Freshmen and Wideouts Key to 2012
The 2011 OSU Beavers didn’t score a lot of points. They barely managed to average 21 points a game, while being shut out once and failing to score 14 points in three others.
2012 is a new season and Beaver nation is hoping it brings bigger and brighter things. Chances are it will.
OSU has reloaded the offense as the program hopes to make a high powered splash in 2012.
Here are five impact players to look for on offense in the upcoming season.
The son of defensive line coach Joe Seaumalo, Isaac is the Beaver’s best recruit of the 2012 class. The five star prospect was seen by many as the best guard in the nation.
Since 2009, the offensive line has been a major concern for the Beavers. Over the last two seasons, OSU has given up 62 sacks averaging 7 yards per loss.
It’s created a lot of deficiency in the run game, while providing too many opportunities for turnovers.
If the 6’3 275 pound Seumalo can’t fix that line, no one can.
Another exciting freshman to watch in 2012 will be Caleb Smith. At 6’7″ and 240 pounds, the new tight end is surprisingly quick and agile for his size.
With the loss of Joel Halahuni and James Rodgers, Mike Riley will be looking for a new go to man in tight situations. Smith has the tools and abilities to be that guy.
A freshman in 2011, Cooks was instantly a standout player for the Beavers. He finished the season with 391 yards on 31 catches, garnering 3 touchdowns — including a 59 yarder against BYU.
Cooks has been praised for his speed and pure explosiveness after the catch. Even though he was targeted much less than Marcus Wheaton, they averaged about the same number of yards per reception.
Now that Brandin Cooks is a sophomore he’s that much more instrumental. He’ll enter 2012 bigger, more mature and more familiar with the offense.
Out of everybody on the offense, this guy might be the most instrumental come 2012.
The Beavers ranked 5th in passing for 2012 in the Pac 12, averaging 286.8 passing yards per game. Chances are that rank would have been higher if this guy was made QB much sooner than he was.
A true freshman in 2011, Sean Mannion entered the season playing backup to Ryan Katz. However, that experiment quickly disappointed and Mannion was thrust into the starting role. Instead of struggling, he thrived.
Mannion threw for 3,332 yards last season, with a 64.5% completion rate. He broke 300 yards in four of his 10 starts. He became the real deal when he threw for 376 yards and 4 touchdowns against Washington State at CenturyLink Field.
The reigns have been passed, and it’s Sean Mannion leading the offense. He’s got a great arm, and it’s only going to get better for this kid. The offense should be high flying in 2012, and it all starts here.
If there was ever a silver lining in 2011 it would have to be the coming out party of Markus Wheaton. With incredible reach, blazing speed and an uncanny ability to spread the field, No. 2 was by far the most exciting Beaver to watch in 2011.
Despite new recruits, and the further development of old ones, there’s still no Beaver more exciting and explosive than Markus Wheaton.
Wheaton is a guy who has consistently improved from season to season.
His 986 receiving yards in 2011 were best on the team, and he was eighth in the Pac 12 with 82.2 yards per game.
Every snap Wheaton is hustling and pushing, breaking down field and weaving his routes across the gridiron.
With a more developed QB and partner in crime—AKA Brandin Cooks—there’s no reason that Wheaton can’t be the best Pac 12 receiver in 2012.