Fall Practice is underway in Corvallis, as the Beavers wrapped up their first practice yesterday at the Tommy Prothero athletic complex. According to several reports, the practice went as planned without any major injuries or anything else to report of. The players practiced without shoulder pads, which will be added later in the week.
Until the players trade the shorts for girdles and put the pads underneath their jerseys, expect things to stay fairly low key, with the coaches looking to install plays and teach fundamentals.
The biggest story of the day was perhaps the unveiling of the 2009 "mohawks" and "nohawks". The offensive linemen generally begin fall camp with mohawks, except this year freshmen Tyler Thomas and Grant Enger got the opposite-- a nohawk.
From the story on OSUBeavers.com...
If Latu Moala, Lyle Moevao or Casey Kjos don't find employment in their respective fields after graduation, maybe they could open a hair salon. The three have a gift for hair styles; in fact they may have created a first for Beaver football.
But, what Moala, Moevao and Kjos have done to true freshmen Tyler Thomas and Grant Enger is truly special. Those rookies have what is believed to be a Beaver first - a no-hawk. The Urban Dictionary describes the no-hawk as - a reverse mohawk. Resembles a fro with a strip shaved from forehead to nape of neck. In reality, one Beaver player says the new hairstyle looks like a "zipper." (follow this link for a photo)
Not surprisingly, Riley said after practice that Ryan McCants is doing a good job rehabbing, but will still be out until mid-September. That means it's up to Jefferson or Stevenson to fill in as the backup to Jacquizz Rodgers. We took an in-depth look at the running back situation last week. Here is what I had to say on both back-up cantidates then:
Just due the the simple fact that Stevenson grayshirted and has been in the program gives him the edge over Jefferson... but it might be just because we've seen him before. Stevenson is a guy who the Beavers would like to redshirt this year in order to put more separation in-between him and Rodgers. Just reading about Jovan's recruitment tells you that he's a guy with all the drive, determination, and dedication needed to succeed on this level, because here's a guy who didn't even think he would be playing college football after high school. Coach Cavauangh found him while he was recruiting someone else. His upside with his good vision, speed, and ability to make people miss in space makes me excited to see him on the field this year, but it seems like the coaches still want to hold out on him for another year. But with McCants questionable, redshirting Stevenson and rolling with McCants as the back-up may put too much pressure on Rodgers.
Ashton Jefferson is a guy with a bit more size than Rodgers and Stevenson, who is known more as a "slasher." He enters fall camp as a freshman, and is another guy that the coaching staff will need to make a decision on. Out of Alvin, Texas, his high school numbers are just gaudy... 1,565 yards, 14 touchdowns, and 0 fumbles in 261 carries a senior, with three 200+ yard games. He looks promising, but again, he's unproven.
We'll see how this battle plays out during fall camp. Once the pads get strapped on, we'll get a better look of what these guys can physically bring to the table.
A few more notes:
Canfield is noticeably sleeker-looking, and while he won't make anybody forget Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli in terms of running ability, he does feel more "athletic" after watching his diet and running around the OSU campus to drop the weight. He had never been a runner previously.
Asked if he suddenly had an option quarterback, Riley let out a big laugh.
"We can do all sorts of stuff with him now," the coach said. "Option, counter ... but he is in great shape and Lyle looks good, too."
--Canfield and Moevao, who are both captains this year, helped develop the mantra "'09, OUR TIME" for this season, and it is reported that the players were embracing it at Monday's workout.
--Also, this tidbit from the OSUBeavers.com story:
With the start of fall camp came the end of the Read-A-Thon battle between Kevin "Hebrew Hammer" Frahm and Taylor "Lunchbox" Kavanaugh. The two challenged each other during spring practice to who could read the most books before fall camp. Frahm read an incredible 19 books - which is no surprise really as he is often seen reading on road trips.
Practice #2 comes today at 2:00 p.m.