DAY 8 - Kavanaugh Gets a Schollie

Aug. 17, 2009

CORVALLIS - There was lots of news about the receiving corps at this morning's practice ... some good, some not so much. Taylor Kavanaugh was awarded a scholarship ... Darrell Catchings is injured.

With those major line items out of the way, here are some details: Kavanaugh, a senior from Portland (Lincoln HS), graduated in the spring with a degree in construction engineering management and is currently working toward a second degree in civil engineering. Kavanaugh has worked at all three of OSU's receiving spots but has mostly made his mark on special teams. This will be his third season as the team's primary holder and is also the Beavers' only experienced punt returner.

'Taylor Kavanaugh was awarded a scholarship and we were proud to do it,' head coach Mike Riley said. 'It is obviously well deserved.'

As for item No. 2, Catchings injured his hand during practice Saturday evening. During a blocking drill he was hit from behind jamming his wrist into a defender. He reported having a small fracture and will see a doctor later today for further evaluation.

'It's not anything bad, surgery-wise, not that that means I know how long he's going to be out,' Riley said. 'We need to find out how long we need to prepare for this. I'm just hoping it's not too long. We can make some adjustments right now and then slide him back in without making too much commotion.'

With Catchings out, true freshman Markus Wheaton moved from flanker, where he was behind James Rodgers, to Catchings' split end position. Senior Damola Adeniji, who has spent considerable time at both positions, will see more reps at flanker to increase the flexibility and depth throughout the receiving corps according to Riley.

'We're going to put (Markus Wheaton) over there a little bit and kind of spoon-feed that (position) and try to maintain what we have besides that.'

Despite the media distraction (the media was distracted, not the players), there was action on the field. Wheaton, who was part of the topic of the day, made a couple nice plays during the skelly period, first managing to get turned around to make an over the shoulder catch on a deep ball. Later he stopped on a dime creating separation from James Dockery to make an easy catch near the sideline ... During drills, Matt LaGrone planted the biggest hit of the day on Ashton Jefferson. LaGrone blindsided the rookie to the `oohs' and `aahs' of his teammates ... Practice ended with a great over-the-shoulder touchdown catch by Colby Prince from Peter Lalich.

MEDIA STUFF

After having Sunday off from practice, the media was back at Prothro Football Complex ready for the new week. However, upon arrival and seeing Catchings' hand/wrist in a cast whatever plans were intended quickly went by the wayside. Paul Buker (The Oregonian), Bob Clark (Register-Guard), Cliff Kirkpatrick (Gazette-Times) and Angie Machado (Rivals) quickly descended on Catchings, Wheaton and Adeniji as practice wrapped up. Fans can expect full coverage from all of those offerings ... Ted Miller from ESPN.com will be on campus tomorrow.

SIDELINE VIEWS

Brady Camp made the catch of the day near the end of practice during red zone drills. Camp, who was caught behind safety Suaesi Tuimaunei, leaped in the air knocking the ball up and away from Tuimaunei before catching the carom and landing outstretched on top of the defender ... Safety Josh LaGrone was running with Tuimaunei on the first team today with Lance Mitchell (hamstring) out and Cameron Collins (groin) limited. LaGrone looked good going against the best the offense had to offer, breaking up several passes ... On to injury news, Collins and fellow safety Anthony Watkins (hamstring) returned to practice but were limited. In addition, Patrick Henderson (leg), Mana Rosa (ill) and Tonu Tuimaleaiifano (knee) returned to practice. In a sure sign of improvement, Keynan Parker (shoulder) has shed his sling ... On the other side of the injury news, Howard Croom (dinged), David Pa'aluhi (dinged) and Lance Mitchell (hamstring) remained out of practice. Riley mentioned the possible return of Pa'aluhi and Croom in the next couple days. Brennan Olander went down with a knee injury during practice. The injury is not thought to be serious ... Former OSU players Alvin Smith and Greg Laybourn were on the sidelines checking out the 2009 Beavers this morning .

The Beavers are in shells tonight for the second half of their second double day. Practice is scheduled to begin at 8:30 in Reser Stadium. The team will return to full pads tomorrow for its only practice of the day at 2 p.m.

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