Riley expects QB choice early in fall camp

Oregon State football coach Mike Riley knows the question will be asked ... again ... and again ... and again.

Thus, it's no surprise that the quarterback question took center stage on Wednesday when's Ted Miller interviewed Riley as part of a mini-media day at the sports network's headquarters in Bristol, Conn.

Junior Sean Mannion enters the season fifth at OSU for career passing yards with 5,774 and passing TDs with 31.

Senior Cody Vaz has five career starts — all last season — with the first occurring when Mannion went down with a knee injury.

So, who will start on Aug. 31 in the opener against Eastern Washington?

"I'm really proud of the fact that we have both of these guys," Riley said. "They're good guys and good workers, well respected and we've won games with both of them."

Riley did admit that a decision will need to be made sooner than later in fall camp, which begins Aug. 5.

"We've really tried to look at this thing as spring practice as just being further development and then of course, we're going to have to make a decision pretty early in fall camp," Riley said. "I feel pretty good about both of them and where they're at and how they're competing."

The Pac-12's regular media day will be staged today in Culver City, Calif.

Based on the preseason team captain vote, it could be interpreted that the players favor Mannion, who was chosen for that role along with Rashaad Reynolds, Brandin Cooks, Grant Enger and Michael Doctor.

Riley made the point that Vaz also received a lot of team captain votes.

"Sean made an impact for this team when he was a freshman just with his work ethic so he's kind of built that up over a long period of time, and he was a starter for a good bit of that redshirt freshman year, so he's been doing it a little bit longer," Riley said as an analysis of the team vote.

"I don't think our (the coaches) final decision can be affected by something like that but I sure appreciate it," he added. "I'm glad both guys were recognized with a lot of votes by our own team."

The fact that each QB candidate received support as a leader serves as an indicator of how much they are respected by teammates.

"That's pretty good for a team when more and more guys get looked at as leaders anyway," Riley said. "But we're going to let the football part of it and production part of it and all that as we go through fall camp play obviously the major part of our decision."

Riley said not all players are cleared to practice just yet.

"We're still going through some stuff at this late date finding out if a couple guys are going to make it," Riley said. "We should be OK depth-wise but we certainly want as many opportunities for players to make an impact."

"We would like obviously all the guys we have recruited to be in camp and I don't know if that's going to take place or not," he added.

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