Oregon State looks to replace running back Quizz

CORVALLIS — Oregon State's most striking task this spring is to move on without prolific running back Jacquizz Rodgers.

The Beavers will also have to practice — at least for now — without older brother James Rodgers. The fifth-year senior flanker had a pair of surgeries on his left knee in the offseason and won't be able to play for several months.

But those weren't the only notable absences when Oregon State opened spring practice. The Beavers also were without quarterback Ryan Katz, who broke a bone in his throwing hand during the loss to Oregon in the Civil War last December.

Jacquizz Rodgers, known as Quizz, decided to skip his senior season at Oregon State and enter the NFL draft. He ended his college career ranked sixth on the Pac-10's career rushing list with 3,877 yards, passing Arizona's Trung Canidate and former Beaver Yvenson Bernard. He had 46 career rushing touchdowns.

The Beavers finished 5-7 overall last year and were shut out of the postseason for the first time since 2005. The team was thwarted by a tough schedule and James Rodgers' injury.

When he was hurt, the elder Rodgers was ranked sixth in the nation with an average of 176.75 all-purpose yards. He was averaging 18.33 yards on punt returns and 28.67 yards on kickoff returns.

But more than that, he was an inspirational leader for the Beavers, who would later appeal for, and received, an additional year of eligibility for him.

James Rodgers was at Monday's practice without his crutches, which coach Mike Riley considered a good sign. Rodgers has opted to wear his younger brother's No. 1 this season.

Some had expected that Quizz would stay at Oregon State when his brother got the approval to return. But there are plenty of hopefuls looking to take his former job as the team's No. 1 tailback, too, including Ryan McCants, Jordan Jenkins and Jovan Stevenson. McCants seems to have the inside track.

The Beavers also introduced new wide receivers coach Brent Brennan and running backs coach Chris Brasfield.

The Beavers resume spring drills today. Coach Riley does not expect to hold workouts in pads until next week.

Oregon State's spring game is scheduled for April 30.

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