THE MIDDLE LINEBACKER position for the Beavers remained unsettled coming out of spring but Maria…
OSU Spring Rewind
Maria Bruggere: I definitely thought that spring ball went better as it went along, and that specific areas improved a lot, like on the offensive and defensive lines. The big thing, though, was the injuries. That had an impact on everything the the team and coaching staff did. They're looking at so many injuries... that brings up a lot of questions and (concerns).
BF.C: How did the backups who came in for the injured perform, should OSU fans be concerned?
Maria Bruggere: OSU fans should be concerned because the number of injuries was so significant, but the guys that did come in and step up, guys like Obum Gwacham, Malcolm Marable, Terron Ward until he got hurt, Cody Vaz and others, they did a very good job of stepping in...Vaz has come so far since last fall. With Ryan Katz out this spring, Mike Riley himself made it a point to say he wouldn't blink for a second if he had to put Vaz in. I think that speaks to his improvement and how far he's come along.
BF.C: Who had the best spring, offense or defense?
Maria Bruggere: Overall, the defense. They stayed healthier and they made more plays. They looked pretty strong considering all the seniors that have left off last year's team. A lot of the veterans have stepped up into the leadership positions, and the new guys that have come in on the line and at linebacker, they did a good job of showing this spring they're ready to play.
BF.C: Some say the defense is undersized up front, what's your take on that?
Maria Bruggere: I know what they're saying but I thought the o-line looked smaller in comparison to the d-line. Just for example, as far as the d-ends go, Rusty Fernando is a d-end who looks like a Pac-12 d-end. They're not super tall and huge, but they looked strong and they look like they know how to get the job done based on their size, speed and play.
BF.C: What surprised you this spring? Maria Bruggere: It's not really something unexpected but Cameron Collins is going to be a major player. He is so much bigger than he was when he arrived at Oregon State, and he hits soooo hard. He and Michael Doctor both, you really hear those hits. (Collins') killer instinct to run and tackle as opposed to (thinking), I think that really came out this spring. Once they get the middle linebacker situations sorted out...I think the defense is going to be a better unit this year, what with the defensive line coming on as they did in the spring and with the defensive backs playing as they did.
Stay tuned in the coming days for a position-by-position spring ball breakdown here on BF.C
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