Senior slotback Kevin Cummings will probably not make another catch this season, and therefore in his OSU career. There’s an outside chance he could be back for the bowl game but unfortunately for the 6-1, 184-pound wideout, his last memory of playing college football might just be the thwack he received from two Stanford defenders in the final seconds of the Beavers 20-12 loss.
But the injury that required surgery, Cummings has said, happened sometime in the first or second quarter.
“There’s really two ways you can handle that,” said Brennan. “You can feel sorry for yourself, lock yourself in a room and be a baby – or you can be a man and accept it and find something else to do that contributes to the greater good.
“When it first happened, he was down -- he was very upset when it first happened, and understandably so. But right away he was like, ‘I’ve got to help.’”
And that is exactly what Cummings has been doing. It’s odd to see him donning sweats and a black shirt, wearing a brace around his wrist instead of being gloved and ready for the snap. But Cummings’ presence on the sideline throughout practice has been invaluable not only to his younger replacement, redshirt freshman wideout Malik Gilmore, but to Brennan as well.
“Kevin, he loves this football team and he loves Oregon State football and the guys in the group, so he is doing everything he can to coach them,” Brennan said. “And he has always been a little bit of a coach any way. I always joked with him and called him ‘Coach Cummings’, even when he was healthy and playing.”
AND SO THESE DAYS, instead of running routes and shaking defensive backs, Cummings instead focuses intently on the footsteps and motions of Gilmore and senior receiver Micah Hatfield.
When Brennan is focusing on Brandin Cooks and Victor Bolden, he doesn’t have to worry as much about other guys getting less of the coaching pie.
Cummings has become his new right hand man.
“The receiver position is so spread out anyway, so if I’m on the other side coaching Brandin or somebody else, I know that Kevin (at other positions) is in their ear,” Brennan said. “He’s watching it, he saw what happened, he saw the coverage, he knew the play. So he’s giving them all the coaching points and by the time I get to him I’m like, “Hey, what happened?’ He’s already got a summary of what happened.”
Earlier in the season, Mike Riley mentioned that between his talent and tremendous work ethic, he could easily see Cummings coaching the receiving position somewhere in the future. Brennan wholeheartedly agrees.
“Lots of guys end up being high school or junior college coaches. His dad has been a junior college and a high school coach off and on for a long time,” Brennan said. “I think he likes this level of competition, I can totally see him trying to (coach at the college level) and I could see him being really good at it.”