Spring Ball update from Mike Riley

LOTS OF NEWS and notes coming out Corvallis from head man Mike Riley, as the beginning of spring ball at Oregon State is less than two weeks away...

- Mike Riley said guys that are out this spring with injury are:

Scott Crichton (shoulder)
Tyrequek Zimmerman (toe surgery)
Garrett Weinreich (knee)
Richard Mullaney (shoulder)
Tyler Anderson (knee, he has been put on schollie)

Isaac Seumalo may be limited to begin with (elbow)
Chase Eldridge will be limited (knee)

- "As a staff...since we've been planning practices and getting our football stuff ready that we want to focus on," said Riley.

- Riley said the strength coaches are very positive about the gains that have been made this offseason by the players.

- Michael Morovick and Keith Kostol are likely to be put on scholie hopefully later this year, said Riley.

- Riley said they have a challenge to replace Jordan Poyer in punt returns, as well as corner.

- In trying to replace Markus Wheaton, Riley said he thinks the returnees should all be better and there are four good freshmen coming in at wide receiver, all of whom could make an impact. "Or they could redshirt," said Riley.

- He said he's also counting on Malik Gilmore and Obum Gwacham to step forward. "It's too bad Mullaney won't be ready," said Riley.

- Riley said the staff feels good about Sean Martin's development and he thinks Steven Nelson is talented and ready to compete with Nelson at that corner spot.

- Riley said they will split the time at QB this spring between Sean Mannion and Cody Vaz.

- Mannion will be listed as the No. 1 on the depth chart but that really doesn't mean much, said Riley.

- Riley said he probably won't make a starting decision at QB at spring's end, it's more likely it won't be until the end of fall camp.

- Riley said Steven Christian getting a sixth year was important and sees him fighting for more prominent roles this year, both on special teams and in the nickel and dime and possibly beyond.

- Goals for this spring include individual development. But there are some things strategically they want to do on offense -- such as better perimeter run with the tailback, increasing the number of catches for RB and TE, increase wide area passing game (particularly with Cooks).

- Defensively, spring goals include expand on ability to play better on third down. Riley said he also wants to improve the red zone defense, and then find that one starting corner and good backups. Finding a middle linebacker, a punt returner (Terron Ward has emerged as a good kickoff returner) and replace some of their core players on special teams that they lost, (such as Jordan Jenkins and Malcolm Agnew) are other goals on D.

- Cyril Nowland, Zack Anderson, Kendall Hill are a few of the guys Riley is excited about at safety.

- Tight end and h-back have the makings of either being really good, or not so much, said Riley, depending on if players within the group can take steps forward.

- Josh Mitchell and Grant Bays have promise, as does Chase Eldredge. So does Weinreich, said Riley, after he gets healthy.

- Gavin Andrews is the No. 1 right tackle, with Riley saying they'll see if he can hold that job over the competition.

- At defensive tackle, midyear transfers Edwin Delva and Siale Hautau come in this spring listed at the No. 1 spots.

Riley is interested to see how Noke Tago plays this spring, looked good on the scout team last year. Joe Lopez, John Braun, Lavonte Barnett, Devon Kell and Mana Rosa will be counted upon to compete this spring. By the time the Beavs get to fall camp Riley said they should have good numbers, it's a matter of who steps up.

- Peter Ashton has left the team, Riley said, he's going to go to junior college back in Texas.

- Rosa and Dyllon Mafi have since been reinstated over the nightclub incident last season. Both players, who were suspended for the bowl game, told Riley the charges against them have been dismissed.

- USC called Riley about Mike Cavanaugh this offseason. Brent Brennan and Chris Brasfield, as well as Trent Bray, all had opportunities this offseason from other schools, Riley said.

- Riley said it's still a little up in the air but on field GA's are Tavita Thompson working as an assistant line coach, Kyle DeVan will coach tight ends, Dorian Smith assistant d-line coach and Keaton Kristick working with the linebackers. Off field GA's in quality control roles include: Rod Perry Jr., Brad Brennan and Bo Walker. Alan Darlin will also move off the field after two seasons on the field. Lyle Moevao will also be off the field and will work in the recruiting end and quality control with running backs.

- Riley said they are considering incorporating some up-tempo, no huddle style in their offense, but they want to focus early in spring on the Beavs' foundation, pro-style, and to work on teaching and execution. When you've recruited to a particular style for a long time, you need to be careful in implementing something different, Riley said. "It all takes time," said Riley.

- Riley said they are unsure of any who might grayshirt at this time.

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