Fall Camp Storylines: QBs and RBs

JEREMY FRANCIS

WHAT ARE THE storylines for both the quarterbacks and running backs on the eve of fall camp at Oregon State? What's the depth chart look like headed into camp, what about the infusion of rookie talent and walk-ons, and what are the two units' key strengths and weaknesses as the Beavers head into the 2008 season?

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THE QUARTERBACKS:

Depth chart:
Lyle Moevao (Jr., 5-11, 220), Sean Canfield (Jr., 6-2, 220) , Justin Engstrom (Fr., 6-5, 208)

Walk-ons arriving in September when rosters expand:
Brennan Sim (So., 6-3, 200), Zach Anderson (Fr.,. 6-3, 219)

Incoming recruit(s):
Kaulin Krebs (Fr. 6-0, 193)

Expected to redshirt:
Ryan Katz (Fr., 6-1, 208), Kaulin Krebs (Fr., 6-0, 193)

What changed in the summer: Canfield looks to have gotten completely healthy and started throwing regularly with his teammates. Riley says it's a virtual certainty Katz, who looks to be OSU's quarterback of the future, is going to redshirt so Engstrom would be the No. 3 for Stanford. Sim and Anderson could also compete for the No. 3 spot when they arrive after rosters expand. Still, Engstrom being the preferred walk-on who will open camp while Sim and Anderson sit until Sep.1 gives him a big leg up on the No. 3 job.

Storyline for fall camp: Even if Canfield performs exceptionally well during fall camp, it would seem unlikely that Riley would supplant Moevao with Canfield at the top of the depth chart. There are three reasons for this.

First, Moevao has shown that he can win. Second, he has the confidence and respect of his teammates and third, he has put in the time on and off the field and given his work in both those areas this offseason, would seem to deserve a chance to lead the team at the start of a season.

Will Moevao play at a high level and lead the team to new heights? Will Canfield ever regain his starting spot? Is it only a matter of time until he does? Those are all legit questions to be answered over the coming year, starting in about 24 hours when the Beavs open fall camp.

One to watch: Sean Canfield. Is his shoulder really fully healed? Is he in game shape? Does he have the confidence to lead the team? How does he react after taking a hit? All the answers to those issues are paramount...

Unit's strength: Two capable, experienced quarterbacks.

Unit's weakness: Two experienced quarterbacks with too many interceptions.


THE RUNNING BACKS:

Depth chart:
Ryan McCants (RFr., 6-1, 240, Jeremy Francis (Jr., 5-11, 218), Jacquizz Rodgers (Fr., 5-7, 193)

Incoming recruit(s):
Jacquizz Rodgers (Fr., 5-7, 193)

Walk-ons arriving in September when rosters expand:
Jordan Jenkins (Fr., 6-1, 205), Clayton York (Fr., 6-1, 208)

Expected to redshirt:
Jenkins and York, though they could also earn their way onto the field through special teams.

What changed in the summer: Francis looks to be fully healed from minor knee surgery following the injury he sustained towards the end of spring ball. Seeking playing time elsewhere, Patrick Fuller and Ahmed Mokhtar left the program.

Storyline for fall camp: McCants has the starting spot locked up, but the offense may want to change from a hard-nosed, grind-it-out running style in favor of a more versatile, big play back. That's more along the line of Francis, Rodgers or a combination of both. At the very least, the Beavs would be well served to have a well qualified backup who can give McCants a rest while carrying the ball somewhere around 5-8 turns.

Francis showed that he could play during spring camp while Rodgers has plenty to prove with expectations sky high. Are there enough carries in the backfield to keep all three players engaged and the offense moving efficiently?

One to watch: Jeremy Francis. With fluid strides, great hands and improving blocking skills, Francis' play will allow Rodgers some time to acclimate and learn rather than having to be thrown into the fire.

Unit's strength: Versatility.

Unit's weakness: Experience.

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