Oregon State football heads into game week

Head+Coach+Jonathan+Smith+talks+about+the+selected+captains+of+the+football+team+post+practice+Friday+afternoon.+All+captains+were+selected+based+on+votes+from+players.

Sam Misa, OMN Photographer

Head Coach Jonathan Smith talks about the selected captains of the football team post practice Friday afternoon. All captains were selected based on votes from players.

Ryan Harlan, Sports Contributor

The Oregon State Football Team completed the home stretch of fall training camp on Tuesday and with the season opener quickly approaching, the team is eager to get the 2022 football season underway on Sept 3. 

“I know I am excited,” said head coach Jonathan Smith. “This place is going to be unique with the stadium, the renovations, and all that. It’ll be great to be back with Beaver Nation on Saturday night.” 

With training camp complete, the team enters the 2022 football season relatively healthy and unscathed by injuries except for two players who won’t be available for the season opener, redshirt sophomore linebacker Ryan Franke and sophomore defensive lineman Sione Lolohea. Franke is out for the season with a knee injury and Lolohea missed practices with an unspecified injury. 

Even with those injuries, the Beavers could get a player back from injury as redshirt-junior defensive back Alton Julian, who missed the second half of the 2021 season due to a knee injury, could llikely see playing time against Boise State after taking more practice reps in Friday’s practice. 

Beaver Football transitions into game week preparations with fall training camp behind them, but there are things left for Smith and the coaching staff to figure out before preparations against Boise State can get underway. 

Those things being team captains and starters for the team and that was sorted out in the days prior to the matchup against Boise State. Since the start of Smith’s tenure as the head coach, it has been customary for him to name starters after the conclusion of training camp. 

On Wednesday, Beaver Football announced their six team captains for the 2022 football season. Captains were determined by the vote of the players. 

The captains are quarterback Tristan Gebbia, outside linebacker Kyrei Fisher-Morris, defensive back Jaydon Grant, inside linebacker Omar Speights, offensive linemann Brandon Kipper, and offensive lineman Jake Levengood. 

Smith spoke after Friday’s practice about the players selected as captains for the 2022 football season.  

“I was really excited about that group,” Smith said. “There was a separation from that group of six to the next guys, I was impressed that 27 different guys got votes, you just again talk about the influence of a bunch of leaders on this team.”  

Gebbia and Grant are now three-time captains with the selection, having been named captains for the 2020 and 2021 football season respectively. 

Smith spoke highly of having both Gebbia and Grant named as captains for the past three seasons. 

“I think it’s a benefit, especially those guys they’ve been there and have put a lot of work in. You know, they know how to do things at a high level,” Smith said. 

Starters were named after conclusion of Monday’s practice alongside the official depth chart, the position garnering the most interest throughout camp was quarterback, which redshirt-junior quarterback Chance Nolan was officially named as the starter for the Beavers on Monday. .   

“It’s such a team game, I get the quarterback interest,” Smith said. “I played quarterback but there’s a bunch of starters, twenty-two of them and we’ll announce them on Monday.” 

With the announcement of Nolan being named the starter at quarterback, other starters include five of the six team captains, Gebbia who started for the Beavers in 2020 will compete against Ben Gulbranson in practice to backup Nolan each game week. 

Smith also mentioned that a couple of freshmen will likely see some playing time this season, which include freshman running back Damien Martinez, freshman offensive lineman Dylan Lopez, and freshman tight end Jack Velling. 

The Beavers had a scheduled practice on Saturday, the goal of which according to Smith is to get the players accustomed to playing in Reser stadium for nighttime games.

“The lights are a little different and that’s something where you go to catch the ball, where your eye level is at,” Smith said, “the wind is going to be a little bit different, and we’ll have to experience it to see if it’s a whole lot different with people in the stadium.” 

The effects of the renovations of Reser Stadium, which will remain to be seen until the Oregon State Beavers open the 2022 football season at home when they take on the Boise State Broncos on Sept. 3 at 7:30 p.m. at Reser Stadium.