Making the Grades -- Spring Football Day Two
April 1, 2009
Corvallis, Ore. -
“One of the best winter terms we’ve had.”
Those words from the football team’s academic counselor Megan O’Quin, and those are good words indeed.
I guess it should really come as no surprise that the football team as a whole is in good shape academically. The team rocked during fall term when 15 Beavers earned mention on the Pac-10 Conference All-Academic Team, tied for the most in the league.
What may be most impressive on the roster of football student-athletes is the diversity in academic paths, from engineering to sociology, from health and human sciences to business.
And, it’s not just the current class of Beavers who are excelling academically, it’s former student-athletes as well. We mentioned Monday about former linebacker James Allen taking classes this term and Wednesday the College of Health and Human Sciences announced that Herschel Currie (1991-93 ) has completed his degree in housing studies and is working on becoming a firefighter in California.
On to the football field, where the team practiced on the Reser Stadium turf in anything but spring-like weather. Head coach Mike Riley graciously moved outside to accommodate the No. 19 baseball team’s desire to use the Truax Center. Pat Casey’s crew has a three-game homestand over the weekend against league foe California starting Friday.
“It worked out pretty good being outside … as long as you have six layers on,” Riley said jokingly. The good news is that Spring is expected to arrive by the next practice Friday.
“Some of the execution today was better,” Riley said. “We went back to our old snap count; we eliminated some of the false starts and offsides today. I love the atmosphere around the team; there’s just a lot of good solid football being played.”
The highlight of the day was the last 10 minutes, as typical, for the team’s no-huddle “red ball” drills. First team quarterback Sean Canfield started the drill, which consists of 10 plays. He completed two passes to Ryan McCants and Casey Kjos, and a touchdown pass to Darrell Catchings. Lance Mitchell and Cameron Collins were able to deflect two of Canfield’s aerials. Ryan Katz stepped in for the second drive, remember 2008 starter Lyle Moevao is sidelined for spring after shoulder surgery, and did an admirable job. The redshirt-freshman hit Jordan Bishop, who has been very impressive, twice and connected with Aaron Nichols and Jordan Jenkins. Freshman running back Jovan Stevenson was held out of the endzone on the final play. Sophomore Justin Engstrom ran the last 10 plays with the third team.
On everybody’s mind is the return of sophomore running back Jacquizz Rodgers to the fold. “Quizz” had an MRI on his shoulder today, according to Riley, but the results are not known at this time.
Back on the field Friday at 2:30 p.m. to end week one of the drills.
Another interested media gathering today; Paul Buker from The Oregonian, Cliff Kirkpatrick and Kevin Hampton from the Gazette-Times, Brian Elder from KVAL and Angie “the road is clear” Machado. Matt Riley, yes he’s the son of Mike Riley, conducted a one-on-one with his dad on Beaver Nation Online as well as Brittany Ornelas’ interview with Canfield. Also, check out a nicely done Q&A with Riley by Ted Miller of ESPN.com. Ted is a big fan of “Beaver Nation” by the way; hopefully he underestimates the fortunes of the team again in 2009 -- that’s a good sign.
OSU Spring Football practices are scheduled for Monday, Wednesday and Friday from March 30 – April 29 beginning at 3 p.m. The spring season culminates with the Spring Game, May 2 at Reser Stadium at noon. Tickets for the Spring Game can be purchased beginning Monday, April 6 at the OSU Ticket Office in Room 107 of Gill Coliseum. Support Oregon State University Athletics by making your tax deductible donation to the Beaver Athletic Student Fund. For more information follow this link or call 541-737-2370. You can make an “everyday champion.” Follow Beaver Athletics on twitter.