Football season will be here before we know it and Oregon State’s fall practices begin in a matter of days.
In the meantime, let’s take a look at the key areas on offense for the 2019 Beavers, starting with quarterback.
With Jake Luton back, the Beavers do have a QB with some experience. Injuries have plagued Luton throughout his time at Oregon State, but he can stretch the field with a big arm when healthy.
Luton was granted a sixth season of eligibility after a thoracic spinal injury suffered at Washington State cut his 2017 season short after four games.
He was also banged up in 2018, but was able to complete 140 of 224 passes for 1,660 yards and 10 touchdowns with four interceptions in eight games.
Luton was named Pac-12 football offensive player of the week after leading the Beavers back from a 28-point deficit in a 41-34 overtime win over Colorado. He completed 28 of 39 passes for 310 yards and three touchdowns in the second half for the Beavers.
“Yeah, we're expecting big things from him, and he's got a ton of experience. He's got some real talent," OSU coach Jonathan Smith said at the Pac-12 media days. "Love the approach he's taken really since January. Finished the year, got into the weight room, changed his body, weighed in spring ball, not just his talent level and the way he's playing, but leadership role, connecting with the guys, and he's got some weapons around him.”
Luton seemed to be the frontrunner for the starting spot at the end of the spring, but he will have competition in Nebraska transfer Tristan Gebbia.
Gebbia was a four-star recruit coming out of Calabasas, California. He redshirted in 2017 and lost a competition with Adrian Martinez to become the Huskers’ starter, then made the decision to transfer shortly thereafter.
Gebbia sat out the 2018 season and is ready to go for the Beavers.
"I will say I think we've got some depth in that room," Smith said. "I think we can score some points with Tristan. We want to keep everybody healthy. I think as much as healthy we've got to keep him upright. We've got to keep our sack totals down. That gives Jake a chance to throw it."
Junior Jack Colletto should also be in the mix for playing time. Colletto was successful as a short-yardage runner for the Beavers.
Redshirt sophomores Aidan Willard and Nick Moore round out the staff.
The running backs and receivers look to be better than average, but the Beavers need consistent play up front to keep the offense flowing.
The Beavers rushed for 2,424 yards but lost 557. Much of the damage was due to sacks, with OSU giving up 48 for 367 lost yards.
Tackle Blake Brandel (6-7, 303) and guard Gus Lavaka (6-4, 358) are back with loads of game experience, but the Beavers lost center Sumner Houston, right guard Kammy Delp and right tackle Trent Moore.
Arizona graduate transfer Nathan Eldridge (6-3, 292) should step in at center but the other two spots are a little more open. Redshirt senior Clay Cordasco (6-5, 316) played in nine games last year and looks to be at the top of the chart at right guard going into fall camp.
Brandon Kipper (6-6, 281) is expected to blossom at tackle. Kipper played in 11 games for Hawaii as a freshman in 2017 and decided to transfer to OSU. He was able to get in three games for the Beavers last season before redshirting.
Offensive line depth is an ongoing issue for the Beavers, but Smith and OL coach Jim Michalczik seem to be moving in the right direction.
Jake Levengood (6-4, 286), Nous Keobounnam (6-2, 287), Onesimus Clarke (6-4, 315), Rob Vanderlaan (6-5, 271), Keli’I Montibon (6-2, 290), Joshua Gray (6-4, 282), Brock Wellsfry (6-5, 297) and Travis Mackay (6-7, 299) are all in the mix.
The Beavers also moved Jaelen Bush (6-7, 271) from the defensive line. Bush has the physical tools to become a solid offensive tackle with some seasoning.
Redshirt senior Jordan Choukair has plenty of experience at kicker, having served as the Beavers' starter for the past two seasons.
Yet Choukair has had his share of struggles, particularly with some key kicks.
The toughest one could have been last year at Nevada. The Beavers trailed 30-21 at the half but worked their way back into it and were down 37-35 with 3:25 to go and the ball. OSU marched to the Nevada 15 to set up Choukair with what seemed to be a chip shot with four seconds left.
But Choukair pushed the ball to the left and the Beavers fell short.
The Beavers will rely on Choukair, who has a strong leg, to stay accurate this season.