CORVALLIS, Ore.– Day two of the Beavers’ fall camp is in the books. There was some more integration between offense and defense and the pace seemed to pick up a little bit. Down in the Eugene, the Ducks are trying to figure out who will be throwing the ball this season. Oregon State is working to make sure they can run it. There is, of course, plenty of interest in the running back competition. But what is arguably more important than who gets the bulk of the carries, is the development and improvement of the offensive line, a unit that has struggled in the past couple of years.
“We’ve really been getting back to basics, working on our technique and going back to simplify things,” said redshirt senior Colin Kelly, “our coach always says it starts with us [on the O-Line]. Our future is bright for sure.”
And the lineman everyone is talking about is true freshman and Corvallis High School graduate, Isaac Seumalo.
“He looks really confident and really relaxed at the line of scrimmage making calls,” said quarterback Sean Mannion, “I know he’s a real smart guy and obviously is physically ready, so I’ve been really impressed with Isaac the first two days.”
“[Seumalo] just fits in physically right now. Obviously there’s a lot of learning, but we function pretty decently with him in there,” said head coach Mike Riley, “this is a mature, tough, bright young man. I think all the pressure of getting it right, and competing and executing, I think he likes it.”
There have been plenty of questions as to what Seumalo’s role would be as a true freshman. In the first two days, he has been taking snaps at center with the first team.
“Isaac has been great the first two practices. There haven’t been any issues with the snap, which is the first and most important thing in the quarterback-center exchange,” said Mannion
Seumalo’s progress and success at center will be monitored throughout camp as the Beavers try to solidify their depth chart along the offensive line.
OSU is in the Seumalo Blood
Isaac isn’t the only Seumalo who can be found on Prothro Field during fall camp. In fact, Beaver football is in his family’s blood. His older brother, Andrew, plays on the defensive line and is also one of the team’s captains. His father, Joe, coaches the D-line, and has to juggle being a coach and a dad.
“It’s hard. It’s a little bit of a challenge,” said Joe, “It’s funny how football is no different than life’s lessons. It’s just been a great deal for me to see [his sons] grow and develop, and fall and pick themselves back up.”
Most brothers have a friendly (or sometimes unfriendly) rivalry. Now that he’s at his brother’s school, does Isaac feel like he has any edge?
“No, man,” he said, “it’s like [Andrew’s] third season. He’s like an all Pac-12 guy.”
For those interested in seeing the two compete against one another, Mike Riley and the Beavers expect to be in full pads this weekend.