Oregon State Beavers Spring Practice: 3 Things We Learned

    Gary Andersen ended his third spring in Corvallis with a much-needed tailwind. While the Beavers have gone just 6-18 over the last two seasons, and last bowled in 2013, they closed last year with back-to-back wins, including an emotional streak-busting victory over rival Oregon in the Civil War.

    April 5, 2017

    With Oregon State’s spring practice in the books, here’s what we know and what we learned about the Beavers as we head into summer drills.


    Gary Andersen ended his third spring in Corvallis with a much-needed tailwind. While the Beavers have gone just 6-18 over the last two seasons, and last bowled in 2013, they closed last year with back-to-back wins, including an emotional streak-busting victory over rival Oregon in the Civil War.

    1. Andersen In No Rush To Name Starting Quarterback

    Oregon State has yet to anoint a starter behind center, and it doesn’t plan to until the summer. However, the Beavers might be in their best shape at the position in years.

    Andersen has three quarterbacks, senior Darrell Garretson, junior Marcus McMaryion and JUCO All-American Jake Luton, he believes can run the offense. Garretson was the seasoned starter before getting hurt and McMaryion showed flashes, including in the defeat of the Ducks. However, Luton is the wild card in the race. The 6-7, 230-pounder has the best arm talent and strength of the trio, so he can win by flattening the learning curve between now and the summer. Andersen also hinted that different packages could be employed to maximize the talents of all of his passers.

    2. Options Emerging to Replace WR Victor Bolden

    Backs Ryan Nall and Artavis Pierce form the cornerstones of the offensive attack. But when the Beavers air it out, they’ll have targets capable of keeping the chains moving.

    If spring drills were any indication, Oregon State is about to enjoy rebound years from receivers Hunter Jarmon and Jordan Villamin and H-back Noah Togiai. Jarmon, who missed half of 2016, was one of the spring game stars with five catches for 155 yards and two long touchdowns. The 6-5, 225-pound Villamin was a bright spot in practice, too, after slumping a year ago. And the staff is especially excited about the healthy return of Togiai, an athletic 6-4, 245-pounder who figured heavily into the Beavers’ 2016 plans before suffering a September knee injury.

    3. D-Lineman Relocates to Bolster O-line

    Junior DT Sumner Houston is in the midst of making a successful shift to center to potentially replace versatile veteran Gavin Andrews.

    So far, so good on the experiment of Houston to the pivot. Andersen, who presented the move at the end of last season, feels Houston has the strength, smarts and motor to handle the new assignment. Plus, the 6-2, 294-pounder was unlikely to emerge from the growing shadows of hulking interior D-linemen Elu Aydon and Kalani Vakameilalo. Houston has also had the offseason advantage of snapping to his older brother, Bart, a former Wisconsin quarterback who played for Andersen in 2013 and 2014. While Houston hasn’t won the job yet, he did leave a positive impression in March.

    MORE: Former Missouri QB Maty Mauk Seeking Redemption, NFL Shot

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