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OSU Football

Coach Mike Riley introduced Oregon State's new basketball coach, Craig Robinson, to his football players before a recent practice session.

'We're a small, tight community, and our players know all the (basketball) players,' Riley says. 'We're all in this together, and I thought it would be good for our guys to get a chance to meet him and make him feel at home.'

Riley spent some time with Robinson, 'and I'm very impressed,' the football coach says. 'He has a great presence about him and is easy to talk to. He's confident and, at the same time, pretty down to earth.'

• With the two starting guards out - Jeremy Perry (knee) for the entire spring practice and Adam Speer (pectoral muscle) for another week - the Beavers have experimented some with senior tackle Andy Levitre at guard.

Getting the most work at tackle have been a pair of walk-ons - redshirt freshman Mike Remmers and sophomore Wilder McAndrews - and 6-5, 320-pound junior college transfer Una Smiley. One of those three is likely to win a starting job at tackle in the fall, at least until senior Tavita Thompson returns from NCAA suspension Nov. 1. 'Una is coming on,' Riley says. 'He probably needs to come down a little bit on his weight, which would increase his mobility. But he's a good athlete.'

• JC transfer Stephen Paea, a 6-2, 295-pound sophomore defensive tackle, has shown enough already this spring that he is considered a candidate to become a starter. 'He's going to help us,' Riley says. 'We lost a lot in the middle, and he has a chance to fill some of that void.'

• Senior Bryant Cornell has solidified his hold on the starting middle linebacker spot, meaning that junior Keaton Kristick is likely to start on the outside. That leaves a good battle for the other starting outside 'backer position between sophomores Keith Pankey and Dwight Roberson and redshirt freshman David Pa'aluhi. Pankey is running ahead of the other two.

- Kerry Eggers