ONE OF THE most closely watched positions this spring will be quarterback where the Beavs will need to find a replacement for Sean Canfield/Lyle Moevao. Sophomore Ryan Katz looks set to take over, but he will have competition says head man Mike Riley. A strong spring at the position could set a solid foundation for the 2010 season, and perhaps another run at the Rose Bowl.
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being just a sophomore, Ryan Katz enters his third spring practice
- and that has got to make coach Mike Riley smile. That means
before the 2010 opener against TCU Katz will have participated in three
spring practices and three fall camps.
Although he played
in just four games last year completing 14 of 27 (52%) attempts for 232
yards and one touchdown his time in the system should pay divides in the
Beavers fans should
see one of the more refined underclassman quarterbacks in school history
and certainly under Riley. That means more completed passes, a dynamic
passing attack and less turnovers.
One skill that shouldn't
be overlooked is Katz's mobility and energy. Think Lyle Moevao's
energy plus Matt Moore's arm and enthusiasm.
But Riley says to
not count out junior Peter Lalich who will be given a shot at the
rule out Lalich's experience at Virginia and his athletic gifts, but it's hard not to see Katz as the strong favorite.
| Sean Canfield's senior year was one players dream about - minus the bowl
game outcome. He threw for 3,271 yards and 21 touchdowns with just seven interceptions
while completing a single season school record 67.9-percent of his passes.
There is no doubt
that his experience in the pocket, and his ability to throw touchdowns
to interceptions at a 3 to 1 clip, will sorely be missed.
Although he took just
one snap in 2009 Lyle Moevao will be missed as well. From
the sidelines his infectious energy and positive attitude fueled his teammates.
healthy, he was a pretty good quarterback in leading the team to victory, as he went 11-4 as a starter.
Katz firmly entrench himself as the number one quarterback or will Lalich
push him for the top spot? Can Vaz make a big push?
Katz. With plenty of experience in the OSU system, and a very strong arm,
Katz should hit the ground running this spring. While no one should expect, right out of the gate, for Katz to play at the level Canfield played at last year. On the other hand, he should be capable from the jump due to his familiarity with the Beavs' offense. A good spring from Katz could be a great
foundation to build from for the 2010 season and another run at the Rose
the last several years, there will be no quarterback controversy in Corvallis.
Katz has been prepping to take the starting role since arriving early on
campus in 2008.
Yes, Lalich will get his
shot, but it will be difficult to knock off a player who has been
learning the system for two plus seasons and Lalich, since he's been in Corvallis, hasn't indicated he's ready to do that. Unless something changes dramatically, Lalich will have to be satisfied with a backup role - something he
may or may not embrace.
a redshirt freshman, Cody Vaz has impressed -- Look for him
to make a push up the depth chart. Could he even surpass Lalich and earn the backup job? The spring might answer that question.
Ryan Katz (6-1, 208) - this is his third spring with
the Beavs -- he graduated
early from high school in 2008...excellent arm strength...has put in lots
of time studying the playbook...played in four games in 2009 completing
14 of 27 passes (51.9%) for 232 yards, one touchdown and zero interceptions...first
career touchdown pass was a 31-yarder to Damola Adeniji in the Las Vegas
Bowl...already taking a leadership role
Jr. Peter Lalich (6-4, 229) - sat
out last year after transferring from the University of Virginia...had
two career starts at Virginia
where he completed 39 of 74 (52%) passes for 359 yards, zero touchdowns
and three interceptions...still petitioning the NCAA to have another
year of eligibility...has
a fluid throwing motion...has been a quick study on OSU's offense...didn't buy in when he first arrived on campus according to Riley, but got
his head on straight during the season
Cody Vaz (6-0, 181) - split time with Lomax running the scout
teams in 2009, will battle for No. 3 spot...a pocket passer with a nice,
tight spiral...a quick release...many observers say he has a "live
Jack Lomax (6-2, 162) - split time with Vaz running the scout
teams last year, will battle for No. 3 spot...gets rid of the ball quickly...smart
and has the feet to scramble...has improved arm strength significantly,
but still needs to add muscle