Chance Nolan of Oregon State is making downfield improvements, while freshman Damien Martinez is on the verge of making a heads

Chance Nolan of Oregon State is making downfield improvements, while freshman Damien Martinez is on  ...

CORVALLIS As the Beavers enter the spring stretch run, Three days remain for Oregon State and its spring practices in 2022. Here are some suggestions from offensive coordinator Brian Lindgren.

Junior Chance Nolan, who was joined by the OSU starting quarterback for his first year, was asked to make specific improvements to his game. At the forefront, make plays downfield with improved throwing accuracy, particularly in play-action situations.

The work has been extensively technical, and Nolan's footwork has been tweaked to improve accuracy.

Weve seen some positive adjustments, Lindgren said. Weve seen some progress. Hopefully well continue to see it as he continues to work on it throughout the summer. Well see it pay off for us next fall.

Nolan is easily the most capable quarterback Oregon State has ever had during the coach Jonathan Smith/Lindgren era of five years. Before Nolan, the Smith/Lindgren quarterbacks had a solid pro-style pocket passer who mostly ran to avoid the rush. Nolan gives Lindgren the opportunity to widen the playbook.

The offensive coaches struggled with the inconsistent passing last year, when Nolan made plays with his legs.

"It's a pleasure to have a guy like that who can create some plays with his feet," Lindgren said.

Tristan Gebbia, who plays in Nolan's competition this spring, is a sixth-year senior and third-year freshman. Ben Gulbranson is a part of the team for the start, but he is trying to show Lindgren and Smith that their injuries have wiped out their 2021 seasons.

Gebbia, who is recovering from a broken hamstring, can leave the clinic for the first time since suffering it in November of 2020. Lindgren said Gebbia "has always been a little bit limited outside of the pocket," but loves what he's observed.

He's been around for a long time, and he loves the system. When he's able to punch his feet, he's made some big-time throws, Lindgren said.

Gulbranson was greeted by Lindgren during Saturday's scrimmage, but Lindgren noted the offense on all four drives in which Gulbranson participated.

"It's been nice to see him back on the field. I feel like he's got a good grasp of what we're doing. He'll be in the mix," Lindgren said.

A question that often arises during post-practice interviews asks for youngsters who caught the coaches' attention. Damien Martinez, the most popular figure by a landslide, is the freshman running back.

The 6-foot, 228-pound Texan went early to school to participate in spring training. It's proved to be a worthwhile move. Martinez has taken a lot of snaps with the first and second units, and appears to fit. Martinez has demonstrated power and burst. He's as impressed with Martinez's ability to quickly pick up ideas and ideas as he is with his physical gifts.

"You can see the progress he's made from day one to what we, day 12 right now," Lindgren said. "Physically, he's about to be ready to roll this autumn, and to compete for some fun playing time.

The Oregon State defense lost several key starters of the year ago, including two who advanced to the All-Pac-12 top division (running back B.J. Baylor, center Nathan Eldridge), and a tight end (Teagan Quitoriano), who is expected to become an NFL draft pick.

While there's plenty to believe the OSU offense will be as efficient and dynamic as under Lindgren and Smith. The offensive line has size and experience, the receiving corps are deep, and tight end Luke Musgrave is on the verge of a breakout season, the running backs are capable, and the quarterback position is excellent.

Lindgren is cautious but optimistic as the Beavers have five months to figure it out before their season opener. He wants to see more offensive line depth, quarterbacks play at an higher level, and receivers turn their talents into explosive plays.

"I believe we have the potential to do it," Lindgren said.

| |Nick Daschel | |

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