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Seumalo Sidelined, Starting O-Line Announced

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Oregon St. center Isaac Seumalo has had a long slow recovery from surgeries on his left foot.
Oregon St. center Isaac Seumalo has had a long slow recovery from surgeries on his left foot.
(Photo by Andy Wooldridge)

Oregon St.'s most heralded offensive lineman, Isaac Seumalo, has now been ruled out of next week's game at Hawaii, as well as this weekend's season home opener against Portland St. Seumalo has another doctor's appointment today (Tuesday), and Seumalo (and the Oregon St. coaching staff) hope to learn more then about when Seumalo might be able to resume practicing, after a pair of off-season surgeries in January, and again in April, to repair a broken foot suffered in the Hawaii Bowl last Christmas eve against Boise St.

"It's progressing," Seumalo said Monday while icing his left foot, "but I really don't have a timetable."

Oregon St. head coach Mike Riley hasn't written off Seumalo's return for this season, but also acknowledged that the Beaver center who was put on multiple pre-season watch lists for season-long awards is still a ways away from being in game shape.

"We're not looking to redshirt Isaac yet," Riley said. "I'd only do that if he came to me. This guy has a real big place on this team. We're going to be careful about his foot, and we want him very comfortable and healthy when he does return. He has been out of it since the bowl game. Just because he gets healthy, it doesn't mean he's ready to play."

Without Seumalo, and after several injuries during summer camp, most notable being an ankle injury to Dustin Stanton, the offensive line has shuffled around quite a bit, but Riley and offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh has settled on a starting lineup for Saturday.

6-5, 340 lb. junior Gavin Andrews will start at left tackle, after originally been planed to be the right tackle, while 6-4, 295 lb. sophomore Sean Harlow, originally slated to play left guard, will be at right tackle.

6-6, 310 lb. sophomore Garrett Weinreich will be at left guard in place of Harlow, and 6-3, 290 lb. sophomore Grant Bays will start at right guard. Bays battled back problems during summer camp.

With Seumalo out,  6-3, 290 lb. junior Josh Mitchell start at center.

The primary backups will be 6-2, 275 lb. senior Roman Sapolu, at both center and the guard positions, the 6-4, 270 lb. Dustin Stanton at tackle, and 6-4, 310 lb. redshirt freshman guard Fred Lauina.

"Dustin missed almost a week with his ankle, and is still building back," Riley said. "Roman can back up at three positions."

Lauina suffered a head injury in camp, causing him to miss several sessions, but is healthy again.

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com