Day 5 -- Spring Practice -- It Kind of Stings
April 7, 2010
Corvallis, Ore. -
Finally, outside for spring practice.
Wednesday provided a chance for the football team to get outdoors and as a result work on special teams - it's hard to work on punt coverage when Johnny Hekker bounces kicks off the Truax Indoor Center ceiling.
`It felt good today to get outside," Beaver head coach Mike Riley said. "I think we made a lot of progress. It was fun to see a punt."
Special teams aren't often talked about, especially during spring practice, but the Beavers will have among the most experienced units in the nation with senior placekicker Justin Kahut, who has quietly put together one of the best careers ever for a Beaver kicker, Hekker and longsnapper Marcus Perry. Holder is the only position that will feature a newcomer as sure-handed Taylor Kavanaugh will certainly be missed. The return and coverage teams figure to be solid as well with a wealth of young talent on the team, in fact Assistant Head Coach Jay Locey worked post-practice with Markus Wheaton catching simulated punts.
On the field Wednesday; slotback Jordan Bishop made some acrobatic catches, as did split ends Darrell Catchings and Wheaton. Redshirt-freshman safety Dax Dilbeck continued to make people take notice, which included an interception. Josh LaGrone also had an interception soon after he was razzed about not having one this spring.
Safety Lance Mitchell remained on the sidelines with a hamstring, although he predicted he would be back on the field Friday. Tight end Colby Prince unfortunately may end up with Mitchell, as he tweaked his left hamstring mid-way through practice. Kevin `Unga also remained out with a hip flexor injury, and head coach Mike Riley also said that he received good news about the knee surgeries for offensive tackle Michael Philipp and defensive end Mitchel Hunt.
"It kind of stings." That was James Rodgers' answer to ESPN.com's Ted Miller about Ryan Katz's passes. James said he is used to Katz's velocity now after working with him last summer. You can see Miller's video interviews with Katz, the Rodgers brothers and Stephen Paea on the worldwide sports leader's website.
For a minute, we will go off the field and into the classroom. The critically acclaimed BEST Bridge Program has its very first class of graduates completing coursework for a degree over the next six months. If you haven't followed the Program it transitions high school athletes to college student-athletes and the rigors that they will face at a Division I program. It's quite the impressive list of student-athletes, most of them have been on the Pac-10 Conference All-Academic Teams and that is no coincidence. The graduates include Keo Camat, Howard Croom, James Dockery, Mitchel Hunt, Casey Kjos, Keaton Kristick, Alex Linnenkohl, Gabe Miller, Aaron Nichols, Timi Oshinowo, Ryan Pohl, John Reese, Dwight Roberson, Suaesi Tuimaunei and men's basketball's Lathen Wallace. Almost every sport at OSU now participates in the program that has sessions from late June through September. Earlier this spring we noted that every senior on the football will graduate March of 2011, at the latest, and several already have.
We invite you to watch today's post-practice interview with defensive coordinator Mark Banker on Beaver Nation Online, the official audio/video source of Beaver Athletics. Beaver Nation Online paid subscribers can view last year's 38-28 victory over Stanford as Jacquizz Rodgers rushed for 189 yards and four touchdowns. You can see many more of OSU's "Classic" games online it their entirety on BNO.
Look for more updates from the media present Wednesday, which included Paul Buker and Molly Blue from The Oregonian, Cliff Kirkpatrick from the Gazette-Times, Gary Horowitz of the Statesman Journal, the Daily Barometer, BeaverFootball.com and BeaverBlitz.com.
Did you know? Defensive end Andrew Seumalo, the son of defensive line coach Joe Seumalo, turned 20-years old Wednesday. Also, wide receiver Aaron Nichols and offensive lineman Grant Johnson can say goodbye to those tuition expenses, they are now on scholarship. Johnson will be the guest on KPAM 860's Bob Miller in the Morning at 8:35 a.m. Friday.
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