Practice is Just a Diversion for These Keynote Speakers

April 15, 2009

Corvallis, Ore. -

They have the weekend off, it promises to be the best weather of the year, so what are they doing this Saturday?   Hanging out with friends? Heading out of town?  Neither.

They are James and Jacquizz Rodgers, and they have volunteered their time to be the keynote speakers at the Kaleidoscope of Colleges and Cultures on the OSU campus – a program aimed primarily at underrepresented minorities and first generation students. 

It’s just another example of what terrific student-athletes Oregon State University is blessed to have.

While Jacquizz is on the mend, sophomore running back Ryan McCants has been getting some serious reps, with Jordan Jenkins making contributions as well.  McCants has noticeably improved since we last saw him in the Sun Bowl.

“He’s working hard and has made a lot of strides,” offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf said. “I like what I see – he’s running much better and catching a lot of balls too.”

McCants was just one of several players who were impressive in practice Wednesday, quite possibly one of the best of the spring season as the team enters the last half of the 15 workouts.  In a mid-practice two-minute drill, Darrell Catchings snagged two of Sean Canfield’s passes for touchdowns – approximate lengths of 25 and 10 yards.  Tight end Colby Prince made a nice short-yardage grab from Justin Engstrom and receiver Kevan Walker would have went 50-plus yards on a pass from Ryan Katz, but head coach Mike Riley stopped the play as Walker was streaking down the sideline. The defense had moments as well, linebacker Tony Wilson intercepted Katz, although he was the benefit of a receiver slipping and safety Lance Mitchell made a nice break on a Canfield pass to make a pick.

One of the bigger practices of the spring is scheduled for Friday as game officials will be present for the 2:45 drills.

“I don’t know exactly what it will look like, but we will do some scrimmage-type stuff,” Riley said about Friday. “We might just do some first-and-10 drills, maybe red-zone, I just don’t know yet.”

Several Beavers were out of practice Wednesday, but Riley hopes the newest members of the injury list won’t be sidelined for extended periods. Cornerbacks Brandon Hardin and Patrick Henderson, and linebacker Kameron Krebs missed the workout.  There is also no definitive status yet on offensive lineman Michael Lamb, who hurt a knee in a recent practice, but more will likely be known Friday.

“I really like what I have seen from a work ethic with this team,” Riley said of spring drills.  “I’m pleased with the work that is being done and the skill development.”

A nice contingent of media in attendance Wednesday, including Cliff Kirkpatrick (left in the photo), Paul Buker (middle), Angie Machado and KVAL’s Brian Elder.  Matt Riley and Brittney Ornales represented Beaver Nation Online – catch their interview with the always talkative James Dockery.  The media was joined by former Beavers Slade Norris, Alexis Serna and Steve Preece.  Also, former defensive coach Robin Ross was on the sidelines.


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