Depth chart analysis - Defense

LB Bryant Cornell

The movers and shakers from spring ball. Who moved up and who moved down on the Oregon State defensive depth chart.



Defensive end
LE

Dorian Smith (SR)
Naymon Frank (SR)
Slade Norris (JR)
Tom Hansen (FRR)
Taani Fuahala (FRR)

Note: It is difficult to evaluate the defensive ends as they rarely play at full speed during spring ball. Dorian Smith currently has the staring spot but Naymon Frank showed excellent agility for his size and will push for playing time. Slade Norris is a pass rushing specialist with Tom Hansen waiting in the wings for his time to shine.



RE

Jeff Van Orsow (SR)
Jeff Kruskamp (SR)
Victor Butler (JR)
Keith Robertson (JR)
Evan Hull (SO)
Carl Sommer (FR)

Note: Jeff Van Orsow sat out with a stress fracture in his left foot, but was very involved on the sidelines coaching his teammates. Surprisingly Jeff Kruskamp turned in solid spring while Victor Butler is a proven commodity on passing downs. Keith Robertson worked his way back into football shape while the first prep recruit from the 2006 class, Carl Sommer, graduated early and received valuable experience.



Defensive tackle
RT

Curtis Coker (SR)
William Akau'ola Vea (SR)
Sioeli Nau (JR)

Note: Defensive tackle is another position that is hard to evaluate in spring, but Curtis Coker and William Akau'ola both played like veterans. Sioeli Nau impressed in his first spring in Corvallis, but will probably red shirt.



LT
Gerard Lee (SR)
Pernell Booth (JR)
Mitchel Hunt (FRR)
Brenan Olander (FR)

Note: Gerard Lee looks to have taken over one of the tackle positions with Pernell Booth rounding out the two deeps. Mitchel Hunt will have to wait a year before getting in many games.



Linebacker
WLB

Joey LaRocque (SR)
Isaiah Cook (JR)
Dwight Roberson (FRR)
Keo Camat (RFR)

Note: The Beavers are almost three deep at every linebacking position. Joey LaRocque looks comfortable and confident in his final year as Isaiah Cook and Dwight Roberson battle for the backup position - both will contribute on special teams.



MLB

Alan Darlin (SR)
Bryant Cornell (JR)
Walker Vave (FR)

Note: Another solid position with two tough blue collar players in Alan Darlin and Bryant Cornell. Cornell had one of the better springs among thelinebackers. Darlin was slowed a little bit with a neck injury. Walker Vave is working back into football shape after returning from his mission.

 

SLB
Derrick Doggett (SR)
Dennis Christopher (JR)
Keaton Kristick (SO)
Eric Moala Liava'a (JR)

Note: Derrick Doggett sat out most of the month with back spasms giving Keaton Kristick lots of time. Kristick is one of the future stars on defense who can play outside or inside. Dennis Christopher is a veteran backup who is valuable on special teams, the same goes for Eric Moala Liava'a. Keo Camat is a young player whom the coaches are excited about.



Cornerback
RC

Brandon Hughes (JR)
Coye Francies (SR)
James Dockery (RFR)
Note: Coye Francies was slowed down with a pulled hamstring while Brandon Hughes continues to improve. Hughes was the only corner who made things difficult for Sammie Stroughter. James Dockery is becoming a jack of all trades as he also spent time at safety.

LC
Keenan Lewis (JR)
Patrick Henderson (SO)
Tim Clark (SO)

Note: The big question is whether Keenan Lewis can stay healthy or not and for most of the spring he played without injury. Patrick Henderson and Tim Clark still have a lot of work to do before receiving playing time.



Safety
SS
Daniel Drayton (SR)
Greg Laybourn (JR)
Suaesi Tuimaunei (RFR)
Austin Hall (JR)
Shane Cavanaugh (RFR)

Note: Daniel Drayton was one of the surprises of spring camp as he was good for an interception almost every practice. His steady, heady play is just what the doctor ordered after Sabby Piscitelli's departure. Greg Laybourn led all special teams players in 2006 in tackles and his success on special teams has translated well on defense. He is smart, physical and on track to earn a scholarship. Austin Hall had a good day on the first scrimmage, where the defense totally dominated the offense.



FS
Al Afalava (JR)
Bryan Payton (JR)
James Dockery (RFR)
Gerard Lawson (SR)

Note: The one-two punch of Al Afalava and Bryan Payton was fantastic last year and will be even better this year. Each has a nose for the ball and loves to hit. Payton picked off more passes than anybody during the entire spring. James Dockery is a young player with good athletic ability and a bright future. He also plays cornerback and will be a special teams standout.



Punter
Kyle Loomis (SO)
Jon Stowbridge (SR)

Note: Kyle Loomis has the leg strength and now new special teams coach Dave Ungerer and him are working on his aim.

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