Senior Dwight Wright returns after playing in 13 games behind current St. Louis Ram Steven Jackson. In a backup role Wright carried the ball 89 times for 378 yards (3.9 ypc) and two touchdowns. He received the blessing of Jackson in December and looks to extend the number of years the Beavers have had an outstanding running back in their offensive arsenal.
Wright will not break any rushing records his senior season, but he will provide the team with a consistent, respectable running
game. He is a smart, patient player who waits for the holes to open up. Wright
prefers to dance in between the tackles where he utilizes his quick feet.
The senior caught three passes for 27 yards last season and
received a good workout during spring camp catching the ball. His shifty
running style makes him a threat in the open field and he should see plenty of
passes come his way. Wright has game experience and the benefit of watching
Jackson play and could have an outstanding year.
Sparing with Wright for playing time is sophomore Ryan Cole. He saw limited time in 2003 carrying the ball 15 times for 82 yards (6.3
ypc). Cole's running style is almost exactly opposite of Wrights. While Cole
also prefers to stay within in the tackles, he would rather knock a defender
over than slide past him. The 6-0, 233-pound player is tough in short yardage
situations and runs with a lot of force.
During spring ball Cole split time almost evenly with
Wright at starting running back. Wright is the more nimble of the two and will
be thrown more passes, while Cole will be reserved for an
old-school-grind-it-out-on-the-ground type of situation. Both of the back
success rests heavily on the offensive line's shoulders. Former Beaver running
backs Ken Simonton and Steven Jackson often made great plays out of horrible
blocking. This year the line must block for the team to move the sticks because
they do not have the all-American athletes in backfield that they have had the
past seven seasons.
Redshirt freshman Yvenson Bernard also received quite a bit
of playing time in spring ball and will contribute significantly. Bernard
possesses quick feet and breakaway speed and will give the coaches another good
running back to put in the game. The 5-foot-8, 207-pound player could be a key
contribute on special teams returning kickoffs or punts.
Jackson caught 44 passes last year for 470 yards. He was
tied with Mike Hass for the third most catches on the team. This year should be
no different for the backs. Between the three at least 44 catches will be made,
if not 15-20 more. Short slants across the middle and screens will be used
often. They must make the catches they are supposed to. Dropping easy,
catchable passes could devastate a young, unproven offense.
Despite not having a preseason all-conference player in the backfield, the running backs are
poised to have a solid season. There is a good blend of veterans and
underclassmen and a healthy does of competition which will keep the players at
the top of their game.
Offensive Line |
Fall Camp: Running Backs
BeaverBlitz Top Stories
COMMIT: Beavs land Utah linemanOregon State may have lost the game on the field Saturday, but Sunday was time for celebration as the Beavers added a major talent to the 2017 class.
BeaverBlitzYesterday at 7:20 PM
Georgia tackle takes in Oregon StateThe visit reports are starting as the official visitors return home after a weekend in Corvallis. Stick with BeaverBlitz for the latest from the visitors, including thoughts from…
BeaverBlitzYesterday at 12:50 PM
Glimmers of hope for the futureLet's be honest, Saturday’s 38-24 loss to Boise State was disheartening at times and embarrassing at others. The Broncos offense racked up more than 500 yards of offense, including…
BeaverBlitzYesterday at 11:46 AM
Defensive Points + MVP's: Boise StateWho led the way for the Oregon State defense? Time to take a look at the defensive MVP's from the Idaho State game.
BeaverBlitzYesterday at 9:01 AM