Practice Report: Day 3 - It's All In The Hands
Aug. 10, 2011
CORVALLIS, Ore. - On Tuesday, we told you that the Oregon State receiving corps was rated ninth nationally by Rivals.com in its annual preseason top 10 unit rankings.
If you've been at the first couple days of practice, you've seen what Ryan Katz, Cody Vaz and the rest of the team's quarterbacks have had to throw to. It's a deep group, consisting of veterans and newcomers alike.
And they only aim to get better.
James Rodgers is practicing, which in and of itself is big news. He's making catches, cuts and turns and is certainly showing signs of his old self. As Rivals wrote: "Rodgers is a great fit for this offense; he is a tough runner, can get deep and also is willing to go across the middle."
Markus Wheaton exploded on to the scene last season, and he, Jordan Bishop and Kevin Cummings, have impressed the fans on the sidelines greatly thus far. It was Cummings who made arguably the play of the day on Tuesday when he caught a 35-yard pass from Sean Mannion over a defender.
The great thing is, it doesn't stop there. Obum Gwacham is a 6-foot-5 redshirt freshman from Chino Hills, Calif., who has competed for the OSU track and field team. Darrell Catchings is a senior and poised for a big year. Not to mention, Geno Munoz, Danny Evans, Garett Hall and Micah Hatfield have made some great catches over the first couple days.
And they'll all be challenged by an incoming freshman class that has some incredible talent. Fans should get used to seeing Brandin Cooks, Tyrequek Zimmerman, Tyler Trosin and Richard Mullaney running routes; keep an eye on them if you are able to make it to practice. You will like what you see.
On Wednesday, it was the Ryan Katz-Markus Wheaton connection that drew rave reviews. The two connected on what would have been a touchdown on the first play of team drills, only to do so again minutes later. Both times, Katz put the ball in the air for at least 45 yards, allowing Wheaton to get under it for the score.
After three days, head coach Mike Riley is happy with the tempo at practice. Wednesday's workout was the team's first in shoulder paids, remaining in shorts as well.
"You know, I really do like it," he said after the team's three-hour practice Wednesday. "We have been out on the field for long periods of time and that's okay, too. I thought that from both the pace and the tempo, and the pressure to execute, it adds a little bit to the conditioning."
Team building activities continued Wednesday night after practice. Members of the team had an opportunity for a home run derby inside Reser Stadium using tennis balls. We'll update you later on who won.
We found out at Wednesday's practice that Max Johnson was the winner of Monday night's rock-paper-scissor competition during team-building time. He reportedly squared off against Darrell Catchings in the final.
Media in attendance Wednesday included Paul Buker and Molly Blue from The Oregonian, Cliff Kirkpatrick from the Corvallis Gazette-Times and KEZI-TV and KVAL-TV. Make sure to check your local media outlets for coverage of the Beavers' third day of practice.
Practice resumes Thursday 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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