On Friday, the Oregon State football team got back to work and held their first practice of spring football. Which means Beaver football is back in the spotlight just two weeks after National Signing Day. What’s with the early start? Only two FBS schools have kicked-off spring practices before the Beavs. Well, Coach Andersen and his staff wanted to get back to work as early as possible. Starting spring practices in the middle of February will allow his players more time to focus on school and it will give them extra time to work in the weight room once the spring quarter starts (April 3rd). Also, it will give his staff the entire month of April to hit the recruiting trails.
The biggest storyline this offseason is undoubtedly going to be who wins the starting quarterback job. The Beavers have three likely contenders: Darell Garretson (2016 opening day starter), Marcus McMaryion (2016’s closer) and Jake Luton (junior college transfer).
It’s easy to make a case for all three of these guys to win the starting job. Darell Garretson has the most experience and did damage with his legs last season. Marcus McMaryion showed massive improvement last season and helped Oregon State finish the 2016 campaign with two straight Pac-12 victories. Jake Luton has prototypical size and appears to have the best arm, which could help open the field for the offense.
On Friday, Marcus McMaryion started off taking snaps with the first-string, but during yesterday’s practice the pecking order went: Jake Luton, Darell Garretson then Marcus McMaryion. It’s easy to read too much into what is happening early in spring practice, but the coaching staff is most likely just testing out their quarterbacks and evaluating how they play with a variety of skill players. Stay tuned though because this is going to be an intriguing position battle to watch.
Christian Wallace is back at practice. One of the top players from Oregon State’s 2016 recruiting class did not get to play with the team last season due to academic reasons, but he is back and is expected to make an impact this fall.
Sumner Houston has officially made the move from the defensive line to the offensive line. Houston is now the top candidate to replace Gavin Andrews at the center spot.
Xavier Crawford, Oregon State’s sophomore CB, is coming off a stellar freshman season and is poised to become one of the leaders of the defense. He picked-off Marcus McMaryion on Friday and followed it up by intercepting Conor Blount on Saturday. Replacing Treston Decoud and Devin Chappell won’t be easy, but the coaching staff will take comfort in knowing they have Crawford back in the secondary.
The Beavers have a variety of players being held out of spring practice due to injuries or illness including: Bright Ugwoegbu, Joah Robinett, Seth Collins, Jay Irvine, Landry Payne, Sam Curtis and Chris Mengis.
They also have a few banged up players that will participate in a limited fashion: Jordan Villamin, Shemar Smith, Kenny Turnier, Kyle White, LaMone Williams and Jaydon Grant.
The Beavers are still over six months away from kicking off their season against Portland State (Sep. 2nd), but they play their spring game on March 18th. So, don’t miss your chance to catch some Oregon State football.