Spring board

Brenden Slaughter Associate Sports Editor

After a rough 2015 season, OSU football is ready for the Spring Game

Spring practice continues for the second season under head coach Gary Andersen and the Beavers look a lot different than they did a year ago. Unlike last spring, the Beavers now have two quarterbacks with in-game experience, junior Darell Garretson and sophomore Marcus McMaryion. In addition OSU’s defense, which had a bevy of youth in 2015, returns a key number of starters.

The spring game takes place this Saturday at 1 p.m. in Reser Stadium and here are the top storylines heading into this weekend.

Dam City Showcase:

Last Saturday OSU hosted a scrimmage in Hillsboro to give the Portland area fans a chance to see the Beavers without having a far commute. The event exceeded expectations, and many players thought that the support was extremely noticeable on the field.

Junior running back Tim Cook, who has yet to suit up for the Beavers since transferring in last season, said the support was awesome to see.

“It was my first time really playing in front of Beaver Nation,” Cook said. “We enjoyed them a lot and we hope that they come back to the spring game on Saturday with the same kind of support and encouragement.”

Garretson, who had to sit out the 2015 season because of transfer rules, has also yet to play a game in an OSU uniform, enjoyed the scrimmage.

“It was fun to get out there in a game like situation with the bus ride up there, and we played in front of fans, so it was a lot of fun.”

Spring practice going quick:

In a stark contrast from last year, Andersen changed how spring practices were laid out this season. Last spring, the practices were held in two different cycles, broken up by spring break in the middle, making practice seem longer. But this year, Andersen decided to have just three and half straight weeks of practice.

The result? Players are extremely surprised at just how fast it has gone so far.

“This is the fastest spring ball that I have ever been a part of,” Garretson said. “It’s kind of nice because you get it in, and (Andersen) makes it seem like it’s during the season. I liked it, and I liked the way that everything is coming together rather than anything being dragged out.”

Most exciting part of the Spring Game:

There are always a lot of events and promotions that go into a standard OSU spring game. Whether it is the game itself, the player autograph line, the fans before the game, or the halftime entertainment. The Spring Game is made for the players, fans, and alumni to have a good time, while enjoying the product that Andersen is trying to put on the field.

But the players themselves love the spring game as well, because it gives them one final in-game tuneup before the grueling season that starts in fall camp.

“I think the one thing that everyone is excited to do is to get out in front of our fans, students and friends,” Garretson said. “(Those of us) especially on offense, want to get out and redeem ourselves from the (Dam City) showcase.

“It’s pretty cool to head into Reser,” Cook said. “It’s gonna be my first scrimmage at home and it’s going to feel really good to play in front of the fans. I hope they bring the energy because we will bring it back.”

Junior wide receiver Jordan Villamin, is very excited for the spring game because, he wants to be back in front of the Reser crowd.

“I just want to be back in Reser just playing,” Villamin said. “I like playing in the stadium because it gives a nice feel, along with playing in front of the fans. I love interacting with people and having fun, and playing in Reser is definitely a big plus.”

Reser Stadium construction update:

Garretson was also able to chime in regarding how the construction of Valley Football Center is coming along, and even how he has to occasionally watch where he is going.

“Sometimes you gotta wait to walk across the street cause you will see big pieces of metal flying around above you,” Garretson said with a chuckle. “They are doing a fantastic job and are getting it done way faster than any of us expected.”