12.Jul.2015 Oregon State Pre-Season Position Breakdown: Wide Receivers

These are the WRs, according to the official site:

6 Bolden, Victor WR 5-9 172 Jr.
88 Dockery, Rahmel WR 5-10 179 Jr.
18 Gilmore, Malik WR 6-3 217 Jr.
9 Guyton, Datrin WR 6-5 185 RFr.
19 Hawkins, Xavier WR 5-7 176 So.
2 Jarmon, Hunter WR 5-11 198 So.
87 Kell, Drew WR 6-1 189 RFr.
85 Ovgard, Gabe WR 5-10 188 RFr.
13 Villamin, Jordan WR 6-4 235 So.

I think Paul Lucas and Shawn Wilson could become WRs as well. Lucas’ speed could be a game changer, but given the depth at WR he will likely redshirt.

I think Bolden and Jarmon will be the bubble screen guys, with both capable of deep routes as well. Jarmon especially intrigues me. Villamin is a guy I expect to take a step backward. Not because of his ability, but rather the combination of new QB who [likely] can’t throw deep combined and the overall offensive style. If and when they attempt passes in the 25 yard range, Villamin will be the guy. Another guy I am excited about is Guyton. Very high on Guyton. Dockery has been serviceable. So the Beavs are 5 deep at WR.

Gilmore has been a disappointment his entire career, and this offense and depth chart isn’t going to help. I’m not bullish on Hawkins. He should move to DB — that’s his best shot at playing time.

I’d like to see 3WR sets with Jarmon, Bolden, Guyton/Villamin (depending on the play called). 4 WR sets of Jarmon, Bolden, Guyton, Villamin is about as good as it gets in the Pac-12. Riley left a lot of WR talent.

 

08.Jul.2015 Oregon State Pre-Season Position Breakdown: Running Backs

The official site lists Chris Brown, Storm Woods, Damien Haskins, Tim Cook (Juco), Jaylynn Bailey (never heard of him), Marcus Grieves (never heard of him), Shane Wallen (never heard of him). Then there are the new guys, Taylor Thomas (NQ, going to a CC) and Deltron Sands. Paul Lucas doesn’t appear physical enough to be a Pac-12 RB, so I think he winds up at WR.

The big three are Brown, Woods, and Haskins. Sands is interesting player. I think his 5″8 kept a lot of schools away (when will they learn size doesn’t matter, at least with RBs)?

We all know what these RBs bring to the table, so I don’t need to do a writeup on each one, but a quick synopsis would be:

Chris Brown: Most upside of the RBs. A balanced back with the best speed, fluid runner, a bit of a slasher, etc. We still don’t know for sure what this guy is because Riley never played him, but we do know half the Pac-12 offered him, and in his limited time he’s racked up nice stats.

Storm Woods: He reminds me of Priest Holmes, in that he can rip off big chunks, but it requires a gaping hole to do it. More of a bulky, galloping runner, but he gets the job done. He doesn’t have great raw speed. Better balance and vision than speed. Great leader and personality, and for this reason alone he has to be on the field a lot.

Damien Haskins: He’s gained some size and agility at OSU (spring game compared to his HS film), but he’s still limited. He’s probably in the Yve Bernard mold…slow, good vision, a bit of an undersized bowling ball. Not my type of RB, so I am not high on this guy. The fewer carries the better. Maybe he can carve a role as a goal line back?

Tim Cook: Looks like more of a FB. Maybe a goal line or short yardage back?

Deltron Sands: Shifty, quick, good cuts, good pass catcher. Good work ethic. He is a dark horse, imo. He could jump Haskins or Cook due to his versatility, but OSU would probably be best long-term to redshirt him. I definitely like him more than Haskins.

My guess is Andersen is predictable here and goes with Storm Woods as the 1 and Chris Brown as the 2 and Haskins as the #3, redshirting Sands. He might be better off playing Sands over Haskins, though.

In summary, Woods is a competent runner and great leader with a winning attitude. Chris Brown has more upside. Sands is a dark horse, if he doesn’t redshirt. He can do a bit of everything. Whoever winds up #2 should be more worried about Sands than Haskins or Cook. My guess is Sands redshirts, though. It makes no sense to waste a year with Woods and Brown around.

Update: Tim Cook signing likely seals Sands fate as a redshirt.

Who should start?

Who should be the starting RB?

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05.Jul.2015 Oregon State Pre-Season Position Breakdown: QBs

Nick Mitchell: Mitchell reminds me of a more fleet-footed Chad Pennington. He even has a bit of the jump step while throwing, and similar mediocre arm strength. You can win at any level with an average arm, as long as it’s accurate, so I don’t knock him there. In Andersen’s offense, arm strength is a bonus not a necessity. What I dislike most about Mitchell is during interviews he doesn’t show confidence or leadership. There is a process for most athletes that goes something like this: “I can’t believe I made it this far”, “Do I belong?”, “I belong, but will I stick?”, and finally “I am good/great.” Mitchell is so far from that 4th stage. Based on his interviews, he almost seems stuck between 1 and 2. He lacks confidence, seems to be happy just to be in the mix, etc. We need a leader. My knock on Mitchell would be mediocre arm, which takes weapons like Villiman out of the offense, and he’s not a natural leader.

Seth Collins: Unlike Mitchell, Collins believes he belongs, and maybe even believes he is great, despite the fact that he’s a poor passer at this stage. Now, in the spring game, his passing did look improved. Was that the poor defense, McGiven’s coaching, a fluke? We’ll see. If he’s truly improved that much as a passer, than he probably has to start. I’m not convinced he has yet. But back to the mental game. Andersen said specifically he wants a QB who can win with his mind. While Collins has confidence and believes he belongs, he also is extremely immature by most accounts and annoying/cocky by others. Now let’s factor in his poor offer sheet. Did everyone miss on this guy? His HS film showed this: fast runner, can’t throw a lick, so so decision making. His time at OSU thus far showed slightly improved passing, average decisoin making, and immaturity. Is this a Pac-12 starter’s skill set? It might have to be. The Beavs are not in a good position. Andersen likely wants his guy to start, so I think Collins has the edge over Mitchell.

Marcus McMaryion: I was told he graduated high school with a 4.0 GPA, so he should be able to make good decisions on the field. His HS film shows a guy who can make pro passes (specifically he throws a beautiful fade, but also has plus arm strength and can get the ball 25 yards downfield with ease). I think this is the only QB of the bunch who can easily get the ball downfield and keep Jordan Villamin in the mix (Villamin isn’t really a bubble screen guy). His running is fluid and above average, but not as electric as Collins. So why isn’t he in the mix? Despite what most believe, I think he is..as a dark horse. Jack Del Rio was hanging around Spring camp lobbying for Luke, and that took reps from McMaryion, who also had to learn a new offense (Collins already ran this type of offense, and Mitchell ran it for the scout team). All of this set him back, but by the end of camp Andersen seemed impressed with MM. Again, though, I think the one area this player lacks is confidence. I am not sure he believes he belongs, and being knocked out of the QB competition (“losing” to Del Rio no less…in quotes because that was nepotism) couldn’t have helped with that. His laid back attitude isn’t a mesh with Andersen. He’s at worst, a very good third stringer, but I think he can push for at least the backup job, if not more.

Push comes to shove, I think Gary Andersen starts Seth Collins. The reason being his confidence, electric play at times, and familiarity with this offense. I’m not sure how I feel about Collins at this point. At some point in every Pac-12 game you need to make legitimate passes. You need a mentally mature QB who is a leader, not a clown. I’m not sure Collins is there yet. If I were coach, I’d mix QBs. I know that’s not a popular strategy, but in this unique situation I think it’s best. They all overlap enough that it’s not a dead giveaway that it’s a run or pass play. I’d put Collins in for the bulk of read options, yet have him through enough to keep the D off balance. I’d start McMaryion so I could throw the ball a bit. I’d make Mitchell the backup. If Collins starts, I think we fans will be pulling our hair out watching his passing game and iffy decisions. That’s my hunch.

Unfortunately, Utah State transfer Darell Garretson is probably the best QB they have signed, but he has to site out the year. It will be interesting to see what happens next year with Garretson in the mix. Say one of these freshman steps up and has a decent year, do you put Garretson in there anyway? That will be interesting.

Who should be the starter?

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03.Jul.2015 July 4th Celebrations

Happy 4th weekend, doods.

As the calender turns to July now, we can begin to look toward football season. How about this: since I don’t have a lot to criticize right now and things are going relatively smoothly at OSU, how about I take suggestions for articles you’d like to see, or just thoughts/my opinion on anything Beaver related that you’d like to see between now until Fall camp. I’ll tackle whichever requests I can, but I can’t promise I will get to all because am busy with several projects, but I’ll try to tackle as much as possible.

I’ll be in and out over the weekend, so probably Monday afternoon, or more likely Tuesday, I’ll be able to sit down and look into the suggestions or requests.

30.Jun.2015 Steve Fenk Denies Me Credentialed Media

Our policy is that we do not credential independent bloggers, websites, etc. You will find that is the case league-wide for the most part. We have turned down others before  as well.  Thank you for your interest. sf

I find this to be BS. It makes sense to some extent, so as not to encourage a person to startup a blog and then get credentials, but I have been doing this since 2008. It’s a well-established site, and it’s been 7 years before I even asked.

What do you guys think?

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