Offensive guard Jeremy Perry (knee), defensive end Jeff Van Orsow (foot) and receivers Matt Sieverson (shoulder) and Casey Kjos (back) will not participate in spring drills. 'Casey had surgery, but he'll be fine for (training) camp,' coach Mike Riley says. 'I anticipate him making a strong move to compete for the No. 2 slotback spot.'
• Sophomore middle linebacker Keaton Kristick, a star on special teams a year ago, enters spring ball third string, 'but I'm not sure he won't find a way to be on the field a lot next season,' Riley says. 'He's an impressive kid.'
• Carl Sommer, a 6-4, 230-pound tight end, has graduated early from Wilsonville High and enrolled for spring term at OSU and will participate in spring drills. He is expected to redshirt next season.
• Senior-to-be Anthony Wheat-Brown, who lost his starting job late last season due to suspension, is back as the starter at flanker.
• Senior Joel Cohen, granted a sixth year of eligibility due to medical hardship, is back as the starting deep snapper.
• What will be star tailback Yvenson Bernard's role this spring? 'We'll practice him and let him watch the scrimmages,' Riley says with a chuckle. … Micah Strickland, OSU's fullback in a two-back set as a true freshman last year, will play tailback and battle Clinton Polk for the backup job behind Bernard. Patrick Fuller, third string a year ago, is no longer in the program.
• Walk-on redshirt freshman kicker Justin Kahut from Clackamas 'is right on track with his development,' Riley says. 'He's very accurate. He's the heir apparent after Alexis is gone.'
• With starting receivers Wheat-Brown, Sammie Stroughter and Brandon Powers all seniors next fall, OSU coaches are excited about the 2007 recruiting class that includes freshman wideout prospects Darrell Catchings, Reggie Dunn, Brandon Wimberley, James Rodgers and Leaualofa Liilii. Liilii may wind up being a grayshirt who enrolls next winter.
- Kerry Eggers