Backup running back
Clinton Polk vs. Patrick Fuller
The backup to spell Yvenson Bernard continues into fall camp as the
unit took a hit in the summer with Micah Strickland being ruled
academically ineligible. Patrick Fuller had a fantastic spring camp and
looks to continue his comeback in August. Clinton Polk turned in a
consistent camp as well along with Tony Carrasco.
The coaches know they have talented runners and catchers, and similar to the
quarterbacks, it comes down to one skill - blocking. Whoever blocks the best,
wins the backup spot.
Sean Canfield vs. Lyle Moevao
Coach Mike Riley says he would like to make a decision on the
starting quarterback a week into fall camp, but realistically expects to make
the call a week and a half into practices. Until that time comes each
gunslinger will receive equal snaps as they try and prove they are the one to
lead the team in 2007.
The coaches aren't looking for the big play, they are looking for consistency
and who completes the most passes. Whoever does that, wins the starting
Starting left tackle
Tavita Thompson vs. Mau Nomani
Junior Tavita Thompson won the left tackle spot by default in the spring,
but Mau Nomani decided in the summer to put his mission on hold and play
this year. Plus, the team received additional good news that both junior college
transfers Michael Cole and Jon Ioane are qualified.
Thompson is the incumbent heading in, but many expect Nomani to take the
starting spot by the end of camp. Cole and Ioane will prep for backup duty.
Starting tight end
Howard Croom vs. John Reese vs. Brady Camp vs. Gabe Miller
Getting this young group of men lots of repetitions will be one of the focuses
this month. Howard Croom is clearly going to start with Brady Camp currently in the second spot.
The team uses a lot of two tight ends sets which means there is plenty of
playing time for John Reese and a finally healthy Gabe Miller.
James Dockery vs. Tim Clark
With Coye Francies being kicked off of the team this summer cornerback
depth took a serious hit. The team needs a third cornerback who can give
the starters a rest and sub in when Keenan Lewis cramps up.
Redshirt freshman James Dockery, who practiced with the cornerbacks
and safeties in April, has not played a college down while Tim Clark's
experience mainly lies on special teams. Getting the youngsters as many
repetitions, preferably against the first teamers, is one of the priorities as
they will receive a baptism by fire, similar to what Lewis and Brandon Hughes
experienced as freshmen.
Ryan Gunderson vs. Taylor Kavanaugh
You may scoff at this position, but it is extremely important to the success of
special teams, Alexis Serna's accuracy and ultimately the scoreboard.
Jon Strowbridge, who did a great job last year as the holder, was ruled
academically ineligible forcing quarterback Ryan Gunderson or receiver
Taylor Kavanaugh into the holding role.
Gunderson has some, although limited, experience as a holder while Kavanaugh has
great hands and ice water in his veins, which would make him a perfect fit.
Keep an eye on this during practice to see if snapper, holder and kicker can all
get on the same page.
- SCHEDULE: For Oregon State's full August practice schedule,
- READ UP: Want to get an in-depth look at each unit and get
up to date heading into the season. Read the
Fall Camp 101
article to get informed.
- GET YOUR TICKETS: Single game tickets are available, along with
season tickets and the Take 3 plan, and may be purchased in person at Gill
Coliseum, via the telephone at 1-800-GO-BEAVS or on
www.osubeavers.com. Ticket office hours are weekdays 8:30 a.m. - 4:30
p.m. with personnel ready to answer all your questions.