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March 27, 2013

Spring Preview: Receivers/Tight Ends

MORE: Spring Camp HQ

One of the backbones of the Oregon State program is productive wide receivers and tight ends who can make plays with their hands or with their blocking ability. While four very talented true freshmen wait in the wings for their chance to come in and compete for early playing time, there is group of veterans and young players looking make an impact before then this spring.

RETURNING CONTRIBUTORS & KEY LOSSES

No loss is bigger to this unit that the graduation of Markus Wheaton. He was one of the most productive receivers in Oregon State history amassing 2994 yards receiving and 631 yards rushing along with 21 touchdowns in his career.

Colby Prince has also graduated. The tight end was key to the Beavers blocking game the past couple of years.

Brandin Cooks is the leading receiver returning for the Beavers. The junior is poised to take on some of the slack left by Wheaton. It is hard to believe that he is starting his third year in the program, but many expect big things from him.

Kevin Cummings, Micah Hatfield, Obum Gwacham and Richard Mullaney have all contributed throughout their careers. At tight end and H-back, Connor Hamlett returns after a very strong 2012 campaign. Caleb Smith also saw limited action last year as a true freshman.

QUESTION HEADING INTO CAMP

Who will step up and add productivity to the Beavers offense?

Many will be watching Kevin Cummings, Obum Gwacham and Malik Gilmore very closely this spring. Cummings had some big catches last year, but he has yet become a 'go-to' clutch receiver for the Beavers. He has been working hard in the off-season and look for him to be a contributor this fall.

With Richard Mullaney sidelined after shoulder surgery this winter, Obum Gwacham and Malik Gilmore have a great opportunity to rise to the occassion and grasp playing time. Gwacham has the physical attributes needed, but needs to develop his confidence and solidify his route running and blocking.

Gilmore spent the year on the scout team and in the weight room. He is a hard worker who has studied hard in the off-season to make an impression.

PRESSURE IS ON

Tyler Perry has a chance to breakout onto the scene at tight end, but he'll have Caleb Smith who saw some action as a true freshman nipping at his heels. In his third year in the program, it is really now or never for Perry to make his presence felt.

The H-back position appears to be a strength going forward. Connor Hamlett had some big catches this year and expect to see him more involved in the passing game in 2013. Kellen Clute shows a lot of promise as does Dustin Stanton, who spent his redshirt year putting on a good 30 pounds.

PRE-CAMP DEPTH CHART
SPLIT END
1. Obum Gwacham RS JR Career numbers: 10 receptions for 159 yards with 1 TD.
2. Richard Mullaney RS SO Career numbers: 13 receptions for 156 yards with 1 TD.
3. Malik Gilmore RS FR Redshirted
SLOT BACK
1. Kevin Cummings SR Career numbers: 28 receptions for 328 yards with 2 TD's.
2. Mitch Singler RS SR Career numbers: 4 receptions for 64 yards
3. JC Grim RS FR Redshirted
4. Stevie Coury FR New to the program
FLANKER
1. Brandin Cooks JR Career numbers: 98 receptions for 1542 yards with 8 TD's and 19 rushing attempts for 123 yards.
2. Micah Hatfield RS SR Career numbers: 12 receptions for 104 yards and 3 TD's.
3. Blair Cavanaugh RS FR Redshirted
4. Tym Pearson RS SR Transfer
H-BACK
1. Connor Hamlett RS JR Career numbers: 32 receptions for 403 yards and 3 TD's
2. Kellen Clute RS SO Career numbers: none
3. Dustin Stanton RS FR Redshirted
TIGHT END
1. Tyler Perry RS JR Career numbers: none
2. Caleb Smith SO Career numbers: 2 receptions for 19 yards
3. Hayden Craig RS FR Transfer from Montana





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