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August 25, 2011
Will the real Beaver secondary please stand up! On a balmy night inside Reser Stadium, with players in just shells the Beaver secondary managed to pick off five passes and all on pretty good plays.
After not seeing Kevin Frahm for a few days, out having surgery on his injured knee, he was on the sidelines walking around with no more than a compression sock on his leg. I won't read too much into it, but I expected to see some more bulky braces or worst case scenario crutches.
I looked at new punter Tim McMullen and noticed that he was striking the ball better, however consistency is seriously lacking from the Aussie. Meanwhile his counterpart Johnny Hekker was booming punts, once drawing the praise from Coach Riley, "That's a perfect punt!"
Hekker and Jordan Poyer teamed up beautifully, downing a punt inside the 1 yard line. Field position is huge in football and if Hekker and his gunners can put the opposing offense in negative situations the defense will benefit.
Good news on the offensive line, Michael Philipp seems to be feeling a little better and was with the 2's all day. We've all been wondering what has happened to the former four star recruit, hopefully he's getting closer to 100% and he can get some of his freshman swagger back. He adds depth along the o-line that will be crucial this season.
Scott Crichton and Taylor Henry were harassing the quarterback today and seem shoe-ins as starters at d-end. Henry blew past his blocker on one occasion and after letting the quarterback release the ball pursued the receiver screaming at the top of his lungs, clearly fired up after recording the would-be sack.
A fun drill towards the end of practice had the O and D lines swap spots and go mano-a-mano. The guys were hootin and hollerin', clearly enjoying the change of pace. Adam made a good point also about it being a good teaching tool, seeing and feeling what it's like on the other side of the ball. Beneficial or not, it was fun for the guys who have worked their butts off for Coaches Cav and Joe.
FEATURED POSITION OVERVIEW
It looks like the Catchings of old?old, but for him it's a matter of staying healthy. With such a thin build bumps and bruises seem to find the guy weekly. He caught multiple balls from Beaver QB's tonight and had a score in goal line drills.
Gwacham seems to be extending his role a little more. It was a matter of comfort and polishing for Boom and he looks to be gaining in each category daily.
His ability to go to the ball, even if it's through the defender is impressive. He's not just a high-jumper playing football, he is molding well into a receiver who can hurt you in many ways.
Another receiver who's slight-of-build would lead many to believe he'd never make much of an impact is Kevin Cummings.? Cummings is really growing into his position and has an uncanny ability to get open.Watching closer, Kevin is a technician with his routes and has a great feel for the space and defenders around him.
Markus Wheaton and Brandin Cooks continue to work hard and look like big time play makers. Nothing much new to report with them or Jordan Bishop, who to me looks to be fully healed and ready to go in week one.
This group has the potential to be not only one of the best groups of receivers OSU has ever seen or even the Pac-12, I'd go as far as saying the depth and all around talent of the receivers may be on par with the best in the nation. This of course based on potential due to Cooks not playing a down of D1 football and James Rodgers still a relative unknown at this time.
PLAY OF THE NIGHT
Play of the night, yes?play of the year, maybe, and still I have no idea how the ball was caught. Connor Hamlett released off the line and had a trailing corner back underneath and a safety over the top, both in great position. The ball was thrown behind Hamlett and without turning his body he reached behind himself with one hand and picked the ball out of the air over the head of Brian Watkins.
It was flat out incredible and the entire team and few fans in attendance erupted. It sounded like there were 1000 people inside Reser.
HIT OF THE NIGHT
On goal line drills, Malcolm Agnew took a hand off right and whoever filled the hole did so with authority. Agnew lowered his head and his helmet flew off 5 yards backwards. He hopped right back up and was no worse for the wear. Agnew has taken some big hits this fall and looks like he can handle it with no problem.