PRACTICE REPORT: DAY 1 - Putting the Super Back in the Fly Sweep
Aug. 8, 2011
Head coach Mike Riley has made note of the uncertainties surrounding the opening of fall camp 2011 with several key players coming off of injuries - Jordan Bishop (ankle), Joe Halahuni (shoulder), Jordan Jenkins (shoulder), Ryan Katz (wrist) and most notably James Rodgers (knee).
Well, Monday's practice produced a sight Beaver Nation has sorely missed: Rodgers running routes and catching the ball. Today is one day short of 10 months after he suffered a season-ending knee injury and the man who put the fly sweep in the Oregon State offense returned to the practice field. Rodgers went full bore through first half of practice looking quick and decisive and, of course, catching everything thrown his way. He sat out the second part of the day with ice on his knee, but stayed involved coaching up his younger teammates.
"I like to work hard. I can't really sit here and give you a percent (on the health of his knee)," Rodgers said. "I'm just out here working as hard as I can and work on getting to the point where I need to be and where they feel that I'm ready to go."
"He looked good," Riley said. "We limited what he was going to do and he looked good. He got good work in and I was impressed. He's in great shape and was quick ... looked like James Rodgers with the wrong number."
Rodgers was announced earlier in the day as a nominee for the Paul Hornung Award given annually to the most versatile player in major college football by the Louisville Sports Commission and football legend Paul Hornung.
Aside of the mystery surrounding Rodgers' health, several other offensive players answered questions that have lingered since the spring with Katz, Jenkins and Bishop running to action at full speed. In addition, Halahuni participated in a limited fashion in drills running routes with the rest of the tight ends.
"It's hard not to be out there all the time," Halahuni said. "We've only got four other tight ends and three of them haven't played a down of college football. But I feel good and can't wait to get back out there full time."
Katz and Jenkins were back in the mix at full-speed. Katz, who was held out of much of spring ball, is "100 percent" and all involved are happy to have him back to taking the first team snaps. Meanwhile, Jenkins received the "full go" following a doctor's appointment late last week and immediately entered a wide open race for the starting tailback position.
Prior to practice many players and coaches faced the media horde during the lunch hour at Valley Football Center.
Media in attendance Monday included Paul Buker and Joel Odom from The Oregonian, Cliff Kirkpatrick of the Corvallis Gazette-Times, Bob Clark from the Register-Guard, Bill Poehler from the Statesman-Journal, Ron Callan from 860 AM (KPAM), who broadcasted his show live from the Valley Football Center after practice, and Mike Parker from 1240 KEJO as well as the Eugene TV stations, KEZI, KMTR and KVAL. Check your local media outlets from coverage of the Beavers' first day of practice.
Practice resumes Tuesday at 2 p.m. at the Tommy Prothro Football Complex.
Single game tickets, both home and away, are available now through the OSU Ticket Office by calling 1-800-GO-BEAVS, online at osubeavers.com and in person at the ticket office in Gill Coliseum.
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