Fall Camp, Day #3: You Haven't Heard (literally) Much Yet, But You Will
Aug. 8, 2012
Corvallis, Ore. -
There hasn't been much written or said about the group; there isn't much concern about depth or experience; and there is no apprehension about talent.
Is OSU returning to Linebacker U? That was a favorite term of head coach Mike Riley a few seasons ago and with good reason. The Beavers have had a litany of stellar linebackers this century, players like current assistant coach Trent Bray, Keaton Kristick, Joey LaRocque, Richard Seigler, Nick Barnett and James Allen to name just a few.
This year's class of LBs is flying under the radar (and around the field) of most so-called college football experts, but quietly there is major game experience - in fact the crew makes up 113 games played and 30 starts overall.
The leader of the group is senior Feti `Unga at middle backer. `Unga, who in reality missed four games last season with a knee injury suffered on the first play against BYU, quietly ranked sixth in the Pac-12 a year ago for tackles per game with 7.4, including a 14-stop game vs. UCLA and 13 in the Civil War.
Senior Rueben Robinson is possibly the most versatile LB on the roster, having started at all three positions, and junior Michael Doctor has demonstrated outstanding talent through his first two years in the program and figures to continue to build on his statistics that already register 89 tackles and two interceptions.
When Coach Riley is asked about some of the younger guys on the roster to keep an eye on, sophomores D.J. Welch and Jabral Johnson are two that he usually mentions as major impact guys this season and in the future. The Beavers also have a host of newcomers and other younger players on the roster who will likely make impacts this season on special teams or earn their stripes playing on scout teams this fall.
The OSU video team had a chance to mic Coach Bray Wednesday and added a post-practice interview (see below) that also includes Welch. Thursday the defensive line with coach Joe Seumalo will be featured.
In other Beaver football news -- the 1962 Liberty Bowl team, one of the most underrated squads in school history, will be inducted into the OSU Sports Hall of Fame Sept. 7. The team went 9-2 and featured Heisman Trophy winner Terry Baker - the first Heisman winner west of Texas.
Several Beavers on Wednesday were testing Nike shoes, again the fortunes of being the closest major football program to the athletics apparel and footwear giant. Receiver Markus Wheaton was one of the players with shoes that won't hit the market until 2014.
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