Fall Camp, Day #6: It's a bad hair day at Prothro
Aug. 11, 2012
CORVALLIS, Ore. - It's hard to know whether the offensive line was "dressing up" for the BBQ with the Beavs event that followed today's first practice, but they sure had some unique hairstyles. This I can assure you ... the "Big Uglies" are uglier than usual.
"I don't know what you're talking about ... what exactly are you saying about my hair?" Grant Enger shot back when questioned about his new Mohawk.
"I didn't want a haircut," was Michael Philipp's response to why his mop appeared unscathed. "Those other guys didn't complain. I think they wanted it."
I sensed some sarcasm from both of the elder statesmen of the o-line. When it was pointed out that as a freshman Enger had sported the reverse Mohawk he just smiled and said that he was just evening things out.
For those with scorecards, here's the new-looks being sported around the football complex:
- Josh Mitchell - reverse Mohawk
- Jake Welch - checkerboard (but somehow the owner of the shears missed his Grizzly Adams look-alike beard)
- Enger - Mohawk
- Nolan Hansen - Friar Tuck (no hair on top, but a ring of hair on the bottom)
- Justin Addie - lightning bolts
- Grant Bays - no hair in front, full head of hair in the back
- Chase Eldredge - the "monk" (a small, round patch in the top and back of his head)
Today's recap is scheduled to be about the safeties and the OSU sports video team mic'd graduate assistant coach Mitch Meeuwsen on Saturday and later interviewed him after practice.
In 2011 it seemed as though the safety position was undermanned but that is no longer the case. Anthony Watkins returns as an established starter and though he has missed the last couple practices due to a nagging hip injury, he is unlikely to be unseated from his position. Sophomore Ryan Murphy is lining up as the other starter and the experience he gained last season when he made two starts is evident. On Saturday alone, Murphy showed a ton of big play potential ripping an interception away from a receiver on a crossing route on one play, breaking up a pass on another and showing the ability to play press coverage on a slot receiver all in one practice period. In addition, the size he brings to the position potentially brings flashbacks of the days of guys like Al Afalava patrolling the back line and laying out unsuspecting opponents who dared to stray into his area.
With Watkins watching from the sidelines, sophomore Tyrequek Zimmerman has benefitted the most from the increased reps with the first string and appears ready to assume the role as the third safety. Redshirt freshmen Peter Ashton and Micah Audiss have also had their moments during the first week of practice as well and it was noticeable that Saturday some of the fresher faces - Cyril Noland-Lewis and Chris Miller - are beginning to get more reps as head coach Mike Riley and his staff get closer to making decisions about who will play in 2012 and who will redshirt.
Overall it is an extremely athletic and youthful group. Watkins, a senior, is the lone upperclassman at the position leaving what could be an intense battle for playing time among the youngsters for the next several seasons.
There were several highlights for the offense today. Junior flanker Micah Hatfield got off to a slow start during one-on-one drills drawing the ire of receivers coach Brent Brennan, but his next two turns resulted in a pair of leaping, stretching grabs swiftly earning Brennan's praise. Sean Mannion hooked up with Markus Wheaton on a pair of deep balls that drew applause from the fans on hand. Wheaton looks to be a handful for defenses in 2012. He appears to be playing with an increased level of confidence and it's hard to imagine that many players will be able to keep up with his speed (he did beat UO's De'Anthony Thomas in the 100 meters during the spring track season).
Mannion also connected with Obum Gwacham on a diving catch near the boundary for a long gainer at the end of one team period. Cody Vaz continues to look sharp throwing a beautiful ball to connect with a diving Richard Mullaney for another long gain.
Saturday marked the first of six double-day practices. The first practice was at 11 a.m. with full pads, while the evening drills began at 6:30 with the team in shells.
Friday, OSU Athletics announced the debut of "Beaver Nation Live" on 620 KPOJ with veteran sportscaster Scott Lynn on Mon., Aug. 13. Lynn was on hand Saturday to gather interviews for the show that will air 6-7 p.m. on weekdays. and the opening edition has Ed Ray, Craig Robinson and host of football coaches and student-athletes.
Pac-12 Network launch is just days away, Aug. 15, have you contacted your cable or satellite provider to learn of your options to get the most OSU sports coverage? It's easy to find the Networks coverage area by going to this website.
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