Moevao's shoulder adds intrigue to spring

FOR THE THIRD straight year in 2009, there looks to be a heated quarterback competition on the horizon between Lyle Moevao and Sean Canfield. Last spring, Canfield sat out the session while rehabbing a torn labrum. The roles might be reversed this year, with Moevao the one who appears headed towards shoulder surgery.

It's a role reversal for Lyle Moevao and Sean Canfield in 2009. But it's also a familiar storyline, as the two seniors-to-be look once again to be involved in competition for the starting quarterback job.

A year ago, Moevao's extra spring practice time with the receivers helped propel him to becoming the clear starter while Canfield was sidelined.

But now Moevao appears headed towards shoulder surgery according to a recent report in the Portland Tribune. "Lyle is going to have another meeting with the (medical) specialist, but (surgery) is the likely scenario," says OSU offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf.

Surgery at this date would seem to all but guarantee Moevao sit out all of the month long, 15 practice spring session -- save for perhaps very limited participation in a handful of drills.

The quarterback competition between the two has been a near constant since their sophomore years.

In 2007, spring ball didn't produce a clear frontrunner and Canfield was eventually named the starter coming out of fall camp -- with Moevao also usually getting some playing time most weeks. After Canfield was hurt late in the year, Moevao started the final four games. In 2008, Canfield's shoulder wasn't fully ready to go until well after fall camp had begun and Moevao locked up the job, until he got hurt this past season. Moevao eventually returned and finished out the year.

Assuming Moevao does go under the knife in the next few days, what to look for this spring at the quarterback spot?

More reps for Canfield, first and foremost.

Junior-to-be Peter Lalich and redshirt freshman Ryan Katz should also see their turns increase.

And it's a pretty good bet, if history is any indication, that nothing will be set in stone by Mike Riley after the spring session on the '09 starting quarterback. That might not be nailed down until sometime late in fall camp. It's become a Corvallis tradition, after all.

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