THE QUEST FOR a new starting quarterback, as well as middle linebacker, starts today in Corvallis. …
SPRING THREE: Offense
QUARTERBACKS Although sophomore Ryan Katz starts the spring sessions as the number one quarterback, according to Mike Riley and Danny Langsdorf, the starting quarterback spot is wide open competition between Katz and junior Peter Lalich. Each, also say the coaches, will receive equal reps until one separates from the other. Langsdorf recently told Kerry Eggers of The Portland Tribune that Katz has the strongest arm out of all the quarterbacks he has taught in Corvallis. "Ryan has the strongest arm for any quarterback since I've been here at Oregon State – stronger than Sean or Lyle (Moevao) or Matt (Moore)," Langsdorf said. "He is very impressive throwing the ball." The Beavers have just four quarterbacks on the roster (Katz, Lalich, Cody Vaz and Jack Lomax) which means more repetitions for every athlete. Last year at this time the team had seven quarterbacks on the roster. RUNNING BACKS Junior Jacquizz Rodgers figures to get more snaps and contact this spring, but don't expect him to play in any scrimmages. He has nothing to prove and it is not worth the risk of him getting hurt. Sophomore Jovan Stevenson and junior Ryan McCants are set to battle for the backup position, but don't count out two time offensive scout team MVP Jordan Jenkins. Ten to fifteen percent of the time Oregon State used a fullback last year. Due to junior Will Darkins high level of play last season and the variety of options a fullback set provides the coaches plan on using a fullback significantly more in 2010. RECEIVERS A plethora of underclassmen are set to make a push into the two deeps. Specific players that Riley is looking for to step up include sophomores Geno Munoz and Kevan Walker. The coaches experiment with sophomore Markus Wheaton in the James Rodgers' fly sweep role resulted in limited success last season. No matter - they think Wheaton can do better stretching the field vertically rather than horizontally. Wheaton and junior Darrell Catchings will equally split time at split end. Longtime walk on Aaron Nichols is set to receive a scholarship. "Aaron deserves it," Langsdorf told the Portland Tribune. "He has played three positions for us and done a great job. If you had to rank our receivers, he's fifth" OFFENSIVE LINE Last year junior Mike Remmers was considered the best pass blocker on the team, but freshman All-American Michael Philipp may grab that title soon. If Philipp is the best pass blocker he could be moved to left tackle to protect Katz or Lalich's backsides. The only starting open spot on the offensive line is left guard where junior Burke Ellis, sophomore Colin Kelly, junior Michael Lamb and senior Ryan Pohl will all get a shot. Starting right guard Grant Johnson will miss spring practice with a shoulder injury, but was recently awarded a scholarship. He is the second current walk on offensive lineman to earn a starting spot and then a scholarship - the other is Remmers.
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