Fall Camp Focus: Five to watch on offense

OREGON STATE DID not stretch the field last season. Will that change in '08? The big questions headed into fall camp are found on the offensive line, and the answers will in large part define the look and success of the offensive attack. At the so-called skill positions, expectations are sky high for a Beaver rookie and what would fall camp be without a little fan conjecture at quarterback.

1. QB Sean Canfield (Jr., 6-4, 220)
In analyzing the mechanics and throwing motions of Canfield and Lyle Moevao, most fans would probably agree Canfield is the more polished of the two quarterbacks vying for the starting spot. But the real question from this chair is if post-surgery, Canfield still has the arm strength, proper conditioning and perhaps most importantly, the swagger and ability to hit a streaking Sammie Stroughter down the sideline and zip a quick pass to James Rodgers on a curl.

2. RB Jacquizz Rodgers (Fr. 5-7, 193)
There have never been higher expectations placed on an incoming Oregon State prep recruit. Despite being just a true freshman, the coaches expect him to play and fans expect him to dazzle -- just like his brother did as a freshman. Is the younger Rodgers the real deal? Can he, seamlessly and quickly, make the jump from high school to college football? Are there enough carries for him in the backfield with starter Ryan McCants and Francis ahead of him on the pre-fall depth chart? Might he return kickoffs and/or even punts? All those questions and more should be answered shortly.

3. RB Jeremy Francis (Jr., 5-11, 218)
A flat-out superb start to his Black and Orange career was quickly sidelined after suffering a knee injury during spring camp. In his short time on the practice field, however, he impressed the coaches by integrating seamlessly into the team while exhibiting skilled running between the tackles plus soft hands out of the backfield. Francis provides a nice change of pace to the brushing running style of McCants, and gives the impression he's capable of tearing off a big gainer every time he touches the ball. Don't be surprised if Oregon State also gets creative in ways to get him on the field and get the ball in his hands.

4. OT Una Smiley (Jr., 6-6, 325)
Fortunately, Smiley was already on campus when Vil Nau didn't qualify to play ball in Corvallis -- which gave the now 325-pounder a month of practice that he and the coaches hadn't been counting on. Even though he had not played football in more than a year the coaches were surprised with his quickness and raw strength. The summer months in the weight room have done wonders as he has packed on muscle and bulk, looks to be approaching football shape and just might be ready to push for a starting spot earlier than expected.

5. RG Jeremy Perry (6-2, 338)
In his final year, the big question is can Perry remain healthy throughout the season and regain his high level of play he exhibited as a redshirt freshman? He has missed months of condition recovering from his knee injury and will probably need to drop a few pounds, but the offense needs his aggressive play if they are going to move the ball effectively. Perry has been pegged since that frosh campaign as a future NFL player, he comes into the season being talked about as one of the top guards in the nation and indeed, his skill is simply rare. But questions on durability remain. Showing he can be that kind of every-down difference maker on the field will go a long ways towards Oregon State finishing the season in the Top 25 for the third straight year.

Others to watch:
RB Ryan McCants, OT Mike Remmers, OT Wilder McAndrews, OL Brent McNeil

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