SPRING: What we've learned - Week 1

CORVALLIS -- What's the depth looking like on the defensive line? How are the rookies fitting in, with this being their first spring ball with the Beavers? How is the quarterback competition shaping up here in the early going? What about the offensive line, Quizz and Quon? Here are 10 things we have learned from the first week of spring drills at Oregon State.

SPRING REPORTS: Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 1 photos | Day 1 video


SPRING IS FULL OF SURPRISES. Before the first muscle stretch the team lost another player as DE Matt LaGrone left the team to be back with his family. He could return in the fall, but will need to enroll by Apr. 9 which is this Friday. To date the team has lost LB David Pa'aluhi (military), LB Keith Pankey (Achilles surgery) and LaGrone (family).

INJURIES TO OFFENSIVE LINEMAN HAPPEN - EVERY SPRING. In 2008 OG Gregg Peat missed most of the spring due to an injury. Last year it was OT Wilder McAndrews. This year it's Michael Philipp. Apparently an OSU lineman must get injured every spring. Fortunately Philipp's arthroscopic knee surgery doesn't seem serious and he is fully expected to be fully healed for fall camp in August.

RYAN KATZ HAS A GUN, BUT...he needs to develop a touch, and that comes with practice. Part of Derek Anderson's problem early on was his arm strength. Since he could physically make any throw he would force throws he should not have - hopefully Katz doesn't do that. Good thing it is just the first week of practice.

THE FRESHMAN PASS THE LOOK TEST: From OG Michael Beaton to WR Obum Gwachum to LB Michael Doctor to WR Kevin Cummings - all four freshman are in shape and fitting in with the team nicely. Gwachum got a lot of press, but I was impressed with Beaton. Despite sitting out for a year the Dallas High graduate came into camp in shape. He is already as big as many of the other players in the system.

MIKE CAVANAUGH EXPECTS REMMERS TO TAKE IT TO ANOTHER LEVEL. With almost two years of starts in the books Cavanaugh wants, and expects, Remmers to make a big leap in development this year. Consistency and tenacity, aka more pancake blocks, are what Cavanaugh is looking for from Remmers - if he can develop those skills he could be the next offensive lineman headed for the NFL.

KEVIN FRAHM LOOKS COMFORTABLE: Although he initially didn't want to move to defensive tackle Frahm looks at home in the middle of the field. His exceptional lower body strength lends itself well in the interior as a run stuffer. But the Oregonian may move back to defensive end due to lack of depth on the outside.

THE RODGERS BROTHERS MAKE IT LOOK EASY: If you get a chance to make it to Corvallis watch the drills that Jacquizz or James do and compare it to their counterparts. The difference is amazing. Individually the other players don't look bad, but when compared to either of the Rodgers brothers some of them sometimes look foolish.

THERE ARE PLENTY OF REPS FOR THE BACKUP OL: Due to starters Michael Philipp and Grant Johnson sitting out due to injuries the backups, from the second string to the fourth string, will get plenty of reps and more than enough snaps to make a case for playing time.

PETER LALICH HAS STUDIED THE PLAYBOOOK: The junior has spread out his passes showing the ability to make the short and intermediate throws on target and quickly. He doesn't have the arm that Katz has, but his understanding of the playbook is impressive considering he has only been in Corvallis for a year.

THE DEFENSIVE LINE NEEDS A LOT OF WORK: With LaGrone's departure the team has just seven defensive ends on the roster and that includes Mitchel Hunt and Mana Rosa who are out with injuries.


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