OSU football notebook: JC players still waiting to be eligible

2013-08-05T17:00:00Z 2013-08-05T17:32:22Z OSU football notebook: JC players still waiting to be eligibleBy KEVIN HAMPTON and STEVE GRESS Corvallis Gazette Times
August 05, 2013 5:00 pm  • 

The first practice of fall camp is in the books for the Oregon State football team and the Beavers were missing Kyle Peko and Charlie Tuaau.

The two defensive tackles are attempting to transfer to OSU from junior colleges and are awaiting final academic clearance to come through.

“The problem is it’s out of our control,” coach Mike Riley said. “There’s things going through the wires right now, grades, transcripts.”

Riley is not sure how fast the process will be or if one or both of the players will be cleared to play.

“They’re out there in that never-never land. We don’t know for sure,” Riley said. “We’re hoping for the best.”

Mannion speaks

Sean Mannion and Cody Vaz are entrenched in a quarterback battle and neither is sure when it will end.

Mannion was asked Monday if he is tired of talking about it.

“It’s part of territory,” he said. “I’m just coming out here practicing and trying to be the best player I can be.”

Mannion said one area he feels he has improved since last season is with his accuracy.

“I feel like I don’t have to really think about putting the ball in a certain spot,” he said. “If I’m throwing an out route, it kind of comes out pretty accurate every time now.”

Top offense

Running back Storm Woods said he thinks the Beavers could have one of the best offenses in the country.

His fellow offensive teammates agree.

“We’ve got two great quarterbacks, two great running backs and a heck of an offensive line,” junior receiver Brandin Cooks said. “And a receiving corp. that is going to do damage. We lost Markus (Wheaton) but we’ve got guys that are stepping up that’s ready to play.”

Mannion echoed those thoughts and said experience is also a factor.

“Obviously on the line we have four guys returning and then Gavin (Andrews) who also got to play last year,” Mannion said. “I think when you look across the board we have a lot of guys who are both young and experienced. I think that’s real important.

“I think if you look at the last few years, we’ve had the same core guys kind of playing. I think that experience is really going to pay off.”

Good early impression

Cooks is no stranger to the exuberance young players have early in fall camp.

In fact, fellow receiver Victor Bolden reminds Cooks a lot of himself.

“We’re going through a walk through and he’s full speed,” Cooks said. “I like to see that. And they (the wide receivers) all have that. That means they’re hungry and they see they’ve got a chance to play and that’s what they are all about.”

Lining up

On paper, the Beavers have a solid offensive line with four of five starters returning.

Even though OSU has built a strong foundation, Riley is always looking for more top linemen.

“We’re not where we want to be depth-wise of guys that we know can play in the games, but we’re getting better through the years,” he said. “It’s never been easy to keep like 10 guys that you know are ready for Pac-12 play, ready to go.

“In this league, linemen are like gold. So we want to continue to develop our depth where we have lots of guys that are ready to play in a game. That we know they go in there and they can win in our league.”

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