Oregon St. kicked off summer football practices and preparations for this fall today. There wasn't a lot to learn, given that the team was working only with helmets on, in the first of several NCAA rules mandated acclimation days, but there were a few notable developments, and the initial depth chart was also distributed.
The chart was mostly representative of who was running with which unit, though there were several differences on the offensive line.
Isaac Seumalo, whom head coach Mike Riley had previously acknowledged might not even be ready for the opener on Aug. 30 against Portland St., didn't participate, which was not a surprise. But Seumalo's foot, broken in the Hawaii Bowl last December against Boise St., was still in a boot, and the slowness of the healing process has now moved into the area of significant concern heading into the fall.
But Josh Mitchell, who also was a spectator during spring ball, recovering from a shoulder injury, was ready to go, and took the reps with the 1s at center.
That had a rippling affect, as Mitchell is the backup at left guard on that initial depth chart, and so Garrett Weinreich was in that spot. The good news is Grant Bays, who missed the spring scrimmage after accumulating some dings, is healthy, and back at right guard with the 1s.
Converted Tight End Dustin Stanton isn't even on the 2 deep, but got the reps with the 1s at left tackle, with projected starter Will Hopkins working with the 2nd line, and JC transfer Bobby Keenan the backup on the opposite side, at right tackle.
This is consistent with how things ended up last spring, so don't put much stock in the depth chart when it comes to LT, which will continue to be one of the key stories all summer, and into the season.
One player who isn't on the depth chart, but soon could be, is transfer WR Rahmel Dockery from Washington St. The status of Dockery's transfer paper work and eligibility was in doubt right up to today, but Dockery got the clearance he needed, and was practicing today.
His availability could assist with the conspicuous lack of a name as a backup for Victor Bolden at flanker, as Oregon St. continues to explore life and depth after Brandin Cooks at that position. Dockery will get an immediate shot at the flanker spot.
One player some on hand are waiting to see who didn't take the field is running back Damien Haskins, but that also was no surprise, as Haskins recently had his knee cleaned up arthroscopically. Realistically, this is not a real issue unless multiple players wind up missing significant time, as Oregon St. will already have trouble finding enough touches to get Chris Brown on the field as much as he should be, with Storm Woods and Terron Ward ahead of him.
Haskins potential as a power back is intriguing, but with FBs Tyler Anderson and Ricky Ortiz both looking well in the spring and healthy, the reality is there just aren't going to be many downs for Haskins unless something happens to someone.
The other item of note was the appearance of Brent Vander Veen as the first quarterback to take snaps after Sean Mannion, ahead of Luke Del Rio, but that could, and probably will, change more than once over the next 3 weeks.
It does appear that Riley has relegated Kyle Kempt to the #4 spot, king of the scout team, even though he was 1 "OR" ahead of Del Rio on the chart. We shall see how things go.
Here's that initial depth chart, subject to substantial change:
Split end: Richard Mullaney (Jr.), Malik Gilmore (So.)
Slotback: Malik Gilmore (So.), Hunter Jarmon (R-Fr.)
Left tackle: Will Hopkins (R-Fr.), Bobby Keenan (Jr.)
Left guard: Sean Harlow (So.), Josh Mitchell (Jr.)
Center: Isaac Seumalo (Jr.), Roman Sapolu (Sr.)
Right guard: Grant Bays (So.), Fred Lauina (R-Fr.)
Right tackle: Gavin Andrews (Jr.), Nolan Hansen (So.)
Tight end: Connor Hamlett (Sr.), Caleb Smith (Jr.)
Quarterback: Sean Mannion (Sr.), Brent VanderVeen (So.) OR Kyle Kempt (R-Fr.) OR Luke Del Rio (R-Fr.)
Tailback: Storm Woods (Jr.), Terron Ward (Sr.)
Fullback: Tyler Anderson (Sr.), Ricky Ortiz (So.)
Flanker: Victor Bolden (So.)
Left end: Jaswha James (Jr.), Titus Failauga (R-Fr.)
Left tackle: Jalen Grimble (Jr.), Noke Tago (So.)
Right tackle: Siale Hautau (Sr.), Bud Delva (Sr.)
Right end: Dylan Wynn (Sr.), Lavonte Barnett (Jr.)
Outside linebacker: D.J. Alexander (Sr.), Darrell Songy (So.)
Middle linebacker: Jabral Johnson (Sr.), Rommel Mageo (So.)
Weakside linebacker: Michael Doctor (Sr.), Caleb Saulo (So.)
Left cornerback: Steven Nelson (Sr.), Malcolm Marable (Sr.)
Strong safety: Tyrequek Zimmerman (Sr.), Micah Audiss (Jr.)
Free safety: Ryan Murphy (Sr.), Cyril Noland-Lewis (So.)
Right cornerback: Dashon Hunt (R-Fr.) OR Larry Scott (Jr.), Chris Hayes (R-Fr.)
Special teams wasn't addressed, but Keith Kostol is the punter, and that's the end of that. However, Garrett Owens is getting a chance to compete for Trevor Romaine's job as the place kicker.
Practice continues daily at 10:20 AM, and is open to the public.