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Only minor roster worries for Beavers going into the season

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The Oregon State football team begins training camp Monday afternoon, and coach Mike Riley doesn't expect there to be any surprises in the next few days.

Key players have been seriously hurt, quit the team or declared ineligible on the eve of recent seasons.

That goes without the typical issues of recruits not making it into school.

"I don't see anything looming, but I guess when you are dealing with 105 guys there could be something that would give us pause, but I can't see what that could be," Riley said Tuesday.

All returning players are expected to be academically eligible. One player is finishing a class this week but should be ready.

"It was the best ever for us," Riley said.

Three recruits are still working on their academics. Defensive tackle Fred Thompson and linebacker D.J. Welch may be with the team Monday if they complete what's needed.

"It's just a matter of finishing up their summer school classes," Riley said. "They might not be qualified, but they may be."

Defensive tackle Thomas Molesi has been an academic question mark from the start and is not on the roster, but that may change. There are two scholarship spots left for the three recruits.

One of them could be put on the greyshirt list for potential winter enrollment with kicker Trevor Romaine, running back Terron Ward, defensive back Will Storey and tight end Connor Hamlett.

No line changes

A major change that the Beavers considered between spring practice and now was moving starting left offensive tackle Michael Philipp to guard and starting Wilder McAndrews in his place.

That idea came about because McAndrews, finally healthy after two years of hand and wrist issues, played well in the spring and none of the four guard contenders nailed down the open spot.

In the end, Riley decided to leave Philipp alone and keep the competition at guard going between leading candidate Burke Ellis, Michael Lamb, Ryan Pohl and Colin Kelly.

"We are probably not going to move Michael (Philipp)," Riley said. "It's hard to move a guy who started every game at left tackle. We took a deep breath with that. We feel we have enough competition at guard. We think as it comes out, we'll have a pretty good player."

Pankey update

Senior outside linebacker Keith Pankey is penciled in as a starter for the Sept. 4 season opener now he's cleared for practice after a ruptured Achilles' tendon in February, surgery and rehab.

"The big question mark for everybody is Keith Pankey," Riley said. "He's full speed, but we'll keep an eye on him and see how he progresses. My goal for him is start practicing and get him to the game, game-ready. We'll just watch him and see how he does."


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