Spring Practice Day 8 -- Brasfield's Versatile Group
April 13, 2011
Corvallis, Ore. -
By Anthony Casson
The Beavers continued their string of energetic football practices today inside the Truax Indoor Center. Even head coach Mike Riley had some loud words for the players on both side of the ball.
Running backs coach Chris Brasfield, however, has kept a calm, cool demeanor since he arrived in Corvallis over two weeks ago. He’s one of the newest additions to the Oregon State family after leaving his graduate assistant role at Oregon.
He may not be as exuberant and vocal as fellow new Beaver receivers coach Brent Brennan, but he’s doing the same things—finding ways to make his players better. Brasfield is a true teacher at heart; he sounds a lot like an engaging professor.
“I enjoy the teaching aspect of it,” Brasfield said. “Trying to find different ways to make sure guys understand what they’re doing, whether it’s using a visual picture, a verbal explanation—it’s teaching; that’s all it is. And the relationship part is a part people don’t normally get to hear about a lot, but we’re all developing trust.”
His attitude is crisp—he has plenty to say, but it’s never excessive. He observes his players beneath a black cap, and cruises from drill station to drill station.
The running back situation isn’t as it has been the past couple of seasons, where one particular guy has set the gold standard, but he is handling it well. Actually, he’s relishing the opportunity to work with a group of tailbacks that have different abilities.
Senior Ryan McCants has a size advantage; sophomore Jovan Stevenson is a mixture of size and quickness; freshmen Terron Ward and Malcolm Marable have ankle-breaking moves and an uncanny ability to slip through small seams. When junior Jordan Jenkins returns in the fall (shoulder), he’ll offer a combination of speed and force.
“That’s what you want. That’s what every running backs coach wants,” Brasfield said of his versatile group. “You want a little bit of everything. It’s great to have one guy who can do it all, but it’s also nice to have some depth and some guys that can do different things.”
Spring is both serious business and play time wrapped into five weeks of practice, which is good for a new coach and a new-look tailback group. He describes his rushers as “hard workers” and “very attentive;” he seems to possess the same characteristics as his athletes.
After two weeks, Brasfield is getting closer to being able to bring his family to Corvallis. Couches are his places of residence for now. The transition to full-time position coaching without a home has been a challenge, but he has the help of the OSU community making it easier.
“Everybody’s welcoming—every single one,” he said. “Everybody’s going out of their way to try and make the transition for me and my family. It’s above and beyond.”
Coach Riley will talk about Brasfield and entire Beaver group tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. on 95.5 The Game.
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