OSU football: Beavers' offensive line in flux

2014-08-18T16:00:00Z 2014-08-18T16:08:36Z OSU football: Beavers' offensive line in fluxBy KEVIN HAMPTON, Corvallis Gazette-Times Corvallis Gazette Times

Oregon State offensive lineman Sean Harlow slammed into Jalen Grimble in a recent practice, pushing the defensive tackle away from a ball carrier and to the turf.

Harlow is known for his aggressive play and a little bit of a nasty streak.

After starting at right tackle as a true freshman last season, Harlow is back as one of the key returners on the Beavers’ offensive line, where he’ll most likely play guard this season.

“They’re moving me all over,” Harlow said. “I’m playing right guard, left guard and tackle, too, sometimes.

“We’ll see how it goes.”

Unfortunately for Harlow and the Beavers, he’s been out of recent practices after a collision left his head hurting.

Harlow shouldn’t be out long, but injuries have kept the line situation in flux.

Offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh requires his players to learn multiple positions and how to play both sides.

That philosophy has come in handy this fall with starting center Isaac Seumalo still trying to come back from ankle surgery. He had his boot removed last week and could be ready for the season opener against Portland State on Aug. 30.

With Seumalo out, Grant Bays and Josh Mitchell have both worked at center.

Both players also play guard, along with Harlow and Garrett Weinreich, who has stepped into the mix.

“He’s playing good football for us right now,” Cavanaugh said of Weinreich. “He’s a physical guy and doing a nice job on the run blocks and pass blocks. I’m excited to see what Garrett Weinreich could bring.”

Gavin Andrews has been moved from right to left tackle.

“I really like what I see right there,” Cavanaugh said.

Andrews said he’s been able to catch on quickly to playing the left side.

He said he played both tackle spots in high school and worked at the left side last season.

“They wanted me to back up both tackles so I got work at left and right backing up Mike Philipp and Sean Harlow,” Andrews said.

“So it’s not extremely new to me, but going from spring ball, just playing right and practicing that all the way here and then being moved, the first week it was a little stunner on me. But I think I’m quickly adapting.”

Dustin Stanton has moved from the left to the right side.

“Stanton’s doing a pretty good job over there,” Cavanaugh said. “He’s worked real hard over the summer, put some weight on, put some strength on. Technique-wise he’s not bad. He’s got to continue to work on that. The big thing is just assignments and adjustments. Got to be sharp.”

The Beavers have some depth with redshirt freshman guard Fred Lauina, sophomore tackle Nolan Hansen and junior tackle Bobby Keenan.

True freshmen Trent Moore, Robert Olson, Drew Clarkson, Kammy Delp and Yanni Demogerontas are also in the fold.

“Depth is great,” Andrews said. “We have a solid three lines and that’s a lot more than we’ve had since I’ve been here. So I’m extremely excited for that.”

The group has some experience, which has been an advantage during fall camp and should help for the season.

In addition to Harlow and Seumalo, Bays, Mitchell and center Roman Sapolu all have started games.

“I think we’ll be pretty good. Obviously, we’re young, but we’ve all played,” Harlow said. “It’s not like anyone’s just getting thrown out in the fire. So I think we’ll be fine. Everyone’s real smart. We’ve just got to work on communicating and just getting everything down.

“Everyone’s played, everyone knows what they’re doing. It’s just a matter of where we’ll all going to line up on that Saturday.”

Kevin Hampton is sports reporter for the Gazette-Times. He can be reached at 541-758-9519 or kevin.hampton@lee.net.

Copyright 2015 Corvallis Gazette Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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