The Beavers wrapped up the first half of Spring Ball last Saturday. The players have this week off for finals and the following one to enjoy spring break. Then they’ll resume for the final half and the Spring Game. Here are five things we learned during the first two weeks of practice.
1. These aren’t your Father’s Beavers. Practices so far under Coach Andersen are a complete 180 from Mike Riley’s, especially in the sense that there’s contact, and a lot of it! The Beavers are expected to be physical, hit hard, and go all out — even if there’s risk of injury. It’s a refreshing change, as several players have commented that it should help the Beavers be more ready early in the season.
2. And there were 3. The biggest question going into Spring Ball was who would replace Sean Mannion. With the slate wiped clean, seven QBs took snaps for the Beavers during the first several days. However, that number was whittled down quickly. Now, the three contenders are Luke Del Rio, Nick Mitchell, and Seth Collins. Meanwhile, Brent Vanderveen and Tanner Sanders have moved ti H-back/tight end. But this is a battle that will rage on into fall camp.
3. QBs who make plays with Feet Wanted. After years of clamoring for for a QB who can extend plays with his feet, Beavers fans will get their wish this season. Seth Collins has some serious wheels, Nick Mitchell can definitely move, and even Luke Del Rio showed a little moxie with his feet this season. The point is OSU quarterbacks are encouraged and expected to be able to use their feet more to make plays. YAY!
4. Under the Radar. Does it seem very little has been said/written about the defense so far? Dang new coaching staff and QB battle! In all seriousness, that’s not a bad thing. Because it allows the defensive players to focus on getting used to a vastly different defensive scheme. Furthermore, flying under the radar has always seemed to play in the Beavers’ favor. Let’s hope the same is true this season as well. Either way, this unit should FLY AROUND.
5. Unsung Leader. Darrell Songy missed all of last season due to suspension. But the sophomore linebacker has wasted no time getting back into the spring of things (pun intended). He’s stood out so far, even garnering praise from Andersen, himself. But more impressively, Songy appears to be the vocal leader the Beavers so desperately need. Not bad for a guy who missed an entire season. He could be primed for a monster year… because he’s always had the talent and size.
So, what are you looking forward to seeing during the latter half of Spring Ball? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Go Beavs… (RW)