Jonathan Smith says this summer will be an important one for the Oregon State football team.

The Beavers wrapped up 15 spring practices on Saturday afternoon with the annual spring game.

While they won’t be officially practicing for three and a half months, that doesn’t mean there won’t be a lot of work put in as they players prepare to put a 2-10 season in the rear-view mirror.

Smith expects each player to take care of their own business in the weight room and the classroom until they meet together again as a complete group.

“It will be an exciting season so you want to put the work in to do it so that’s the expectation that we will have,” Smith said.

The message has been delivered and the players have listened.

“We know what to expect," said senior linebacker Andrzej Hughes-Murray. “We have a bunch of veteran guys coming back, a bunch of seniors, and (it’s the) second year under the same program, under the same coaching staff so we know what to expect from them, they know what to expect from us and so we’ve got to just keep growing and getting better and focusing on ourselves.”

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Added redshirt freshman receiver Jesiah Irish: "As coach Smith says this has to be our best summer. We’ve got work day in and day out, we’ve got to eat right, lift right, go to sleep right. We have to train our bodies for fall camp and get ready for another go around and hopefully have a better (result) than last season.”

Redshirt sophomore running back B.J. Baylor, who scored two rushing touchdowns in Saturday’s spring game, said the team is very confident and comfortable after a successful spring that saw the Beavers focus on the details.

Redshirt sophomore quarterback Tristan Gebbia said the players will have plenty of support to make sure they stay on task from now until fall camp begins.

“When coach (Brian) Lindgren and coach Smith are able to spend time with us with the rules and what not, they’re going to spend time with us,” he said. “I really think that we have a great staff and they are going to get us right.

“I don’t really think it’s on our shoulders at all. I think that if we go out there and as a team we make sure we go as hard as we can every day and have a championship mindset and really just get to work, I think the sky’s the limit.”

Fellow quarterback Jake Luton said accountability is big for the Beavers.

“This summer is going to be huge for us as a team trying to take that next step,” he said. “… So we’re going to have to treat it really seriously just like we have been doing this spring all the way into August.”

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Sports Editor

Sports editor of the Corvallis Gazette-Times and Albany Democrat-Herald