CORVALLIS, Ore.– As the Oregon State football team opens their fall camp schedule, one of the primary points of interest is the running back battle. The competition field was reduced by one on the first day as it was announced that Jovan Stevenson was moved from the backfield into the secondary.
The Tucson, Ariz. native was expected to compete for the starting running back job this fall. In nine games last season, Stevenson averaged 25.4 yards rushing and 17.7 yards receiving. He scored six touchdowns (five rushing; one receiving) for the Beavs.
“We are thin at [cornerback]. What we need is to find guys who can go over there and play,” head coach Mike Riley said, “[Stevenson] ran a 4.40 (forty-yard dash), he’s got good size, he’s got great awareness, he’s got good instincts. So I asked him to go over there and play corner.”
“My confidence level was finally getting to where I wanted it to be to be a running back,” Stevenson said, “sometimes life isn’t fair, and you just have to make adjustments and adapt. It’s been four years since I’ve actually backpedalled, so it’s an adjustment. I’ll pick it up. I’m here to learn and just try to help the team.”
Bud Riley Passes Away
Oregon State also announced today that Bud Riley, former assistant coach and father of current head coach Mike Riley, passed away over the weekend at the age of 86.
“Because of my dad, that’s why I’m coaching,” Mike Riley said, “I followed my dad around into the locker room since I can remember, or before that. He showed me a love for the game and a love for his players. That was him.”
Riley said he thought about postponing camp, but ultimately decided against it. Bud Riley was an assistant under Dee Andros from 1965 to 1972. After leaving to work as a head coach in the Canadian Football league, he returned to OSU in 1979 and served as the secondary coach and defensive coordinator on Craig Fertig’s staff.
A veteran of World War II, Bid Riley is survived by his wife of over 60 years May; his sons Mike, Ed and Pete.
Mike Riley said the family is in the process of making memorial arrangements.