DAY 7 PM: Philipp rising, Catchings done

CORVALLIS -- There was a heavy dose of two freshmen on Monday night, with WR Markus Wheaton and OT Michael Philipp front and center. The Beavers went through three team 11-on-11 sessions, there's a special teams report, a spectacular play of the day highlighted the evening helmets and shoulder pads only session plus much more. Unfortunately, also included is news of a Beaver WR done for the year.

Split end Darrell Catchings, initially estimated to be out four weeks, is out for the season. The Beaver WR broke his wrist and will need surgery, necessitating a redshirt season in '09 for the third-year junior.

Along with those already out for an extended period of time, DT Brennan Olander was walking with a heavy limp, LB David Pa'aluhi participated with no pads or helmet in various drills, and TE Howard Croom was inactive.

The number if injured Beavers made for interesting lineups.

Special teams started with kick and punt returns. John Hekker brought his big foot to practice, delivering majestic booms often 55 yards down the field. Granted, it was with the wind, but they were struck well, had tremendous hang time, and gave returners fits.

Returning the punts were Taylor Kavanaugh, Markus Wheaton, James Rodgers, and Kevan Walker. All had issues with the blustery conditions, often chasing the drifting Hekker punts.

The Juggs machine was also out for kick returns, sending picture perfect simulated kick offs to a slew of Beavers. Patrick Henderson, James Dockery, Jordan Poyer, Jordan Bishop, Jacquizz Rodgers, and Rashaad Reynolds all took turns tracking down the end over enders.

The Beavs then ran kickoff return and James Rodgers, Henderson, Bishop, and Dockery were the four that took all the turns.

Nostalgia kicked in as Quon received the kick and ran through a seam and down the sideline -- visions of his '08 touchdown return against California.

Overall, there was less emphasis on individual drills tonight. Quarterbacks and receivers warmed up and worked on concentration drills, with interference flashing in front of them while the ball was being delivered.

Team Session No.1:
Sean Canfield struggled mightily early on and seemed out of rhythm -- quite possibly due to the shuffling of receivers due to the injury to split end Catchings.

Canfield did deliver a few well timed and accurate passes, and one of those was Wheaton. Wheaton was wide open, but heard footsteps and dropped an easy catch. With no live contact, that ball needs to be caught and no one knows it better than Wheaton.

Michael Philipp continues to work with the first team. The mammoth left tackle has become more aggressive and showed it again tonight, engaging the defender and really working his feet.

While at times he looks overmatched, the true frosh keeps plugging away and works his butt off to get better.

Ryan Katz was given plenty of time when the two's came in, only to have the secondary lock up coverage which forced Katz to hold the ball and never get it off. This was a common theme with the defense today.

When receivers did find space, Katz found them and continued to throw darts. Katz showed nice touch on an over the top pass to Aaron Nichols that was just out of the reach of the underneath 'backer. It resulted in six for the offense.

A nominee for play of the day saw Micah Hatfield running up the field, covered pretty well. Peter Lalich delivered the ball on Hatfield's back side and Hatfield reached back and palmed the ball in one hand, spinning 360 degrees and hauling in the Lalich toss. It was gridiron poetry.

But there were more POTD candidates yet to come.

We'll have our second article on the evening session up shortly.


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