Three Beavs, RB Ryan McCants, OT Timi Oshinowo and LB Tony Wilson, have all undergone surgery for knee injuries suffered during spring ball. Wilson and Oshinowo according to Mike Riley in a report in the Portland Tribune will not be ready in time for the start of fall camp and McCants is doubtful.
Meanwhile, Riley says he expects RB Jacquizz Rodgers, WR James Rodgers and QB Lyle Moevao all to be ready to roll by fall camp. Quizz (shoulder) and James Rodgers (collarbone) were held out of contact this spring mostly due to rpecaution, particularly in James' case. Moevao (shoulder) is expected to start throwing hard in June-July if all goes according to plan.
Wilson, a redshirt freshman middle linebacker who was expected to be the primary backup this season to David Pa’aluhi III, is out for the year, said Riley.
Oshinowo, a junior offensive tackle who was locked in a battle with Colin Kelly for the starting left tackle position, might be ready sometime in October.
Riley said definitive word on McCants, a sophomore running back slated for the No. 2 job, is not yet in but he expects him to be ready at some point during fall camp.
Kelly now takes the lead in the battle for a starting tackle position opposite Mike Remmers. Kelly will be challenged by junior Wilder McAndrews -- who sat out the spring following wrist surgery. Sophomore Grant Johnson could also work his way into the mix.
Another candidate Riley has mentioned often is incoming true freshman Michael Philipp. Riley has said if Philipp plays, he will start. If not, he will redshirt. It is rare a true freshman is ready to ably perform as a starter on the offensive line but Riley and the Beaver coaching staff think Phillip might be one of those guys.
Walker Vave is listed on the OSU depth chart behind starter Pa'aluhi and backup Wilson at middle linebacker. The Beavs also have an either/or at the weakside spot, with both Keith Pankey and Dwight Roberson almost co-starters. Pankey is 211 pounds and would seem ill equipped for the middle but Dwight Roberson is listed at 6-0, 238, the heaviest of all the linebacking group.
Is it possible the Beaver coaches might also add some middle linebacker duties to his plate or will Vave be the man, or will Pa'aluhi simply get few series breathers this season? Stay tuned for fall camp.
At running back, Jovan Stevenson filled in nicely for McCants after his injury this spring but he's a true freshman, still learning and is generously listed at 5-11, 184 pounds whereas McCants is a bruising 6-1, 229. Even more important, Quizz and Stevenson are the only two scholarship running backs on the roster with Jeremy Francis leaving this offseason to tend to his ailing mother.
After Quizz and Stevenson, the Beavs have walk-ons Jordan Jenkins, Josh Parish and Clayton York. Will Darkins is a fullback but could become the emergency running back if injury disaster were to strike.
If McCants is slow to heal, it could also open the door even wider for Ashton Jefferson, the incoming frosh running back in this recruiting class.
Jefferson is 6-2, 195, was the unanimous MVP of the 24-5A District in Texas despite playing on a 2-9 team -- and despite being bigger than most of his offensive linemen. He racked up over 1,500 yards his senior year without fumbling once.