SPRING BALL DAY 5: Hot and cold, back & forth

CORVALLIS--A familiar face was back on Wednesday afternoon at Truax Field -- sophomore running back Jacquizz Rodgers suited up for the first time this spring though he'll be held out of full contact for the duration of drills. On balance, the D made some solid plays on Wednesday, and redshirt freshman quarterback Ryan Katz continues to make a strong case for the No. 2 spot behind Sean Canfield.

The only action Jacquizz Rodgers saw with the first team came in the non-contact portion of the offensive practice but Quizz looked as agile and speedy as ever -- cutting in and out of his blocks as if he had not missed a single practice.

"He always looks pretty good to me," said Mike Riley. "He looks like he is in very good shape, he didn't look like he lost any part of his quickness.. We all know he's a powerful guy. We are just going to get him a good bunch of work like this, and with that he will have a very good spring."

Ryan Katz has been showing off a strong and accurate arm this spring, and got in some work with first string offense during skeleton drills.

While Canfield remains the clear No. 1 for Oregon State, Katz has been making some heads turn on the sidelines with consistent, laser-like throws to receivers. Case in point, a pass Wednesday completed in traffic to senior wideout Taylor Kavanaugh.

Kavanaugh was able to get behind defenders Lance Mitchell, Keo Camat, and Tony Wilson to make the reception.

Kavanaugh wasn't the only Beaver receiver playing well in traffic and finding the weak spots. Junior slotback Casey Kjos brought in a Canfield pass in front of junior safety Suaesi Tuimaunei, who was then able to disrupt a few passes himself. Kjos was not done, however, taking yet another Canfield pass across the middle, this time in between Tuimaunei and junior strongside linebacker Keith Pankey.

Freshman running back Jovan Stevenson struggled catching the ball today, missing a simple out-route from Canfield at one point and fielding some tough love from Riley afterwards.

AS IS wont to happen in spring, numerous players were being switched in and out of the first string defense today, though senior Keaton Kristick and sophomore David Pa'aluhi got most of the reps at strongside and middle linebackers, respectfully.

Juniors Dwight Roberson and Keith Pankey rotated in at weakside linebacker.

Senior Ben Terry and junior Stephen Paea held down the left side of the defensive line in workouts -- and are expected to hold their positions coming up into the season.

Senior cornerback Patrick Henderson was the most disruptive player on the defensive side of the ball today, at one point handily breaking up a Katz long ball intended for senior wideout Darrell Catchings, who had a couple of drops on the day.

Two plays later, though, Henderson committed what would have been a pass interference call, as he shoved down redshirt freshman Geno Munoz in the middle of his route. Henderson redeemed himself, however, in the first team session of the day, combining with fellow senior corner Tim Clark to break up a would-be Canfield-to-Catchings connection.

Clark immediately celebrated, and attempted to make a statement to the coaching staff.

"No, he's not outrunning me!! Call a new play!"

IN OFFENSIVE AND DEFENSIVE line drills on Wednesday, DT Paea continued to show strength and explosiveness, shoving starting offensive lineman Gregg Peat about 3-4 feet off of the line of scrimmage. For the most part, though, the offensive line did a good job of keeping the pass rusher to the outside.

Sophomore right offensive tackle Mike Remmers, in particular, has been showing off good feet and strength this spring.

IN TEAM SCRIMMAGING drills, the defensive line was consistently pushed off the ball by the offensive line with the exception of Terry -- he was having no part of it and showed off his lateral speed and ability to get around the offensive line.

From this reporter's chair, it's early in the spring, but the Oregon State defense potentially has a savage pass rusher, a la Vernon Gholston of Ohio State, in Terry if he continues to progress. He has the tools.

Meanwhile, Casey Kjos continued his impressive spring, beating sophomore safety Cameron Collins and freshman safety Josh Lagrone over the middle to make an athletic grab between defenders on a Justin Engstrom pass.

And junior cornerback James Dockery seems to have recovered from his knee injury last year -- he made numerous plays on defense this afternoon. While covering freshman split end Jordan Bishop on one snap, Dockery caught up to the receiver, tipped the pass from Katz, and nearly intercepted it.

There was not a jaw-dropping, hoot and hollering play of the day on Wdnesday from this chair. But there wre TWO hits of the day.

The first caddy-womper came at the expense of Jovan Stevenson on a bubble screen via Ryan Katz. Stevenson made the reception, turned to step upfield and was brick-walled by Kristick.

The second takedown came on a Taylor Kavanaugh screen. Like on the Stevenson play, Kavanaugh turned to step upfield and was met by redshirt freshman linebacker Kameron Krebs who laid a hard stick on him and received props from his teammates immediately afterwards.

Riley on Jacquizz's first day:
"I was excited to do a little bit with him today. We basically got quite a concensus of where he is, and basically what we are going to do is what we did today, except build on it, except there will be no contact."

Riley on how good it is to see Quizz back on the field:
It's great. He really had fun with it. It didn't look like much, but for him... I just said "How's it feel to get back doing some stuff?" and he just got a big smile on his face. I just think it was great for everybody."

BeaverBlitz Top Stories