OSU finally runs out of Rodgers
Monday marks the beginning of a new era for Oregon State football.
For the first fall camp in five years, one of the most recognized names in Beavers history will be absent. Every OSU fan knew this day would come eventually, as both the Brothers Rodgers were destined for bigger things once their careers in orange and black were finished.
The brothers: James and Jaquizz; will never truly be replaced, but the current Oregon State offense is loaded with speed and agility that should help ease the departures.
Although sophomore running back Malcolm Agnew endured an injury-plagued freshman year, he flashed occasional Quizz-like brilliance and will be a fixture in this year's backfield along with oft-injured junior Jovan Stevenson and fellow sophomore Terron Ward.
Stevenson, also known for his speed and agility, has great hands out of the backfield and Ward displays "lightning in a bottle" capabilities, so it will be curious how Beavers head coach Mike Riley allocates touches on a game-by-game basis.
The veteran at the skill positions, Markus Wheaton, returns for his senior season and will surely be used in fly-sweep packages. Sophomore speedster Brandin Cooks is also a candidate for use in the fly-sweep, and will combine with Wheaton to help stretch the field for sophomore quarterback Sean Mannion.
Cooks displayed brilliant speed on several occasions last season, particularly in his first career touchdown reception, one where he got behind BYU defenders and tracked a Mannion pass into the end zone. Writers and analysts talk about "Pac-12 speed," something that teams will have to be weary of when planning for the likes of Wheaton and Cooks.
One last piece to keep an eye on this fall will be sophomore wideout Obum Gwacham, a former Oregon track star who likened his skill-set to that of a former OSU great, Chad Johnson. The tall, lanky receiver has elite athleticism and game-breaking speed that goes along with being a track star. As Mannion improves his accuracy, he'll look to utilize Gwacham's large frame and long reach in the passing game, something an OSU quarterback has lacked in the past few years.
There is no lack of speed in this year's Oregon State offense, something the Rodgers Brothers can look on from on the outside and be proud of.