CORVALLIS, Ore. — Sean Mannion looks – and sounds – like a whole new person this camp. He’s more vocal during practice and opens up to the media much more than last year.
He’s also a team captain. Head Coach Mike Riley thinks Mannion’s the first team-elected sophomore during his time in Corvallis.
A redshirt season combined with almost a full season as a starter certainly helps his confidence and overall knowledge of the offense.
But there’s also probably some sense of relief for Mannion this fall. Ryan Katz – last year’s starting quarterback coming out of fall camp – is no longer with Oregon State after transferring to San Diego State. While neither Mannion nor Katz openly admitted to the abrupt and unexpected quarterback change being awkward – it was an awkward situation.
Mannion still isn’t crediting Katz’s departure for his increased confidence.
“I’d say the most change comes from just the experience from playing last year,” Mannion said. “I think that outweighs any other sort of changes.”
One of those “other sort of changes” includes Katz not being on the team. Mannion doesn’t have to feel bad about being the guy who stole a job.
Now – he is the guy.
Thursday Practice Notes
– OL Colin Kelly sat out practice again. I overheard him telling other teammates on the sideline that it’s just precautionary but that his left knee still felt stiff. Riley told the media after practice Kelly hyper-extended his left knee but that he expects him to return to practice no later than Saturday.
– Brandin Cooks continues to look better each time he’s on the field. It’s really fun to watch him go at it one-on-one against Jordan Poyer.
– Speaking of Poyer, given that he’s a potential first round pick in next year’s NFL Draft, I asked Poyer a few hypothetical questions (i.e. which NFL quarterback he most wants to intercept/sack and if he thinks he could lock down Calvin Johnson). His answers, especially re: Calvin Johnson, are pretty entertaining. Click the video player above to watch the interview.