NUGGETS: In-depth breakdown of Oregon State's 10th practice
Today's practice was open to the media, and BeaversEdge.com has the very detailed report on how each position group looked following day ten's practice. Don't miss the practice nuggets below!
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-As spring draws to an end, the quarterback carousel is beginning to slow down. It seems the Beavers have narrowed the number of reps to a few of the QBs as we approach one week from the spring game. Today, we saw a significant drop in reps to Nick Moore and Aidan Willard; and with Mason Moran fully participating with the receivers, OSU seems to have three remaining options.
- Jake Luton once again looked the sharpest of the QB today. He continues to take 1st-team reps and is participating fully. He had several nice completions to Timmy Hernandez, Connor Laverty and Andre Bodden in open space and was able to scramble a few times, extending the plays. Luton still has the tightest, most complete spiral and seems to be able to throw the ball a little further with each practice. He’s still a little tentative in the pocket but has been making smart football decisions in the face of defensive pressure. Of all the scrimmages, I’ve been to, Luton has turned the ball over the least number of times.
- Conor Blount took the second most reps today and his performance was once again fairly neck-and-neck with Luton. Blount found Hernandez on a beautifully thrown deep-ball for 35 yards and then again connected with Hernandez on the same drive for a TD. Per the usual, Blount showcased his scrambling ability several times today to gain positive yards and extend the play for completions to his receivers. At this point, I would say Blount is second in line for the starting job behind Luton.
-Next up was Jack Colletto, who took the third most reps today. Colletto had a few nice completions to both I’Shawn Stewart and Timmy Hernandez, including a deep hookup of 45-yard to Stewart during 11-on-11 work. Colletto was a little shaky today and did not look overwhelmingly impressive. He took a fair number of deep shots today, but was unable to connect on most of them. It will be interesting to see how Colletto performs in the next couple of practices before the spring game.
-Not a whole lot of new news to report here. The running backs participated in a new kickoff return drill, in which they fielded kicks from punter Alex Bland and had to return them about 30 yards through the special team defense. During the drill, Artavis Pierce had an excellent run back, using the sideline to push through the defense for a full return. He used his newly perfected spin move and shifty speed, earning applause and hollering from the offensive unit.
-BJ Baylor, Calvin Tyler Jr. and Christian Wallace split reps fairly equally today. Each had runs up the middle for decent gains and caught a few passes while working on 11-on-11 work. I’ve noticed a significant improvement in each’s pass-catching ability since the beginning of April. They caught passes in open space and were used multiple times in the end zone from Luton and Blount today. I think the coaching of fundamentals and technique is already paying off for the running back core.
-I did not see Hunter Mattson take any snaps today. He wasn’t present with the running back group and didn’t appear to be on the field.
-By far and away, Hernandez was the star of today’s practice. He hauled in multiple passes from each QB and found the end zone on several occasions. On one catch of 35 yards, Hernandez used his footwork to shake pass the linebackers, spinning in open space to fly by the safety’s and end out of bounds at the two-yard line. Hernandez recorded the highest number of receptions on the day in convincing fashion. Check out BeaversEdge.com’s great interview with him following his impressive day!
-For the first time in over a week, Trevon Bradford returned to practice and didn’t miss a beat. He participated in team drills and some of the 11-on-11 work. Bradford had a few nice completions from Luton on slant routes and caught a well-placed pass for 20 yards along the sideline. It was good to see Bradford practicing once again and I expect him to intensify the competition among the younger receivers for playing time.
-It was a relatively quiet day from the other receivers today. Stewart had two nice catches in open-space and Connor Laverty made a great leaping catch in the end zone.
-Isaiah Hodgins was out of his arm sling for the first time since Saturday’s Mountainside scrimmage. He was alongside the other injured players on the sideline and did not participate in any drills. Athletic Director Scott Barnes paid a visit to practice and was spotted chatting with Hodgins briefly for a moment on one occasion. I expect Hodgins to be ready for the spring game and make a recovery soon.
Want to read the full nugget report? Click here!