- Portland Tribune - Sports
Senior Sammie Stroughter will be the starting split end next season, with sophomore Darrell Catchings - who started at split end after Stroughter's exit last season - moving to flanker. Sophomore James Rodgers - who split time with Anthony Brown at flanker in '07 - will switch to slot.
'We can put James wherever we need him to run the fly sweep,' OSU coach Mike Riley says. 'I like the looks of our receivers as a total group, though we have a lot of work to do. And our backups - (seniors) Chris Johnson and Shane Morales - looked really good' the first week of spring practice.
• Monday was the first practice in full pads. Riley isn't sure if the Beavers will scrimmage Friday as planned. 'The problem with a scrimmage is, that's pretty much your day,' he says. 'I may just decide we'll do some work on fundamental stuff.'
• The Beavers have 104 players in uniform, including 36 walk-ons. It's the most Riley has ever had for a spring session. 'It's awesome,' says Riley, who enters his eighth season at the OSU helm next fall. 'We've gone from having barely enough walk-ons to fill the yearly quota to it being a very hard selection process when we have to have 20 invitees for (August training) camp.'
• Coaches will take a long look this spring at Una Smiley, the 6-5, 310-pound offensive tackle who arrived in Corvallis last week. The former second-team junior college All-American at Palomar College in San Marcos, Calif., who suffered severe nerve damage to his right leg in a shooting in December 2006, will get a chance to win a starting job. 'Una's been out of football a long time,' Riley says. 'I'm glad he's here practicing this spring.'