SPRING: What we've learned - Week 5

WILL THE OFFENSIVE LINE see some shuffling between now and the season opener? Assistant Mike Cavanaugh was hinting strongly at it during the final week of spring, and OT Wilder McAndrews was the reason why. A ball-hawking secondary was omnipresent, the spring game on offense offered mixed results and the re-emergence of Suaesi Tuimauei were all among the things we learned in Week 5..

THE FIVE BEST WILL PLAY. When Michael Philipp returns to the practice field he may be lining up inside. OT Wilder McAndrews performed so well that the coaches are giving serious thought to keeping him at left tackle. If that happens four, and possibly five if Grant Johnson hits the ground running, starting spots would be settled with McAndrews and Mike Remmers at the tackles, Philipp at left guard and Alex Linnenkohl at center. “We want to get our five best players out there,” coach Mike Riley told the Gazette Times. “We’ll be throwing this around for a while before we make a decision. We are very impressed with Wilder. He’s the guy we always thought he would be.”

JUSTIN KAHUT IS AIMING FOR THE CLOUDS. The 176-pound senior already ranks second in school history for career field goals made (39) and is seventh all-time at OSU with 201 points, but he wants to do better. He told The Gazette Times that his goal is to make 90-percent of his kicks in 2010. His career percentage is .750.

THE SECONDARY COULD BE PRETTY DARN GOOD. The men patrolling the backfield went pick crazy Wednesday snagging seven interceptions including a pair each by safeties Anthony Watkins and Lance Mitchell.

THERE'S ALWAYS ROOM FOR FUN. The Oregon State robotics team 95-pound, $12,000 Mars Rover rumbled over nearly 200 players and personnel en route to a new school record.

JOHNNY HEKKER IS BECOMING A JACK OF ALL TRADES. Besides serving as the team's punter Hekker has added holder to his resume and is also working on kickoffs. "I'm feeling more and more comfortable each day," Hekker told The Gazette Times. "That position for me is all about getting reps. I get critiqued by Justin, finding out what he likes."

THE SPRING GAME WAS A MIXED BAG FOR THE OFFENSE. Out of 25 opportunities the offense scored nine times (six touchdowns; three field goals), turned the ball over six times , punted seven times and turned the ball over three times. Those statistics are a little misleading though as four of the six touchdowns came with third and fourth stringers in with Jack Lomax at quarterback.

TAYLOR HENRY MEANS BUSINESS. The junior did pretty much whatever he wanted in the spring game pulling down a quarterback four times. "He's always been really quick and fast, but now he's got some strength to go along with that speed," coach Mike Riley said. "He's going to be a real factor."

THE RUNNING BACKS ARE SETTLING INTO THEIR ROLES. Of course Jacquizz Rodgers is the featured, all-world running back, Jordan Jenkins and Ryan McCants are the power runners used in short yardage situations and Jovan Stevenson is the pass catcher. The foursome is developing into one of the more versatile units Riley has had in Corvallis.

SUAESI TUIMAUNEI IS STEPPING UP. When The Oregonian asked defensive coordinator Mark Banker who was having the best spring in the secondary, Banker said Tuimauei. “Right now, out of all the safeties, he’s having absolutely the best spring. He’s consistent with his technique," Banker told Paul Buker. "What people don’t understand about him, he’s as fast, or faster, than about 90 percent of the people on the field. He can run.’’

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