April 28, 2009

Spring practice winding down

After an exciting Sunday, in which the program saw seven former players get drafted into the NFL, things were back to normal for the Oregon State football team on Monday. Despite on and off rain, the Beavers held their next to last practice before Saturday's spring game inside Reser Stadium.

Notwithstanding the weather, practice was sharp and focused. And while there were some nice offensive plays, it was the defense that shined brightest on Monday, especially against the run. Simply put, yards were hard to come by on the ground. That's because the OSU linebackers asserted themselves well. They were swarming to the ball and made several stops in the backfield.

About the only running back who managed to get past the linebackers was Jovan Stevenson. Even then he had trouble holding on the ball on pitches, maybe because of rain or maybe because he heard footsteps. The redshirt freshman was running with the ones and seems to be widening the gap between him and Ryan McCants even more. He will play this season, that's for sure.

With McCants nursing an injury, Jordan Jenkins had more carries. He's not a bad runner, as he hits the hole hard. But he seems better suited to play full back. The tight ends got quite a few passes thrown to them today. Colby Prince had a few nice catches. He moves well and has good hands. Howard Croom got open well, but had a tough time holding onto the ball because he was getting drilled by the LBs.

Even the wide receivers had to work harder. The secondary has made strides since the scrimmage two weeks ago when it was torched by the OSU quarterbacks. Tim Clark was shutting down whoever lined up across from him. James Dockery was the other corner opposite of him. He did well except when he went up against Darrell Catchings, who continues to make play after play. Not surprisingly, the junior had the longest play of the day, hauling in a bomb from Sean Canfield over Dockery and taking it in for six. It's amazing how different Catchings looks from last season. He's confident and ready to star.

...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!