One of the more entertaining plays on the third afternoon of spring drills came in the form of a quartet of Beaver football players pulling a little razzle dazzle.
We won't go into detail but senior quarterback Sean Canfield, junior wideouts Darrell Catchings and James Rodgers, and running back Ryan McCants all combined for a well executed long gainer.
The player of the day on Friday was clearly Catchings.
Catchings did have two drops with the pigskin right on target from Canfield but he also made numerous acrobatic catches on the afternoon and two in particular stood out -- one off a Canfield pass during skelly drills where Catchings dove near the far sideline to cradle in the reception, another on a deep ball with Catchings completely outrunning Beaver cornerback Keynan Parker, who is a speed demon in his own right.
Canfield, the clear No. 1 with fellow QB Lyle Moevao (shoulder, rotator cuff surgery) unable to begin throwing until July, led the first team on Friday and looks to be developing some early chemistry with Catchings.
He was protected by a young offensive line that has to deal with the losses of seniors Andy Levitre, Adam Speer and Tavita Thompson. Anchoring the first unit line on the day were seniors Ryan Pohl and Gregg Peat at the guard spots, Alex Linnenkohl at center, beastly junior Timi Oshinowo and Mike Remmers book ending the tackle positions.
| BF.C Week One "Bests"
Best Hands - Geno Munoz and Casey Kjos
Best Routes - Taylor Kavanaugh
Best Pure Speed - James Rodgers
Best Athleticism - Damola Adeniji
Best Footwork (Offensive line) - Gregg Peat
Offensive players to watch in the coming weeks:
TB Jovan Stevenson
SE Jordan Bishop
FL Geno Munoz
Best Pass Rusher - Stephen Paea
Best Linebacker - Keaton Kristick
Best Speed - Keynan Parker
Best Power - Andrew Seumalo
Best Ballhawking Skills - Lance Mitchell
Defensive players to watch in the coming weeks:
CB Keynan Parker
WLB Keith Pankey
MLB David Pa'aluhi
Ryan McCants sound bytes:
On how it feels to be back cracking pads again:
A: "It feels good. It always feels good to come out and get some contact."
On how with Quizz out, he's getting more repetitions:
A: "It feels good. We know Quizz is going to be the guy coming into next season, but I'm going to practice like I'm going to play. I'm just trying to get in there and work hard and we're moving forward with this."
Mike Riley on the first week of spring ball:
"I liked it a lot. I liked the work, the enthusiasm was good for these guys because they are working hard and working well together. We are throwing a lot at them and they are adjusting pretty well. I think there is a lot of stuff we still need to learn before we are ready to play football."
With the absence of sophomore tailback Jacquizz Rodgers still apparent, red shirt sophomore Ryan McCants has taken advantage of the increase in repetitions.
During the first scrimmage, McCants found the end zone three times while displaying a tough, hard-nosed style of running that Beaver fans hope to see more of this season.
Beaver defenders seemed unable to wrap up McCants, who bulldozed his way through the line and beyond. Freshman tailback Johan Stevenson was also able to impress, weaving in and out of defenders, and displaying good athleticism and quickness.
WITH A BRAND new secondary this season and numerous losses on the defensive line, Oregon State has plenty of new faces in the fold on the stop corps -- but one older one can be found in the form of defensive lineman Stephen Paea.
The junior defensive tackle showed off his strength and footwork during scrimmages, getting into the backfield and disrupting numerous plays.
Senior corners Tim Clark and Patrick Henderson seem to be coming along nicely for the Beavers after the losses of Keenan Lewis and Brandon Hughes to graduation and probable selection in the NFL Draft later this month.
Clark and Henderson appeared to have learned well from their predecessors, as Beav receivers found a number of their would-be receptions batted, stripped, or otherwise disrupted in some way on Friday.
NEWLY REPOSITIONED defensive end Gabe Miller showed good footwork in his third practice with the defense and turned in some quick and scrappy play, even though most of the offensive line has good size and poundage on him.
Sophomore d-end Kevin Frahm had his way out on the edge as well on Friday afternoon, as he penetrated the backfield on a number of plays.
THE BIG HIT of the day came on a Ryan McCants reception -- as he turned up field he was wrapped up by junior linebacker David Pa'aluhi who dealt out a monster hit, decleating the running back.
McCants, a bull of a back at 6-1, 240 pounds, bounced right back up.
THE PLAY OF THE DAY came on the last play of practice and involved the third string participating in the "red ball" drill.
Sophomore quarterback Justin Engstrom dropped back and hurled a Hail Mary into the back of the end zone. Junior wideout Shawn McGarity stood behind three Beavers defenders and pulled the ball in for a touchdown. McGarity's offensive teammates went berserk and cheered as McGarity pulled off his best Mike Hass impersonation.
The fan of the day would have to be Lyle Moevao's mom, Shelly, who could be seen walking up and down the sidelines during the session, receiving numerous hugs from the injured quarterback's teammates -- all the while shouting words of support for the defensive players.
Junior walk-on QB Brennan Sim has left the program in search of playing time.