SPRING BALL: Quarterbacks Preview

RYAN KATZ

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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Despite 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 spring.

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 starting job.

One can't rule out Lalich's experience at Virginia and his athletic gifts, but it's hard not to see Katz as the strong favorite.


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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. 

Plus, when healthy, he was a pretty good quarterback in leading the team to victory, as he went 11-4 as a starter.


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Will Katz firmly entrench himself as the number one quarterback or will Lalich push him for the top spot? Can Vaz make a big push?

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No injuries reported.

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Ryan 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 Bowl.

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Unlike 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.

Although just 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.


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  • So. 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
     
  • RFr. 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 arm"
     
  • RFr. 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

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