Wynn and Jaswha James are the starters, but several other players have been getting reps with the 1’s as well.
Lavonte Barnett, Obum Gwacham, Titus Failuga, Brandon Bennett-Jackson, and even Jalen Grimble have been rotated in at various times.
Then at defensive tackle, Jalen Grimble, Bud Delva, and Siale Hautau will likely see most of the snaps, with Ali’i Robins, Noke Tago, and even Dylan Wynn figure into the rotation there. Who knows, maybe Kyle Peko will be available, too.
“My confidence is always high,” defensive line coach Joe Seumalo said, “I am so looking forward to seeing this group got out and play next Saturday.”
In celebration of the final day of camp, the Beavs rolled out a new drill, where the offensive and defensive linemen switched positions with each other. Defensive ends became offensive tackles. Offensive guards became defensive ends and so forth.
“We’ve been doing that at the end of camp since I’ve been here,” Seumalo said, “The O-line becomes the D-line, and the D-line becomes the O-line, and we just have fun with it.”
I thought that maybe there was something to be gained with this ritual, where the linemen might learn more about their foe’s position, but coach Seumalo said otherwise.
“No. Nothing. Absolutely zero,” Seumalo said, “It’s just a fun time for those guys that have worked their butts off on both sides of the line, and as much as I can’t wait to see us play, I can’t wait to see our O-line play.”
When watching that drill, offensive lineman Fred Lauina looked like a pretty good defensive lineman, and Obum Gwacham was a pretty terrible tackle (no offense, Boom. Don’t hurt me).
Siale Hautau and Dylan Wynn, on the other side, were formidable offensive linemen.
But no matter who was in there, every rep was entertaining since everyone put their ego on the line in an otherwise useless drill. I enjoyed watching it, and the players definitely enjoyed competing in it.
Elsewhere, placekicker Trevor Romaine is still gone with an undisclosed off-field issue, and Ian Crist continues to see work as the team’s kicker. Additionally, the Beavers brought in sophomore Ryan Cope to get some reps as well.
Cope hasn’t been present for most of camp, and I don’t know if he even has a jersey anymore. On the roster, his usual number is 7, but today he wore number 6 and the back of his jersey was nameless.
At any rate, he performed several kickoffs, and I think every single one of them landed past the goal line, prompting punter Keith Kostol to yell, “Cope is a beast!”
Garrett Owens, who is probably Romaine’s immediate backup over Crist, has been limited of late and he didn’t kick today.
Against the first team defense in the skelly and full team drills, Sean Mannion was 9-of-12, where every incompletion was due to solid coverage.
Linebacker Michael Doctor deflected one where he should have had an interception, cornerback Larry Scott had a deflection, and safety Tyrequek Zimmerman forced an incompletion with his coverage of Connor Hamlett.
The role-reversal “drill” was going on at the same time as Brent Vanderveen and Luke Del Rio were going through their skelly, so I missed some of their day.
Against the full team defense, Vanderveen was 2-of-2, and Del Rio was 2-of-5.
Running with the 1’s
QB – Sean Mannion
TB – Storm Woods / Terron Ward
FB – Ricky Ortiz
H-Back – Kellen Clute
TE – Connor Hamlett / Caleb Smith
LT – Gavin Andrews
LG – Garrett Weinreich
C – Josh Mitchell
RG – Grant Bays (wearing Harlow’s jersey)
RT – Sean Harlow (Wearing Bays’ jersey)
FL –Victor Bolden (Xavier Hawkins also got reps)
SE – Richard Mullaney (Jordan Villamin also got reps)
SB – Malik Gilmore (Hunter Jarmon also got reps)
DE – Dylan Wynn (Jalen Grimble also got reps)
DT – Jalen Grimble (Dylan Wynn also got reps)
DT – Siale Hautau (Bud Delva also got reps)
DE – Jaswha James (Lavonte Barnett and Obum Gwacham also got reps)
WIL –Rommel Mageo
MIK – Jabral Johnson
SAM – Michael Doctor
CB - Larry Scott
CB - Steven Nelson
FS – Tyrequek Zimmerman
SS – Ryan Murphy
OSU BEAVERS: Report on final day of fall camp
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