end of April:
Going into spring ball it was a three horse race between Ryan Gunderson, Matt Moore and Brian Hildebrand. After spring practice it is a two horse race between Gunderson and Moore.
Gunderson has the edge due to his knowledge of the playbook. He completed the most passes and was the most consistent as he found his third and fourth reads often. If that pesky wobble didn’t plague his throws, which limits the Beavers ability to take a shot downfield, he would clearly be leading for the starting spot.
Moore was as advertised. He was mobile and possesses the strongest arm of the group. He does tend to look for the long ball and go for the spectacular play rather than the dependable play. He stays calm in the pocket, is confident, and doesn’t mind throwing on the run.
Hildebrand unfortunately faded into the background, but is the fastest player out of the quarterbacks with a soft touch. The buzz was generated by freshman Sean Canfield who looked like he had been playing in a college system for a year. His footwork is raw, but his tight spiral and quality decision making impressed coaches and fans alike. Canfield is the future and the future looks very bright.
Colt Charles and Paul Kirwan received the least amount of reps. Charles will play a role on special teams while Kirwan will not see playing time at Oregon State.
All of the quarterbacks and centers struggled with snaps as several balls were laid on the turf. It is tough to say if it was the quarterback or centers fault, but it is to be expected with a new quarterback and center lining up together.
Riley said he would not name a starter at the conclusion of spring drills and he didn’t but Moore and Gunderson received the most reps and it is clearly between the two.
It was fun to see all of the quarterbacks working on quarterback draws and rollouts and while none of the players have an arm like Derek Anderson they will certainly be mobile than the OSU record holder.
Riley encouraged the group to challenge the secondary when they saw one on one situations. This means that Riley still wants to throw the ball deep and has confidence in his quarterbacks that they can get the job done.
It was a freshman that stole the show. Sean Canfield impressed coaches and fans alike with his refined technique, accurate throws, and his ability pick up the offense quickly. Some fans are saying Canfield will start in 2006 and Riley is extremely happy with his development.
quarterbacks summary in three sentences or less:
Gunderson and Moore received the most reps. Gunderson slightly leads for starting spot due to playbook knowledge and decision making. Canfield impressed, but will redshirt.
coming in the fall: