CORVALLIS -- The sights of spring football out in the Willamette Valley, as presented by the…
DAY 1: Beavs open spring practices
In offensive skeleton drills, QB Sean Canfield showed off a strong arm, completing deep passes to Casey Kjos and James Rodgers. Former Virginia transfer Peter Lalich and redshirt freshman Ryan Katz also displayed good pace on the ball, completing numerous down the field passes with precision and accuracy.
Lyle Moevao sat out practice with his shoulder in a sling following shoulder surgery from an injury suffered in the Arizona State game.
Junior wideout James Rodgers appeared to have fully recovered from the broken collarbone, as he put on a helmet for the first time since the Civil War. Rodgers made a leaping catch in front of a defender that drew ooh's and ahh's from fellow players and fans on the sideline.
After struggling early in practice, junior wideout Darrell Catchings made an impressive acrobatic catch over junior cornerback Dennis Dockery and then tip-toed down the sideline for additional yardage. Later, however, Catchings was stripped by cornerback Patrick Henderson after making a nifty jump ball grab near the sideline.
Kjos, a junior slotback from Middletown, Ohio turned in some impressive yards after catch plays, showing quickness, good hands and legit open field speed. After one reception on a Katz pass, Kjos took off down the sideline and eluded defenders for a would-be touchdown.
A new No. 19 was on the field Monday afternoon, and as disappointed as Beaver Nation might be that it is not Sammie Stroughter, there is reason enough to be excited. Freshman Jovan Stevenson showed quickness and agility while lining up in the backfield, and could be viewed as a Percy Harvin-like player for the Oregon State offense. "He's tiny...He sure is quick, though," was overheard from one of the older boosters on the sideline.
The first session saw wideouts worked on a variety of drills including seven on seven against the defense -- Rodgers and redshirt freshmen Geno Munoz and Jordan Bishop displayed quick feet and ran good routes during the skeleton drill.
With the loss of Shane Morales' hands and Stroughter's quickness, one might think that Oregon State's offense would be lacking. It's only the first practice of the spring and it wasn't full contact, but with the display of athleticism and agility on Monday afternoon, the Beavers' receiving corps may have benefited off the old "addition by subtraction" concept.
The offensive line, which has many holes after the departure of five seniors last year and now anchored by juniors Ryan Pohl and Gregg Peat, certainly passed the eye test compared to any Oregon State offensive line in recent years. Practice didn't reveal a whole lot where the hosses were concerned as the team was not in full pads, but the Beav o-line looks just as beastly as previous vintages.
The cornerbacks have large shoes to fill with the loss of Brandon Hughes and Keenan Lewis, both projected NFL draft picks, but Tim Clark and Patrick Henderson stepped in nicely on Day 1.
Clark broke up a Canfield pass intended for Damola Adeniji midway through the first scrimmage, and Henderson stripped the previously mentioned Catchings' reception and nearly returned it for a touchdown.
Meanwhile, junior James Dockery, who returned to the field for the first time since blowing out his knee in a fall camp workout last year, got burned by Catchings in the last session of skelly, and allowed Catchings to tightrope down the sideline for a big gain. Dockery was also burned by senior wideout Taylor Kavanaugh, but it would have likely been offensive pass interference in a real-game setting as Kavanaugh blatantly pushed down Dockery before making the grab.
Jacquizz Rodgers sat out practice, still recovering from his shoulder injury that kept him from the Civil War and the Sun Bowl. It has not been determined how long he will be sitting out.
Justin Kahut was inconsistent during field goal practice, Matt Barker was 4-6 in his attempts.
Shawn McGarity looked like a smaller Mike Hass clone -- Good hands, good footwork.
Kjos made some sure handed grabs on Monday and also showed good speed.
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