OSU Report w/ Jordan Whitley: Woods & Ward Talk Expectations
The first week of spring practice didn't end with a bang, but rather a beat. A very, very loud one.
50 Cent and Ne-Yo's “Baby By Me” blasted through the speakers today courtesy of DJ Cloud Nine's bright pink turntables, making Merrit-Truax feel more like a club in Panama City Beach during spring break than an indoor practice facility. It was so loud, you couldn't even hear the screams and shouts of Coach Cavanaugh.
But you won't hear me complaining. I loved every second of it. At one point, it seemed as if the entire secondary played in lock step to the rhythm of “Black and Yellow.” But maybe that was just me.
“It livens up practice,” said Storm Woods. “Brandin and I were goofy dancing.”
This new installment is part of fun-day Friday, but in reality, it's all about focus Friday.
“At the same time it makes us focus on the ball as a running back,” added Woods. “Because we can't always hear the cadence, just like in the games. It's not too early to start working on that.”
Coach Riley didn't have too much to say about it, passing the credit to Ryan Gunderson, but he seemed to enjoy it nonetheless, "It doesn't really matter if it's crowd noise or music as long as it makes it harder to pay attention."
All fun aside, the Beavers know very well the job they're here to do, and from watching practice every day this week, that is very evident.
Storm Woods and Terron Ward compete back and forth for big plays; Coach Brennan shouts at Malick Gilmore to get shoes that fit; Markus Wheaton holds out a pad to keep receivers vertical after a catch; an injured Tyler Anderson works from the sidelines with the running backs; Sean Mannion talks about how confident he is throwing the ball, that he's never felt better in practice; Rashaad Reynolds coaches up younger guys between drills.
Yes, it's still early. There's still a quarterback to be named, a hurt elbow for Isaac Seumalo to work through and a shoulder injury for Richard Mullaney to recover from; there's still a hole to fill in the receiver position (Obum Gwachum? Malik Gilmore?), and cornerback newcomer Steven Nelson has high expectations to meet and big shoes to fill (Coach Riley says he's been impressed thus far. "I like him. I think he looks like a very natural athlete. Natural player. Really a hard worker").
There are many questions that remain, but this week, one has been answered: the Beavers are a team in sync, with or without the tunes of Kanye West.