Oregon St. Shakes Some Things Up Heading For Spring

Oregon St. football head coach Mike Riley is back at work after having some gall stones, and his gall bladder, removed over last weekend, and he's got a number of things shaking as the Beavers get ready for spring football as soon as they finish finals this week, and get back from spring break next week.

The biggest changes are the several moves on the offensive line, where only right guard Burk Ellis is where he was when the 2010 season ended.

Tackles Mike Remmers and Michael Philipp will switch sides, with Remmers, a senior with three years of starting experience, now on the left, and Philipp moving to the right.

"Remmers was moved because of his experience," Riley said. "He's our best pass blocker and we have a right-handed quarterback. We wanted to do this last year, but we figured they can get comfortable with the move during the spring."

The moves are designed to give quarterback Ryan Katz more security in the pocket. Katz will ease into spring practice as he recovers from the wrist fracture he suffered in the Civil War. Katz has a final doctor evaluation scheduled next week.

"We'll know after that," Riley said. "I think he's making progress. My guess is he'll practice this spring. He might not be full speed right off the bat."

With the graduation of center Alex Linnenkohl, someone had to take over, and Josh Andrews, last year's backup and long snapper, was expected to be tabbed. However, Riley and offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh have decided to move Grant Johnson over from left guard, with Andrews moving into that guard position.

"Our philosophy on moving players is that we do it if it's best for them, and best for the team. It's usually done in a very positive manner (when not forced by emergency)," Riley added. "When the players see it like that, they usually buy in, and that's the case here. "I did not note anybody that was disappointed.''

Johnson originally came to Oregon St. from of Baker City as a center. But with Linnenkohl established at center, Johnson was moved to guard in order to get him in the starting lineup.

"We think Josh is going to be a heck of a player," Riley said. "We wanted to break him in where he didn't have to worry about his blocking assignment and snapping the ball. This move is a product of both Grant's experience and Josh's ability."

News From Receiving Corp

James Rodgers is recovering from his second knee surgery at his family's home near Houston, but is expected back after break.

"James is full speed ahead and wants to show everyone he can play again," Riley said.

Rodgers will also be counted on to provide guidance to the rest of the receiver group.

Rodgers also announced that there will be a #1 to watch on offense this season, as he is switching from jersey #8, which he has worn since arriving in Corvallis, to the number vacated when younger brother Jacquizz Rodgers left for the NFL draft.

"I told him if he wants to wear No. 1, let's let him do it," Riley said, "though it will be strange seeing him out there wearing No. 1."

The only major change in the receiving corps going forward is the graduation of Aaron Nichols, but one shuffle has been made to the areas of primary focus, as junior Geno Munoz will focus on slot back.

Starting slot back Jordan Bishop will miss the on-field work during spring while he rehabs after ankle surgery for an injury suffered in January playing basketball. Riley said Bishop could have waited to see how it healed, but the decision was made to fix it now.

"Hopefully, he'll be back to have a good summer workout," Riley said. "It was just one of those accidents."

One other significant injury involves defensive tackle Castro Masaniai, who will continue to rehab the shoulder he had surgery on after being injured in the California game. Riley indicated recovery has gone according to schedule, and after continuing rehab through the spring, Masaniai should be ready come the fall.

Backfield Depth Chart Moves

In addition to the need to find a replacement for ‘Quizz, some additional roster shuffling has happened.

Senior fullback Will Darkins has decided to not play football anymore, and concentrate on school. Darkins, a reserve linebacker his first two seasons, has been at fullback the last two. To compensate, redshirt freshman Tyler Anderson moves over from cornerback to fullback to fill out the depth chart. He's behind junior Clayton York, sophomore Dylan Parsons and redshirt freshman Westly Meng.

Riley also indicated that a new running backs coach could be hired by the end of the week.

 

With the several players sitting out contact in the spring, or working in a specialty role, here's the depth chart for day one, which will be March 28.

OFFENSE
Quarterback
Ryan Katz
Cody Vaz
Jack Lomax
Sean Mannion

Tailback
Ryan McCants
Jordan Jenkins
Jovan Stevenson
Malcolm Marabel

Fullback
Clayton York
Dylan Parson
Westly Meng
Tyler Anderson

Split end
Markus Wheaton
Obum Gwacham
Danny Evans

Slot back
Geno Munoz
Kevin Cummings
Mitch Singler
Brett Ackerman
Will Storey
Jeff Bedbury

Flanker
Darrell Catchings
Micah Hatfield
Garrett Hall

Tight end
Colby Prince
Connor Hamlett

H-Back
Joe Halahuni
Tyler Perry

Left tackle
Mike Remmers
Geoff Garner
Darryl Jackson

Left guard
Josh Andrews
Grant Enger
Derek Nielsen
David Vieru

Center
Grant Johnson
Roman Sapolu
Aaron Magnuson

Right guard
Burke Ellis
Michael Lamb
Michael Beaton
Rory Ross

Right tackle
Michael Philipp
Colin Kelly
Colin Lyons

DEFENSE
Left end
Andrew Seumalo
John Braun
Blake Harrah
Scott Critchton
Mana Rosa

Left tackle
Mana Tuivailala
Ben Motter

Right tackle
Kevin Frahm
Fred Thompson
Joe Lopez

Right end
Dominic Glover
Taylor Henry
Rusty Fernando
Devon Kell

Outside linebacker
Cameron Collins
Shaydon Akuna
Donell Welch
Charlie Gilmur

Middle linebacker
Rueben Robison
Tony Wilson
Kevin Unga
Michael Bibbee

Outside linebacker
Michael Doctor
Shiloah Te’o
Josh Parrish

Left corner
Jordan Poyer
Sean Martin
Brian Watkins
Ryan Handford

Safety
Lance Mitchell
Zeke Sanders
Ryan Murphy
Levi Levasa

Safety
Anthony Watkins
Josh LaGrone
Dax Dilbeck

Right corner
Brandon Hardin
Rashaad Reynolds
Keynan Parker

 

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com

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