Spring Practice 14 -- Beaton's on Stage
April 27, 2011
Corvallis, Ore. -
By Anthony Casson
Head coach Mike Riley had plenty to reflect on after day 14 of spring practice, the final session before Saturday's annual Spring Game.
"I really enjoyed this work, and I'm kind of sad to see it end," Riley said. "But we'll have a good game on Saturday."
Despite a host of injuries keeping star players like junior quarterback Ryan Katz, junior wide receiver Jordan Bishop, senior James Rodgers away from the field, Oregon State fans were treated to breakout performances by some under-the-radar characters. Freshman receiver Obum Gwacham and sophomore outside linebacker Michael Doctor were two very impressive players every practice. Sophomore Cody Vaz had the first team to himself and proved he is a strong backup for Katz in the fall.
"It is a pretty good silver lining," Riley said of the camp. "This has been awesome for Cody Vaz, Sean Mannion--I think it's been a real big deal for them. And there are some younger receivers--a guy like Kevin Cummings, who has gotten a lot of turns and has really improved. So we may have developed some more depth with guys that can play in the games."
The tailback and middle linebacker starting roles haven't been solidified. Senior Ryan McCants continued to run with the lead group today and made some big plays up the middle; sophomore Jovan Stevenson could give him a challenge come fall camp.
A similar face of uncertainty characterizes the offensive line's right side. At guard, seniors Burke Ellis and Michael Lamb are fighting for the starting job; juniors Colin Kelly and Michael Philipp are the leading options at tackle.
"We want chemistry in our offensive line. We want to build that continuity," Riley said. "But we also want to come up with who's the best player. Sometimes it takes a little more competition and a little longer to find out."
Freshman center Michael Beaton is one of the players farther back on the depth chart, but while he and his teammates jockey for position in the trenches, he's a locked in an important acting role.
A lover of the performing arts, Beaton was casted in "Behind Bars", a play during OSU's One Act Festival in May. He'll play Cody, a veteran member of the United States federal prison system who shows his cell mate Jay the lay of the land.
"I do play a little bit of a skinhead, but me and Jay, we form a nice little relationship," Beaton said. "It will be good--a lot of fun."
Beaton has been interested in acting since he was a little kid, when he started watching Saturday Night Live and Monty Python.
"Me and my brothers, we would recite the lines back and forth to each other," he said. "We would do `shtick' as my dad would say. I just love being in front of people--making them laugh, or just kind of performing. I did it a little bit in high school, and I'm studying it here--hopefully making a career out of it."
It's his first college role of his career. His family won't be the only ones watching his debut performance. He's dealing with a minor case of nerves, but the nerves are part of his passion.
"I've got a lot of lines, and everybody on the football team pretty much knows about it," he said. "I know Coach Cavanaugh is coming to give me notes. But I'm really, really excited.
"I'm working with a bunch of great people, and it's something I really enjoy doing."
"Behind Bars" by Jordyn Patton is scheduled May 25-29.
Note: Pet Day and a state wrestling tournament will be held nearby to Reser Stadium this Saturday which will create traffic and parking congestion. OSU athletics appreciates your understanding and patience.
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