The good, the bad, the question: OL

One of a coach's worst fears going through spring practice is injuries and the Oregon State offensive line was hit hard. From knees to chests to shoulders it seemed like the players couldn't catch a break. Coach Mike Cavanaugh and his buffet busters trudged on though, but many of the questions at the start of the month still remain unanswered.

The good:  Lots of repetitions for everyone. Many members of the offensive line had a chance to workout at both guard and tackle.  Any player that wanted to show his stuff received an opportunity. 

In 2007 coach Mike Cavanaugh had the starting five offensive line together just one game and the Beavs still went 9-4. That bodes well for this year as last year's injuries allowed additional snaps for the younger players and game experience, specifically for Ryan Pohl and Gregg Peat, which is benefiting the unit this year.

OT Andy Levitre is going to have a breakout year as Cavanaugh calls him the best offensive lineman he has coached at Oregon State.  C Marcus Henderson almost has a lock on center as Ryan Pohl continues to develop nicely at both center and guard.

The bad: Injuries galore. From Jeremy Perry's knee to Adam Speer's chest to Gregg Peat's shoulder the injuries piled up as the weeks rolled by forcing Cavanaugh to mix and match up and down the line.  Worrisome during the spring, but deadly during the season. 

The starting left tackle is still up in the air while depth at both tackle and guard is a major concern.

The question:  Can the offensive linemen recoup in the summer, stay healthy and come together as a unit in August?

Top spring performer:  Andy Levitre.  Versatile, smart and plays with a mean streak the 324-pounder will make a run at first team all-conference honors before moving onto the NFL.

Riley says: "We're still trying to find our starting tackle. We're worried about that."

Cavanaugh says: "The good thing is that you're developing young guys. Are all those young guys ready to be starters right now? No. But at least it's giving them experience and giving them a lot of reps in practice."

The roster:

  • OG Sr. Jeremy Perry (6-2, 334) - sat out his second consecutive spring practice recovering from knee surgery...named to Outland Trophy Watch List...coaches expect him to be at full speed come fall...staying injury free is a key for Perry's football future and how effective the offense is moving the ball.
     
  • OG Sr. Adam Speer (6-3, 301) - missed second half of spring practice with a bruised chest...has left guard locked up.
     
  • C Fr. Mike Lamb (6-3, 266) - missed spring game with a knee injury...will have surgery on knee in the summer...expected to be ready for fall camp.
     
  • OT Sr. Tavita Thompson (6-6, 308)- won't be back until the 8th game of the season (ASU), on Nov. 1...practiced with team and with lots of energy...is still holding hope that he could play before the first of November, but unlikely...team will miss his energy and intensity on the field...also worked out at guard.
     
  • OT Fr. Mike Remmers (6-4, 283) - competing with McAndrews for starting left tackle position...caught the eye of the coaches with his athleticism...father was starting offensive guard for the Beavers from 1974-76.
     
  • OG So. Alex Linnenkohl (6-2, 289) - moved from backup center to backup guard...will probably have to develop another year before seeing any significant playing time.
     
  • OT So. Wilder McAndrews (6-4, 259) - Cavanaugh says he has all the tools one looks for in an offensive lineman...coaches love that he is mobile and athletic...will continue competition with Remmers for starting left tackle position in the fall.
     
  • OG Jr. Gregg Peat (6-3, 299) - on the sidelines for several practices with a shoulder injury...will compete with incoming JUCO Brent McNeil for right guard spot.
     
  • C Sr. Marcus Henderson (6-5, 277) - has the edge on experience and knowledge and will be the starter...smart and athletic...started out at OSU as a tackle.
     
  • C So. Ryan Pohl (6-3, 288) - back up center and playing guard...coaches like his physical tools at center, but needs more experience...started at tackle two games last year.
     
  • OT Sr. Andy Levitre (6-3, 324) - smart, athletic, good feet, great balance, and power...a complete offensive lineman and the best on the team...named to Outland Trophy Watch List.
     
  • OL Jr. Una Smiley (6-6, 280) - competing for left tackle spot...also played some guard...joined team shortly after start of spring practice as Vil Nau didn't qualify opening up a roster spot...needs to drop some weight and his mobility will improve...will be reevaluated in the fall as to where he stands on the depth chart.
     
  • C So. Nathan Hannah (6-2, 298) - hurt his left knee in the spring game, but should be ready for fall ball.
     
  • OT Sr. Michael Cole (6-6, 281) - not converting well to Pac-10 football and is buried on the depth chart where he will stay.
     
  • OT So. Timi Oshinowo (6-6, 296) - raw, but improving...will have to wait a year before seeing much time on the field.
     
  • OL So. Ikaika Rodenhurst (6-4, 329) - walk on who may be asked to move on to make room for freshman and transfers.
     
  • OL Fr. Grant Johnson (6-3, 258) - walk on who may be asked to move on to make room for freshman and transfers.
     
  • OT Fr. Ben Motter (6-5, 255) - was in the mix at tackle at one point until Remmers and McAndrews stepped up...may be asked to move on to make room for freshman and transfers.
     
  • OT Fr. Rory Ross (6-4, 313) - grayshirt who will redshirt...has done a nice job of bulking up.
     
  • OL Ellis Burke (6-4, 251) - walk on who may be asked to move on to make room for freshman and transfers.

Coming in the fall:  OT Anthony Siilata, OG Colin Kelly, OG Colin Lyons-Pena, OG Brent McNeil, could also compete for tackle spot.

Additional notes: Coaches still hope that Nau will gain academic eligibility and be on campus in August.


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