Spring Survival Guide

Spring football begins in fourteen days as BeaverFootball.com kicks off its two week preview of the 2006 football team heading into April's practice session.

Stuff you should know
  • For the first time since 1977, Oregon State returns all five starters on its offensive line. The program also has all four returning starters in the defensive backfield for the first time since 2000.
  • Sixteen starters return to the program, but the eight losses represent a combined 137 games started.  Fifty-one lettermen return while 13 were lost. Sixteen starters, nine on offense and seven on defense, return.
  • Oregon State has won 20 consecutive non-conference games at Reser Stadium, with head coach Mike Riley a perfect 10-0. The last time OSU lost a non-conference home game was in 1996 against Montana when Jerry Pettibone was the head coach.
  • Oregon State expects to open spring practice with potentially only one individual unable to perform due to an injury -- junior linebacker Andy Darkins (bicep). Darkins started six games last season.
  • Oregon State has never played a 13-game regular season schedule. If the Beavers go to a bowl game, it will be the first football team in school history to have played 14 games in one season.
  • The spring game is scheduled for Saturday, April 29 in Reser Stadium at 1:30 p.m. The game will be televised live on OSUBeavers.com.
  • All practices are open to the public and are slated to begin at 3:30 p.m.  The full month's schedule can be viewed here.
  • The team's current two-deeps can be viewed here.

  • Premium member bonus - For an in depth look at each position check out the '06 Inventory Articles.


Stuff you might not know
  • Oregon State's home Pac-10 schedule features teams that went a combined 41-19 in 2005, plus the season opener against the co-Big Sky Conference champion Eastern Washington Eagles.
  • Oregon State has 10 student-athletes on the roster from the state of Hawaii, the third-highest total from one state -- trailing California and Oregon. There may be several of the incoming freshmen from Hawaii who will serve a two-year LDS Mission.
  • OSU had 10 members earn recognition on the Pac-10 Conference’s All-Academic teams. Andy Darkins and Keenan Lewis earned first team mention, Sammie Stroughter and Adam Koets were second team, and Colt Charles, Kyle DeVan, Ryan Gunderson, Brandon Powers, Andy Levitre, and Adam Speer were honorable mention. OSU’s class of 10 ranked third in the Pac-10.
  • After Marcel Love and Chaz Scott failed to qualify last year, Riley started an "academic involvement plan. "Each coach has his 'at-risk' guys and his notebook on them, and they report to them virtually every day, and then have to have responses from their teachers every week. So our coaches stay as much on top of it as they can.”

  • Premium member bonus - Look for reports and pictures from spring practice all month long on BeaverFootball.com. Have questions right now? Ask on the premium message board.


Riley's spring goals
  • Find a playmaker at receiver and develop a rapport between the quarterbacks and receivers -

    Riley says - "I think Sammie Stroughter is an excellent football player, and if you remember last spring, I thought he was the star of the spring. He got to play a lot behind Mike and he went in and made a ton of plays all spring long. There's a guy there.

    I'm hoping that this was a good learning year for Anthony Wheat-Brown. There were three or four times during the year when Anthony had some kind of injury that didn't necessarily keep him out, but really bogged him down.

    I think Ruben Jackson has a ton of potential. In a different world or using hindsight, he was the perfect red-shirt prospect -- arrived late from junior college, got hurt for two weeks in fall camp. But we didn't feel like we had that luxury of talent, because he's one of our very most talented athletes on the whole team.

    Anthony Crosby I think is going to enter into the picture at wide receiver. Joe Newton will add a lot, and I think Marcel Love will be back. So that's like regaining two starters. And Marcel was just starting to make plays in the latter part of his year, and had such a great spring. He could have been another go-to guy."

  • Strive for balance between the run and pass -

    Riley says - "I think balance is crucial, because you don't want to get ganged up on. I don't want to play like we did a year ago where because you couldn't run very well you had to face every blitz that anybody had. And people would compromise their defense to blitz us, knowing that we probably weren't going to hurt 'em with the run. It was like playing in the Canadian league again. By running, you settle that all down.

    But then you don't want to play against eight- and nine-man fronts all the time. You want to make people hurt down the field. So I'd really like to be balanced. I would rather be a really good running team than just only a passing team, because I think you can win like that.”

  • Work on the mistakes from last year -

    Riley says - "I have very good confidence in the direction we're going. And I have a very good knowledge of what happened to our team -- tangible things that everybody knows, the interceptions and the big plays.

    I think we gave up 62 plays over 20 yards. That's a lot of big plays. You're not going to win doing that. And then you combine it with our penalty rash at the end, and then you combine it with being the leading turnover team in the country. 


Positions to watch
  • Quarterback - It is Matt Moore's to lose but Riley is giving everyone a shot in spring camp.
  • Defensive tackle - Ben Siegert, Curtis Coker and William Vea all get to show their stuff before Gerard Lee shows up in August.
  • Defensive end - Lots of experience, but little production.  Dorian Smith is expected to be a difference maker.
  • Safety - Sabby Piscitelli and Al Afalava have the starting positions locked down, but it's the backups that everyone is worried about.
  • Wide receiver - At least one player needs to step up, will it be Ruben Jackson, Anthony Wheat-Brown, Sammie Stroughter or another player?  Only time will tell, but Riley likes the talent base.


Players to watch
  • QB Matt Moore - can he prove his critics wrong and led the Beavers to postseason play?
  • TE Joe Newton - will he bounce back from a leg injury and make an all-conference team?
  • WR Ruben Jackson and Sammie Stroughter - is one of them the next play maker at wide receiver?
  • DE Dorian Smith - can he grab more than four sacks this year, equaling last year's total by the defensive ends?
  • LB Joey LaRocque - can he lead a young and inexperienced linebacking group in his first year?


Returning Lettermen - Offense
(25, 9 starters)
  • SE - Sammie Stroughter, Ruben Jackson
  • SL - Anthony Wheat Brown, Brandon Powers
  • LT - Adam Koets, Tavita Thompson
  • LG - Jeremy Perry, Andy Levitre, Zach Harris
  • C - Kyle DeVan, Adam Speer
  • RG - Roy Schuening
  • RT - Josh Linehan
  • TE - Joe Newton, Jason Vandiver, Daniel Weis
  • QB - Matt Moore, Ryan Gunderson
  • TB - Yvenson Bernard, Nate Wright, Patrick Fuller
  • FL - Zach Tarver
  • PK - Alexis Serna
  • SN - Aaron Carlson, Joel Cohen
Lettermen Lost - Offense (7, 3 starters)
  • SE - Mike Hass
  • SL - Kevin Swanigan
  • LT -
  • LG -
  • C -
  • RG -
  • RT -
  • TE - Dan Haines
  • QB - Colt Charles
  • TB - Olaniyi Sobomehin
  • FL - Josh Hawkins
  • PK -
  • SN - Darrick Bruns


Returning starters - Defense
(26, 7 starters)
  • LE - Joe Lemma, Joe Rudulph, Victor Butler
  • LT - Ben Siegert, Pernell Booth, Naymon Frank
  • RT - Curtis Coker
  • RE - Jeff Van Orsow, Jeff Kruskamp
  • SB - Derrick Doggett, Dennis Christopher
  • MB - Alan Darlin, Andy Darkins, Bryant Cornell, Eddie Stamm
  • WB - Isaiah Cook, Eric Moala
  • LC - Keenan Lewis, Gerard Lawson, Kellen Marshall
  • SS - Sabby Piscitelli
  • FS - Al Afalava, Daniel Drayton, Matt Sieverson
  • RC - Brandon Hughes, Rickey Herod
  • P -
Lettermen Lost - Defense
(9, 5 starters)
  • LE - Derek Hall
  • LT - Alvin Smith
  • RT - Sir Henry Anderson
  • RE - Jeremy Weldon
  • SB - Keith Ellison
  • MB - Trent Bray
  • WB - 
  • LC -
  • SS -
  • FS - Lamar Herron
  • RC - Aaron Miller
  • P - Sam Paulescu


Spring JC Transfers (4)
  • CB Coye Francies - led all California junior college players with 11 interceptions in 2005; also return three kickoffs for a touchdown.
  • LB Joey LaRocque - sideline to sideline player who is always around the ball.
  • RB Clinton Polk - durable player with speed to score from anywhere.
  • DE Dorian Smith - quick first step who can get into the backfield.

  • Premium member bonus - Read comphrehensive scouting reports on the above 2006 JC players.


Grayshirts (1)
  • WR Kyle Brown - late 2005 signee who failed to qualify, big receiver at 6-4, 205-pounds.


Redshirt Freshman (11)
  • WR Anthony Crosby - scout team standout, coaches expect big things from him this year

  • ATH Taylor Kavanaugh - joined team early in the season, could play at multiple positions

  • OL Mike Marks - a project who is working through off-field issues

  • OL Gregg Peat - a project who is working through off-field issues

  • QB Sean Canfield - the future star quarterback

  • RB Tony Carrasco - hard running, hard working player

  • LB Garrett Childress - could contribute on special teams

  • CB Tim Clark - looking to make the two-deep, will play on special teams

  • CB Patrick Henderson - looking to make the two-deep, will play on special teams, could turn some heads this year

  • S Austin Hall - faces an uphill battle for playing time

  • S Adam Mobley - faces an uphill battle for playing time


Redshirt Juniors (4)
  • WR Brain Davilla - faces an uphill battle for playing time

  • OL James Otuhiva - known for his nasty blocking in junior college as a tight end

  • DT William Vea - coaches expect him to step up after a year in the program

  • CB Ahmed Zarrugh - faces an uphill battle for playing time


Spring Walkons (5)
  • WR Bill Banash - three-year letterman at Tigard as a linebacker, tight end and fullback

  • WR Steve Cooper - transfer from Southern Oregon University

  • LB Cody Heller - uncle Ron Heller played at OSU in the early eighties; participated in winter conditioning with team

  • LB Michael Smith - played for Steve Coury at Lake Oswego; participated in winter conditioning with team

  • RB Andy Stewart - second team all-league running back at Sunset his junior and senior seasons

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