SPRING DAY 5: Some tough running by McCants

CORVALLIS – It took only five sessions, but Oregon State finally held their first practice outside in the two weeks since spring drills began. The cool, outside air seemed to be good for the Beavs offensively, with the O clicking more than they had previously, despite a hiccup in the game of one Beaver field general. Still, the D got in their licks, and one of the tight ends was lost to injury.

That was senior quarterback Peter Lalich – he's played well this spring but on Wednesday, he seemed a bit off all day.

In individual team drills Lalich and sophomore Ryan Katz ran the first team offense, as per the usual, but it was running back Ryan McCants whose star shone brightest.

The junior tailback was running with purpose on the afternoon -- perhaps he is ready to realize the potential Beaver Nation hoped for when he first stepped foot on campus. McCants looks in great shape this spring, and he showed explosive power out of the backfield on Wednesday.

MEANWHILE, REDSHIRT FRESHMAN Garett Hall had a case of the "drops" on Wednesday, as the flanker coughed up three passes early on in individual workouts that were delivered right into his hands.

Hall was not alone, however, as Katz delivered a few passes that were just off the mark. One such pass was delivered behind junior split end Darrell Catchings and offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf let him know what had to be done. "Out front!" yelled Langsdorf. "Accurate, come on now!"

IN ONE-ON-ONE drills, the wide receivers were matched up against the safeties and cornerbacks and while no one player stood head and shoulders above the others, there was a handful of highlight reel plays.

Sophomore cornerback Kaua Olds jumped the route of freshman Obum Gwacham and intercepted a pass off redshirt freshman quarterback Cody Vaz. Olds niftily kept a foot inbounds to complete the play.

Overcoming his case of the drops from earlier, Hall ran a picture perfect route and reeled in a pass from Katz, leaving the defensive back in a trail of his dust.

THE BEST CATCH of the session, however, came from senior slotback Aaron Nichols.

Katz delivered a bullet right on time to his receiver, but in running his route, Nichols did not see the ball coming to him.

Nichols looked up and immediately saw the ball right into his hands, securing it it mid-stride, and outrunning the defender right behind him.

IN RED BALL drills the offense was a bit off the mark, thanks mostly to the pass rush put on by the defensive line and linebackers.

Junior 'backer Dwight Roberson on one particular play got into the backfield quickly and batted away a Katz pass intended for Jacquizz Rodgers. After another overthrown pass, this time intended for Catchings, Beavers head man Mike Riley pulled the sophomore quarterback aside and walked him through the coverage.

To end the drive, the defensive line closed in on Katz, who overthrew a pass over the head of H-back John Reese and out of the endzone. Lalich came on next, but his drive ended rather quickly with an interception by Devon Unga, who provided tight pass coverage across the middle and snatched the quarterback's pass out of the air.

AN INJURY ON the day -- sophomore tight end Colby Prince, who came up lame on a Jack Lomax pass across the middle that was intercepted by sophomore safety Dax Dillbeck.

Prince clutched at his hamstring as he writhed on the ground before being helped off the field by teammate Brady Camp. Riley after practice said the extent of the injury was unknown, but it did not look good at the time -- Prince was unable to put any weight on the leg coming off the field.

At the very least, expect him to miss a practice or two, and that might be a conservative estimate.

GUEST APPEARANCES AT practice today included former quarterback Lyle Moevao and likely NFL Draftee-to-be Keaton Kristick. As the former all-conference linebacker mingled with the players Riley turned around and saw him: "Hey! Quit bothering the football players!" Riley joked. Former Beaver players Pernell Booth and Ben Terry also watched from the sidelines.

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