As Jeromy Reichner was being given a ride from Prothro Field back to the lockeroom after Saturday’s practice, you could tell the injury he suffered less than an hour earlier was serious as he buried his head in his hands.
On Monday, coach Jonathan Smith delivered the bad news that the redshirt senior defensive lineman tore the ACL in his left knee and would be out for the season. Reichner was at practice and on crutches Monday.
It’s the second straight season he has been injured in training camp. Last year, Reichner, who transferred to Oregon State from Los Angeles Valley College after two seasons at Temple, was on the shelf for all but five games.
While he had just five tackles last season, the Beavers expected Reichner to play a key role this season.
“It’s one of the worst parts of the game,” Smith said Monday. “He’s a great kid, he’s worked really hard and so we’re surrounding him. He’s got a bunch of teammates supporting him but it’s definitely tough.”
Reichner’s is the only major injury the Beavers are dealing with, although tight end Ralph Taufa’asau had surgery on his middle finger Monday morning and will be out about a month.
“Everyone else is kind of day-to-day, nothing long term,” Smith said. “We’ve got some bumps and bruises.”
The list of day-to-day players includes running back Artavis Pierce, defensive backs David Morris, Jeffrey Morris Jr. and Jaden Robinson, as well as linebacker John McCartan.
New kicker in camp
The battle for the starting kicker added a new face as Jake Scarton joined the Beavers after transferring from Pittsburgh, Smith said.
Scarton, listed at 6-foot-3, 201 pounds, is a walk-on and is immediately eligible to play and battle for the starting gig. He is a redshirt sophomore and has three years eligibility.
“Jake’s a nice addition,” Smith said. “Like we’ve been doing for a year now, trying to build some depth on the roster.”
Senior Jordan Choukair is back after holding the position the last two seasons. Choukair was 12 for 20 last season with five misses from 40-49 yards. He had a long of 47. He is 25 for 40 during his career.
The other two kickers on the roster are freshmen Everett Hayes and Jeffrey Nelson.
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Smith said he hadn’t heard much about Scarton, but “he went on the transfer portal and he’s looking for an opportunity and we’re definitely all about competition.”
Scarton, who was also a walk-on at Pittsburgh, never attempted a kick for the Panthers. He did serve as the holder.
“He was in the transfer portal early because he’s a good kicker,” Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi said last Friday. “That guy’s a talented kicker that could go play somewhere else. And I let him get in the portal. I said, ‘you need to go, it’s going to be good for you if someone can give you a scholarship.’”
Following the spring, it appeared Jake Luton had a leg up in the battle to be the starting quarterback over Tristan Gebbia.
But Gebbia has started to impress in camp and may very well have closed the gap a bit.
“I think Tristan has been sharp, I really do,” Smith said. “The way he’s moving in the pocket. And Jake’s the same way. Jake made some big-time throws today. I think both those guys are playing at a high level.”
Jack Colletto, the third string quarterback last season and has moved to linebacker, will get a few reps at his old position as camp progresses.
“We’ll mix him in a little bit at quarterback,” Smith said. “We wanted to give him a new start at linebacker because it’s new for him but you’ll see him a sprinkle at quarterback a couple days in camp.”
It’s still early but the position group that has stood out the most to Smith is linebacker.
“The way they’re pass rushing is way improved from last year,” Smith said.
Smith said he liked the way the inside guys are showing up on run drills.