Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Local Weather

Light Rain

55°F

Portland

Light Rain

Humidity: 86%

Wind: 16 mph

  • 28 Nov 2014

    Rain 54°F 37°F

  • 29 Nov 2014

    AM Rain/Snow Showers 43°F 28°F


QBs, coordinator in spotlight for Beavers spring football

Under normal circumstances, spring football would be pretty much a bore for Sean Mannion.

The senior quarterback should have plenty to do, though, when Oregon State opens spring practice on March 31.

That's because it will be Mannion's first chance to work on-field with new offensive coordinator John Garrett, hired last month to replace Danny Langsdorf.

"John will work with him on a lot of details about technique, which will be great for Sean," OSU coach Mike Riley says. "Sean is a good student. He'll latch onto everything John says."

Riley doesn't expect major changes to come with the addition of Garrett, 49, who served 15 years as an assistant coach in the NFL, though never as a coordinator.

"Initially, nothing dramatic," Riley says. "We hope to improve on some things we're doing. But we won't delve into too many new things until we establish a base.

"It's been really fun going through everything with John offensively. He has done a really nice job, so far, of leading our (offensive) staff."

Spring ball will be much about competition for positions for next season, especially in backup roles.

There will be two new transfers on hand — quarterback Luke Del Rio from Alabama and defensive end Baker Pritchard from Brigham Young.

Del Rio, son of Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio, will take snaps along with Mannion, sophomore Brent VanderVeen and redshirt freshman Kyle Kempt.

For now, Del Rio must sit out next season and would have three seasons to play beginning in 2015. Both Oregon State and the Del Rio family have made appeals to the NCAA for an extra year of eligibility for the 6-2, 205-pound quarterback, who redshirted last fall at Alabama. If the appeal is granted, Del Rio would be allowed to play this fall. OSU coaches are hoping to hear from the NCAA about Del Rio's status before spring drills begin.

The 6-3, 270-pound Pritchard redshirted at BYU in 2011, then went on a two-year church mission. He will be immediately eligible as a redshirt freshman in the fall.

Oregon State also will be working in two other transfers — 6-2, 300-pound defensive tackle Jalen Grimble from Miami and 6-7, 280-pound offensive tackle Bobby Keenan from American River JC in Sacramento.

Grimble has been on campus all year and will have two years of eligibility. Keenan, who arrived in Corvallis for winter term, will have three years to play two.

"I'm excited to see what both of those guys can do," Riley says. "They're both going to be in the mix for playing time."

OSU's offensive line will be thin this spring, missing a pair of starters who are rehabbing after postseason surgery — center Isaac Seumalo (foot) and guard Josh Mitchell (shoulder). Both are expected to be fully ready for August training camp.

Beaver coaches will be spending much time on skill development with many of the younger players.

"We want to find out about a lot of those guys, to see if they are ready to play," Riley says.

Among the younger players who will have the eyes of the coaches are receivers Hunter Jarmon, Walter Jones and Kendall Hill, offensive linemen Fred Lauina, Will Hopkins, Garrett Weinreich and Devan Filipe, tailback Chris Brown, defensive end Titus Failauga, defensive tackles Noke Tago and Brandon Bennett-Jackson, linebacker Michael Greer, cornerbacks Dashon Hunt and Chris Hayes and safeties Zack Robinson, Brandon Arnold and Justin Strong.

"Especially with the kids who redshirted last year, spring practice will be a real entry point for them into the program," Riley says. "We'll be looking a lot at that part of it to develop our team."

Riley says the Beavers will have more live tackling than they did last spring. The OSU coach also hopes to have more scrimmages, "depending on how healthy we stay in the front lines."

NOTES: The Spring Game, which ends spring practice, is May 3. … Senior Jabral Johnson will make the switch from outside linebacker to middle linebacker and is listed No. 1 at the position ahead of sophomore Rommel Mageo. … Brown, a sophomore, will go into the spring as the No. 3 tailback behind junior Storm Woods and senior Terron Ward, but will get a chance to move up on the depth chart. "We intend on getting Chris a lot of work this spring," Riley. "We're very high on him and (redshirt freshman) Damien Haskins." … Senior Obum Gwachum will switch from receiver to defensive end. … Among other players who will miss spring ball because of injuries are cornerback Charles Okonkwo (knee), linebacker Joel Skotte (neck) and receiver Stevie Coury (shoulder). … long snapper Michael Morovich (knee) will snap but take part in no team drills. … Sedshirt freshman receiver Jordan Villamin, a partial qualifier who was not allowed to practice through last season, will not participate in spring drills but is expected to be fully qualified for August training camp. … OSU coaches are still hopeful defensive tackle Kyle Peko, who is still working on completing a class at Cerritos College in Norwalk, Calif., will be eligible and on hand for spring ball. … DeMarlon Morris, a cornerback who is transferring from Mesa (Ariz.) Community College, also is completing academic responsibilities and won't be on hand until August training camp.

  • Beavers 2-deep

    (for spring practice only)

    Offense

    SE: Richard Mullaney, Kendall Hill

    SL: Malik Gilmore, Hunter Jarmon

    LT: Sean Harlow, Bobby Keenan

    LG: Nolan Hansen, Fred Lauina

    C: Roman Sapolu

    RG: Grant Bays, Devan Filipe

    RT: Gavin Andrews, Will Hopkins

    TE: Connor Hamlett, Caleb Smith

    FL: Victor Bolden, Walter Jones

    QB: Sean Mannion, Brent VanderVeen

    TB: Storm Woods, Terron Ward

    FB: Tyler Anderson, Michael Balfour

    Defense

    E: Dylan Wynn, Lavonte Barnett

    T: Edwin Delva, Noke Tago

    T: Siale Hautau, Jason Grimble

    E: Jaswa James, Baker Pritchard

    SLB: D.J. Alexander, Cyril Nolan-Lewis

    MLB: Jabral Johnson, Rommel Mageo

    WLB: Michael Doctor, Caleb Saulo

    LC: Steven Nelson, Malcolm Marable

    SS: Ty Zimmerman, Micah Audiss

    FS: Ryan Murphy, Zach Robinson

    RC: Larry Scott, Dashon Hunt

    Special teams

    PK: Trevor Romaine, Garrett Owens

    P: Keith Kostol