Beavs need guys to step up in 2013
The Oregon State football team surprised everyone last season, and the 2013 team has a chance to be even better. But that can’t happen unless players are ready to step up.
That statement is truest on offense. The Beavs scored a lot of points in 2012, but inconsistencies and cold-stretches were the reason behind too many sloppy losses.
If Oregon State is to be better in 2013, it will be up to the youngsters to step up. The team was dealt a big blow in losing Marcus Wheaton to the NFL draft, but it has enough talent to stay on track this season.
Here are some names you won’t hear much of heading into 2013, but you’ll certainly know by season’s end.
Richard Mullaney, WR
If you’ve read my write-ups on NWSB before, you know that I love Richard Mullaney. At the end of the day, Mullaney is the reason I’m not worried about OSU losing Wheaton.
This kid has a lot of talent, and he needs to be a big contributor for Oregon State in 2013. The sophomore averaged 12 yards a catch in 13 games last season as a redshirt freshman. Combined with Brandin Cooks, Mullaney will help retain Oregon State’s lethality down field.
With good speed, ridiculous catching ability and a head for the game, Mullaney has the chance at a 2013 breakout reminiscent of Cooks’ last season.
While he’s yet to be named OSU’s second starter—he didn’t practice in spring due to shoulder surgery—I have no doubt he’ll emerge from the summer in that role.
Chris Brown, RB
The Beaver’s lost Malcolm Agnew this season after the running back made the choice to transfer to Southern Illinois, and that’s opened up a spot for Chris Brown on the roster.
The redshirt freshman will play backup to Storm Woods and Terron Ward this season, but Woods’ injury history—and Riley’s love for versatile backs—will provide Brown with plenty of playing time.
At 5’10, 198 pounds, Brown is one of OSU’s more versatile running backs. He put together 77 total yards in OSU’s spring game, and has the talent to be a very James Rodgers-esque weapon.
Caleb Smith, TE
Caleb Smith was a recruit that made a lot of noise in 2012, graduating early in order to enroll at Oregon State last spring. And while it wasn’t shocking to see the true freshman make the team last season, it was surprising how little he got to play.
Smith played in 13 games last season, but only had two catches. The emergence of Colby Prince and Connor Hamlet limited what Smith got to do on the field.
While Prince is now graduated, there’s still some discourse over who Oregon State’s other starting tight end will be. Junior Tyler Perry is currently the front runner, despite having less on field experience than Smith.
Smith is a big tight end with the athleticism to control his body and make great catches. When he was first recruited he was compared at times to Rob Gronkowski. So you know at some point that talent’s going to shine through.
Gavin Andrews, OL
Gavin Andrews was another player from the 2012 recruiting class who made a lot of noise, made the team as a true freshman, but didn’t get any playing time.
Now that 2013 is here, and starting tackle Colin Kelley is gone, Andrews will get his opportunity to shine.
At 6’5, 327 pounds, Andrews is a physical blocker with the fundamentals to be a great contributor in the passing game. Combined with Isaac Seumalo—who could move to left tackle this season—Oregon State could have two of the Pac-12′s best tackles in 2013.