Number of returnees gives OSU reason to be optimistic

2014-07-27T18:00:00Z 2014-07-31T15:33:13Z Number of returnees gives OSU reason to be optimisticBy BRAD FUQUA, Corvallis Gazette-Times Corvallis Gazette Times

The numbers suggest good things ahead this season for Oregon State.

The Beavers return seven starters on offense, seven on defense and two on special teams. OSU’s total of 16 ranks fourth in the conference behind USC (18), Colorado (17) and UCLA (17).

“I think first of all, we've got a lot of guys that are coming back. So, there is some experience there,” OSU coach Mike Riley said last week in Los Angeles during the Pac-12’s annual media days. “The other thing, the leadership and work ethic through the offseason has been awesome. So setting a good table for starting off fall camp and getting ready to go.”

The Pac-12 returns 10 starting quarterbacks from last season, including OSU’s own Sean Mannion. Riley’s never seen this level of experience among Pac-12 signal callers.

“Has there ever been more good quarterbacks coming back in one year? I can't think of that time,” he said. “The neat thing about quarterbacking in our conference is there is a great history there in general. I love that.”

Riley’s seen his share of QBs come through the conference.

“I've watched this conference since I was a kid, and my dad was coaching at Oregon State, so it's been pretty special to watch through the years the number of great quarterbacks that have come through this league,” Riley said. “But this is a great year, these are good players, and I think it says a lot about what we have to look forward to with the league this year. Good quarterbacks can help you have good seasons and good teams.”

Brad Fuqua is a sports copy editor and sports writer at the Corvallis Gazette-Times. He can be reached via email at

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