Five position battles to watch

Spring camp is just a couple of weeks away and there are several spots up for grab in 2005. takes a look at the five positions to watch this April.

Is it gonna be Matt Moore or Brian Hildebrand? The transfer or the sophomore? Who knows! But let's not forget about Ryan Gunderson. He has been in the system the longest and (we have heard this before) has all the physical tools to be a good one. The hang up? Rusty mechanics.

It's a three, not two, man battle come April and don't count any of them out just yet.

A bucket load of talent sits at tailback with Florida transfer Jimtavis Walker, sophomore Yvenson Bernard, and a host of talented freshmen. While a freshman will most likely not take the starting job, they will provide extra incentive for Walker and Bernard to stay at the top of their game.

Walker was clearly the front runner, until his run in with the law and Bernard is more than capable of taking the starting duties.

Both cornerback spots are up for grabs. Mike Riley landed two outstanding junior college prospects in Edorian McCullough and Aaron Miller who will both compete immediately for playing time. But don't forget sophomore Gerard Lawson who had a superb year on special teams and is looking to make the transition from special teams to starting defender.

Redshirt freshman Keenan Lewis, who was named defensive scout MVP in 2004, and Bryan Payton are both good athletes and have one year of Riley's system under their belts which will help greatly.

Junior Josh Linehan returns after having a solid season where he showed he could pass block and get out and block up field. The gifted Jeremy Perry may be a future All-Pac-10 performer and is ready to play a significant role in the offense after paying his dues.

Linehan and Perry will push each other the entire month of April in what could be one of the most highly contested starting spots on the team

The tackles always play an important role in pressuring the opposing teams quarterback and stopping the run. Sophomore Curtis Coker and senior Alvin Smith both return after playing significant minutes.

Both players also saw their time on the field increase as the season progressed and both will play a major role in the Beavers defensive scheme this year. Who is going to grab the starting spot? That is up to the coaches.

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