Damn that injury bug. RB Jacquizz Rodgers is on the mend as he sat out the first week of practice as the coaches waited for the results of his MRI. The results came back good and he is expected to be suited up by the middle of this week, but won't participate in any contact drills. QB Lyle Moevao's right arm is in a sling after undergoing shoulder surgery. The injury was a lot worse than previously thought, but the staff thinks he will be throwing in early July. OT Wilder McAndrews is out with a wrist injury -- the Beavs could have really used the depth there this spring at 0ffensive tackle. Meanwhile, defensive ends Tonu Tuimalealiifano (knee) and Matt LaGrone (wrist) are out as well -- at one of the most inexperienced, thin units on the Beavers.
Depth at running back is hurting. With Jeremy Francis officially not returning to the Orange and Black and Quizz sitting out the first week of practice experience at running back is woefully thin. On the positive side, Ryan McCants and Jovan Stevenson received, and will continue see, extra carries and more than enough time to make a case for playing time.
Winter was still lingering in Corvallis. On the second day of spring drills, the football team moved practice outdoors to let the baseball team use the indoor practice facility. It was chilly on the turf of Reser Stadium with the temperature hovering in the low to mid 40's, but taking a dip into the mid to high thirties when the wind whipped through the concrete corridors.
Although inexperienced, the receiver corps looks deep and talented. Over the first week, Darrell Catchings, Casey Kjos, Geno Munoz and Damola Adeniji all had strong showings and should only get better as the days go by.
There's not enough snaps. Even with Moevao sitting out there still isn't enough snaps for all of the quarterbacks on the roster -- it's a simple fact of life in college football. Canfield, as one would expect, has been receiving the most reps, with Katz and Engstrom splitting the rest. Lalich has hardly received any reps at all in a scrimmage. And if they can, the Beavs would probably like to redshirt him to give him more experience, and therefore more of a chance to succeed, in the OSU system. Junior Brennan Sim, the fifth string quarterback entering spring ball, reluctantly left the program in search of playing time.
The depth chart fluctuates on a daily basis. In other words, spring ball is about experimentation at many positions. Example -- Before the start of spring practice, the offensive line first stringers went like this: LT Timi Oshinowo , LG Mike Lamb, C Alex Linnenkohl, RG Gregg Peat, RT Mike Remmers. Just one week into practice, it now looked like this: LT Colin Kelly, LG Ryan Pohl, C Alex Linnenkohl, RG Gregg Peat, RT Mike Remmers. Go figure.
Ben Terry is making his mark. Defensive coordinator Mark Banker recently said that he should have played Terry more last year. No matter - Terry has been on a tear in the early going, using his speed to consistently get by the tackle lining up opposite of him. Granted, the tackle is usually a player without tons of experience, Kelly or Oshinowo, but the regularity of seeing him in the backfield has the defensive coaches excited.
Kjos could be the next great slotback. From Brandon Powers to Shane Morales to Casey Kjos? Kjos had an impressive first week, catching almost everything thrown his way. A sore back has slowed his career development, but he is the most healthy he has ever been at OSU. Kjos is a little bigger than Morales and recently told receivers coach Jay Locey that he wants to be the best blocking receiver on the team. Music to the ears of any receiver coach.
The strength coach is earning his money.. Once again, on the whole, the team looks physically in shape as they hit the practice fields running which led to a cleaner then expected first week of practice. And grayshirting at Oregon State works. RB Jovan Stevenson is 20 pounds heavier than when he first signed his Letter of Intent when you compare then and this spring, and OT Geoff Garner put on 10. The great news is that both athletes still have plenty of room to grow.
Same old, same old, but... Mike Riley has the spring practice rhetoric down to a science. He wants the players to get as much practice in as possible, he is going to protect his star players and he wants to start developing the team's identity. But one thing that he has said this year that he has not said in the past is that the first week of practice went as good as he could have hoped for. What does that mean? It means that the extra practices that the underclassmen get when the team qualifies for a bowl game is paying off. The players in the OSU program are plugging the gaps on both side of the ball quickly and effectively.