Five captains, 12 other seniors prepare for their Beaver swan song
CORVALLIS - Saturday's season home finale against Washington will provide a final romp on the Reser Stadium turf for a small group of Oregon State seniors.
OSU lists 17 seniors on its roster, but only eight starters, plus punter Johnny Hekker and long snapper Marcus Perry.
Receiver James Rodgers, tight end Joe Halahuni, center Grant Johnson, guard Burke Ellis and offensive tackle Mike Remmers, defensive tackle Kevin Frahm, linebacker Cameron Collins and safety Lance Mitchell are the Beaver regulars who will make their final appearance at Reser.
Rodgers, Remmers, Frahm, Collins and Mitchell are the team captains.
'It's a great group of guys, and we've gotten a lot of good football from them,' OSU coach Mike Riley said. 'They've been really good Beavers - good in the program, good leaders. The five captains, you'd be very proud to have them represent you in anything you're doing.'
With Senior Day, Riley said, 'there is a special motivation there. Everybody wants to prove we can win, and we want to get a win. There is added incentive personally for the guys who have played their careers here.'
One of those is Halahuni, the three-year starter at tight end known affectionately as 'Joe the Tank.'
'It's going to be weird,' Halahuni said. 'After the game's over, I'll never be on the field again in front of our fans.
'I'm excited, but it's bittersweet. I love playing at home. We look forward to the game every week, but this one ... we want to go out with a bang. I hope we can do that.'
Collins said he is going to try to 'soak up' the moment on Saturday.
'I love the stadium, the program, the fans - there's nothing quite like it,' the outside linebacker said.
Mitchell said he will try not to think about it as his swan song in a Beaver uniform at Reser.
'My family will be there, and I'm happy I get to play another game,' the safety said. 'There will be a lot of emotion inside of me.
'Everybody will have a lot of emotion. We'll go out and try to do the same thing we do every week - play as hard as we can and try to get a 'W.' '
Mitchell came from a rough environment growing up in Pasadena, Calif., and became a three-year starter who will graduate in speech communications in December with a chance to play in the NFL.
'Being able to play in front of a crowd like we have at Reser, being able to play at a level like (the Pac-12) has been my dream,' Mitchell said. 'I've done a lot of things here I never thought were possible.
'It was big for me. It changed my life. A lot of things that have happened for me at Oregon State are special.'