Movers and shakers - Offense

THE LAST THREE seasons, when the Beavers have finished each year with a bowl game victory and ranked in the final Top 25, there have been a handful of players that first served notice in the spring, stepped up and set themselves up to have big years. Here are six Oregon State players on the offensive side of the ball that had breakout springs this year.

 
#6. TE Joe Halahuni | So., 6-2, 249

With a stable full of talented, experienced tight ends and two knowledgeable quarterbacks there is a strong belief that the tight ends could have a big year in 2009.

One of those tight ends that could have a breakout season is  sophomore Joe Halahuni.   He is one of the most athletic players on the team with great hands and a solid upper build.

In the spring game he hauled in three passes for 21 yards and in the first spring scrimmage he grabbed one of Sean Canfield's four touchdown passes.

If Halahuni can stay healthy he could be one of the offense's top play makers.

 

 

#5. RB Jovan Stevenson | Fr., 5-11, 184

Despite delaying enrollment and not playing football for a year, Stevenson turned in a sterling spring practice session displaying reliable hands and silky moves in open space.

He led all players with 40 yards on six carries (6.6 ypc) while chipping in four catches for 31 yards in the spring game.

In the three spring scrimmages Stevenson totaled 108 yards on 23 carries (4.5 ypc) while scoring a touchdown in two of the three skirmishes.

Stevenson still needs to add 10-15 pounds to his frame and work on his blocking skills, but he is a very motivated individual and if push comes to shove he could be a reliable backup when Jacquizz Rodgers needs a rest.

 

 

#4.  WR Jordan Bishop | RFr., 6-3, 199

The coaches lauded Bishop's ability all of last year, telling anyone who would listen that the redshirt freshman was ready to become a big part of the offense. 

Bishop didn't disappoint in the spring giving the quarterbacks another big play receiver.

He has the strength and size to go up in traffic and pluck the pigskin from the air, but is also athletic enough to get plenty of extra yards after he makes the catch. 

At 6-foot-3, 199-pounds he isn't easy to take down either.

In the three spring scrimmages Bishop hauled in 15 passes for 335 yards (22.3 ypc) and three touchdowns. 

With defenses focusing on James Rodgers and Darrell Catchings, Bishop, who is unknown at this point to opposing defenses, could be primed to have a breakout year.

 

 
 

#3.  C Alex Linnenkohl  | Jr., 6-2, 297

One characteristic that coach Mike Cavanaugh is always looking for in an offensive lineman is tenacity and aggressiveness - Linnenkohl has those characteristics down pat.

The junior has really taken ahold of the center position since last year, showing the ability to read defenses and be one of the leaders on the offensive line.

He always gives 100-percent and consistently gets into his secondary blocks.

With two new starters on the offensive line, three if you count the loss of Tavita Thompson who finished the year as a starter, having Linnenkohl step up and solidify the middle of the field makes Cavanaugh's job that much easier and frees him to coach up the younger players.

 

 

#2.  QB Sean Canfield | Sr. 6-4, 214

Some in Beaver Nation still aren't sold on Canfield, but the senior showed a solid grasp of the offense which lead to a lot of great decisions this spring. He developed a rapport with receivers Darrell Catchings, Jordan Bishop, Casey Kjos and others while distributing the ball evenly and accurately across the field.

Canfield, who is in the best shape of his collegiate career, also seized the opportunity to step up his role as a leader, taking control of the huddles and while pulling the younger quarterbacks under his wing.

Granted, he didn't produce in the spring game throwing three interceptions and just one touchdown on 20 of 32 (63 percent) passes for 182 yards, but in the other two scrimmages he tossed an eye opening eight touchdowns on 27 of 42 (64 percent) attempts for 549 yards.

Bottom line, everybody has a bad practice, unfortunately Canfield had his worst when thousands were watchingon the spring's final day.

On the whole, he was consistent and as coach Mike Riley said, he had an "outstanding spring."

 

 

#1.  WR Darrell Catchings | Jr., 5-11, 173

With his type 2 diabetes under control, Catchings didn't just step out of Sammie Stroughter's shadow, he leaped.

In three scrimmages he caught 16 passes for 470 yards and four touchdowns, which included a spectacular six catch, 251-yard and two touchdown performance in the first scrimmage.

Of his four touchdowns, three covered 70 yards or more, with Catchings getting behind the defense time and time again.

Catchings and Canfield developed a solid relationship -- Catchings stayed disciplined to his routes and caught everything thrown his way.


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