SPRING: Six to watch on offense

EVERY POSITION ON OFFENSE for Oregon State this spring will have a storyline behind it. And these six are particularly compelling. Some are about starting position battles, some are about backup jobs, some are about hanging onto the top job on the depth chart. Here's a half dozen players to focus in on as Oregon State prepares to begin spring drills on March 30.

#6.   RB Will Darkins | So., 6-1, 224

The Oregon State football team hasn't had a true fullback since Micah Strickland in 2006 but with Darkins moving from linebacker to running back, the coaches could use the 6-foot-1, 224-pound Oregonian to protect Jacquizz Rodgers while adding a wrinkle or two to the playbook.


#5.  QB Sean Canfield | Sr., 6-4, 220

A rejuvenated and focused Canfield starts 2009 spring practice in the same position as he did the 2007 spring practice - at the top of the depth chart.

With his shoulder fully healed and the urgency of playing his final year in Corvallis, Canfield has embraced a leadership role with the team.

Back in 2007, Canfield was the youngest starting quarterback at OSU since Derek Anderson took the job in 2002. This time around, Canfield has over a full season of experience under his belt. And that usually means good things for the offense.


#4.  RB Ryan McCants | So., 6-1, 240

Following a somewhat disappointing redshirt freshman campaign, it is back to the drawing board for McCants.

No longer is he competing for a staring spot but a backup one - a valuable role nonetheless with plenty of carries - as the coaches hope to find a capable backup to protect Quizz from hits.

The coaches aren't looking for a finesse type running back, just a hard working, hard charging running back who is reliable for 10-15 carries a game.


#3.  QB Ryan Katz | RFr., 6-1, 208

Since Lyle Moevao will be on the mend, Katz will get plenty of snaps as he prepares to be the backup if Moevao doesn't fully heal.

He's got the arm and the smarts, but doesn't have the playing time and that is one of the most important things in Mike Riley's system.

Bottom line - the more snaps the better.


#2.  OT Colin Kelly | RFr., 6-4, 266

Recruited and groomed by offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh, Kelly could be the next great offensive tackle.

He is officially listed at 6-foot-4, 266 pounds, but is more around the 280 plus range - still a little undersized, but just the way Cavanaugh likes 'em - mobile and mean.

Kelly will compete with Timi Oshinowo for the starting right tackle spot with many expecting Kelly to grab the number one spot and run with it.


#1.  K Justin Kahut | Jr., 5-8, 158

Riley said he didn't anticipate any changes at kicker but Kahut needs to improve his consistency. His missed extra points and field goals were both the difference in a three point loss to Utah and made the Arizona game closer than it had to be.

He will be fully healed from his hip injury that nagged him throughout the season and the coaches are looking for a commanding, accurate kicker in April.

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