Pre-Spring Report: Cornerbacks

BF.com previews the Oregon State cornerbacks heading into spring ball.

CORNERBACKS

2004:
After Brandon Browner grabbed Pac-10 Freshman of the Year honors in 2003, expectations were high for his sophomore year.  Most Beaver fans would agree that Browner struggled in his second season in the Pac-10.  Despite his problems, Browner was still feared and more than capable of lining up with the best of the best.  Aric Williams had a better year than Browner as the senior made play after play.  The experience and expertise of Browner and Williams will be missed be greatly missed this year.


The veteran(s):
Sophomore Gerard Lawson had a fantastic year on special teams. He showed his speed as he covered punts and kickoffs effectively while making several timely plays. He also received valuable time on the field and had the benefit of playing alongside Browner and Williams.

Junior Kellen Marshall has been battling a knee injury his entire time at Oregon State. His injuries have slowed his development and the chances of him seeing playing time.


The new guy(s):
Redshirt freshman Bryan Payton had a respectable year on the scout team.  The largest cornerback on the team came to OSU highly rated and will have a chance to compete for a starting spot. At the very least Payton will be a valuable special team's member.

Redshirt freshman Keenan Lewis hard work on the scout team paid off in 2004 as he earned defensive MVP honors. Lewis is long with decent speed and is another player who benefited from practicing with Browner and Williams.


Spring ball:
All spots are up for grabs. Lawson and Lewis have the inside edge on the corner spots due to their hard work on special teams and the scout team, respectively.  The cornerback corp lost a member the first day of camp with Charles Burnley moved back to running back.

Due to the lack of depth don't be surprised to see some of the recruited athletes try their skills at CB. The younger players have a lot of pressure on them to perform and they must make an impression on the coaches before junior college transfers Aaron Miller and Edorian McCullough arrive for fall ball.

Despite the lack of bodies, this will be one of the most competitive positions to watch. It will also be one of the more intense battles.


One to watch:
Gerard Lawson. He showed his value on special teams and a hard worker on special teams usually translates to a good player on defense. Lawson isn't big, but he does have a big heart and loves to compete.
 

CB Roster:

  • LC: Gerard Lawson (5-11, 185) – sophomore, chance to show he belongs on the field with the first unit
  • LC: Bryan Payton (6-2, 202) – redshirt freshman, big body with good athleticism
  • LC: Kellen Marshall (5-11, 185) – junior, plagued by injuries and has never fully recovered
  • RC: Keenan Lewis (6-0, 178) – redshirt freshman, lanky and lean and motivated
     

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