DAY 13: Paea return, 3 true frosh to play

CORVALLIS -- Oregon State kicked off their third week of the fall session with a significantly shortened practice. Stephen Paea returned and got some contact work in, but much of the biggest news came after the session involving a player removed from the team, three frosh who will not redshirt, a running back goes under the knife and more.

As noted earlier on BF.C, Mike Riley had a number of news items post-practice.

Three true freshmen will definitely play this season, said Riley -- DE Scott Crichton, WR Kevin Cummings and LB Michael Doctor. WR Obum Gwacham may also play, the staff is continuing to debate whether he'll redshirt or suit up.

RB Jovan Stevenson had surgery this morning to repair his shoulder. In all likelihood that means he's done for the year and will redshirt. Doctors said the decision to opt for surgery was the right thing to do rather than Stevenson rolling the dice that the shoulder wouldn't pop out this year and/or his season wouldn't end a couple weeks in regardless.

OL Tyler Thomas has been dismissed from the team for an off the field incident this weekend. The catalyst was a second alcohol-related incident with the law since the spring.

ON THE FIELD, Beavers head man Mike Riley said the "good, fast work they accomplished, and that every possible adjustment needs to be made" in these shorter practices leading up to TCU on Sept. 4, less than two weeks out.

A number of notable players returned this morning to the field from injury.

Offensively, receivers Markus Wheaton and Darrell Catchings participated in full contact drills for the first time since returning with shoulder and hamstring injuries, respectively. Both players took snaps with both the second and third string offenses as they are eased back into the equation.

Wheaton got right to work in the second team session of the morning. The speedy sophomore burned past JC transfer Ryan Handford and reeled in a Cody Vaz pass mid-stride for a touchdown.

Sophomore wideout Geno Munoz (groin) was suited up, but continued to sit out of full speed drills.

Probably the most impressive receptions of the morning's practice came from third stringer Kevan Walker. The sophomore wideout took passes from quarterbacks Jack Lomax and Sean Mannion in the first team session, with one of them coming away with the play of the day.

Lomax delivered a pass down the middle and into double coverage, much to offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf's dismay. The pass was tipped, once by linebacker Zane Norris, once by safety Zeke Sanders, and then snatched out of the air by Walker.

The sophomore wide receiver made a touchdown out of it.

The second reception, coming from Mannion was spot-on, but Walker was not ready for it. The receiver got turned around by the secondary and had to back pedal the rest of his route, managing to reel in the pass mid-stride and outrun the secondary the rest of the way.

THE FIRST STRING o-line was LT Wilder McAndrews, LG Grant Johnson, C Alex Linnenkohl, RG Burke Ellis and RT Mike Remmers.

The No. 1 receivers consisted of James Rodgers, Jordan Bishop and Aaron Nichols, and Brady Camp and Joe Halahuni took the tight end and H-back spots.

ON DEFENSE, Stephen Paea returned to the field and to full-tilt practice for the first time in almost a week after nursing a sore knee.

The senior interior lineman didn't dominate for a good part of practice. Nothing to worry about, as Paea only appeared to go about three-quarters speed.

Paea rotated with Brennan Olander throughout the team session, with Kevin Frahm manning the other interior lineman spot.

The defensive ends continued to rotate -- as Dominic Glover, Gabe Miller and Taylor Henry were joined by sophomore Andrew Seumalo. Middle linebackers Rueben Robinson and Tony Wilson continued to share time, with Keith Pankey and Dwight Roberson manning the outside linebacker positions.

THE SECONDARY saw sophomore Brandon Hardin returning after missing a few practices with a pulled quad. Hardin made his presence known right away, and locked down Halahuni in the first team session.

On a little out route toward the sidelines, Katz delivered a spot-on pass that seemed destined for Halahuni's hands. But Hardin had a line on the pass and put his big body in front of it, slapping the ball out of the air.

Hardin rotated with senior James Dockery, and was opposite sophomore Jordan Poyer for the duration of practice. Safety Cameron Collins also returned to practice after missing a few days with a groin injury and split time with senior Suaesi Tuimaunei with junior Lance Mitchell opposite them.

One name that continues to impress -- Crichton, who was been taking snaps at the second string defensive end spot.

Today during the second team session Crichton blew off the edge into the backfield and rocked a fly sweep to Wheaton. The play had no chance from the snap, simply because Crichton was already in the backfield by that point.

Check out BF.C later this evening for the complete rundown of the second half of Monday's two-a-day.

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