FC REPORT No. 5: Veteran focus, youth served

CORVALLIS -- Well, we lied. We told you we'd have two reports on Fall Camp Day One. That was false. We instead have five. The click-clack of helmets, a sight today that put on alert Beaver Nation that Oregon State football had returned as OSU opened their 2009 fall camp. While the majority of focus was naturally on the first team, there were some new faces who made quite a splash on Day One.

Plenty of new faces showed up on the practice field today, along with a cadre of veteran ones, including senior quarterback Lyle Moevao, who saw his first action since being sidelined throughout spring camp with a shoulder injury.

Both James Rodgers and Jacquizz Rodgers appeared to be 100 percent after sitting out the spring following their collective 2008 seasons cut short due to injury.

The return of the Rodgers brothers, and the Beavs' entry into the preseason Top 25 Coaches Poll for the first time in Mike Riley's second stint with OSU, have produced high expectations among many for Oregon State in '09.

For the most part it was business as usual for Oregon State throughout the afternoon in the helmets and shorts only session -- everything from fly-sweep, skelly and team scrimmage drills, and the day was decidedly low key, more so given that players won't be allowed per NCAA rules to go full speed until Day 5.

Moevao and fellow senior Sean Canfield split time at the No. 1 QB position during offensive segments. And some pass recipients were among those who turned the most heads.

Freshman wideout Markus Wheaton displayed deadly speed in quarterback/wideout segments.

It was particularly evident on a Canfield pass that appeared too strong -- but Wheaton showed a burst of speed to get under the ball and reel it in.

Meanwhile, redshirt freshman Geno Munoz, who dazzled at times with great hands in spring ball, was at it again this afternoon, reeling in several acrobatic catches, including one near the sideline.

On the play, Munoz went full extension and leapt for a pass that would otherwise have destined to have gone high.

Later in practice, Munoz was able to snag a ball that was thrown behind him, turning his body in mid-air to make the reception.

If Munoz continues to make ridiculous catches like he has so far, the coaching staff may find it difficult to keep him off the field.

Quizz caught everything thrown his way out of the backfield throughout skelly and team segments.

The sophomore showed nice bursts of speed after the catch, and spun off defenders with ease.

With Ryan McCants (knee) out until at least September, the pressure will be on Quizz to perform and take on a majority of the carries -- Riley has said he envisions him toting the pigskin 25-30 times per game.

On the defensive side of the ball, the line have their offensive counterparts a few fits here and there, with juniors Gabe Miller and Matt LaGrone in the backfield on more than a few plays.

LaGrone saw his first action of the year this afternoon, after missing out on the entire spring session due to a wrist injury.

While there certainly is depth at the defensive end position, LaGrone could factor into the equation. He appeared close to if not at 100 percent and might develop smartly into the pass rushing extraordinaire Oregon State coaches covet.

Out at the linebacker spot, Keaton Kristick and David Pa'aluhi, along with the starter combination of Keith Pankey and Dwight Roberson, have the potential to be one of the better OSU 'backer groups in recent memory. Some of the reasons why were in evidence today.

Kristick, the lone senior linebacker on the squad, looked the part on Monday.

Whether Pankey or Roberson gets the starting nod come opening night might not be overly relevant, both are capable coverage linebackers, which Pankey again made abundantly clear this afternoon.

From the opening snap of skelly, Pankey was like glue to tight end Howard Croom, at one point swatting away a Canfield pass that looked like it had a sure home in Croom's bread basket.

Pa'aluhi, the youngest of the group, has the middle linebacker spot locked up. He intercepted a Canfield pass and then produced an impressive stiff-arm on senior center Alex Linnenkohl near the sideline, which cued up the whoops and hollers from his teammates.

With Day One in the books, there will be plenty more to watch for in the next few days as Oregon State, if past fall camps are any indication, will continue to install offensive and defensive schemes day by day.

And Portland State looms about four weeks away.

BeaverBlitz Top Stories