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MailTribune.com
  • Big step for Beavers' Delva, Hautau

    The junior college transfers add depth to OSU defensive line
  • In this era of high-powered, lightning-fast offenses, quality defensive depth is at a premium.
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  • In this era of high-powered, lightning-fast offenses, quality defensive depth is at a premium.
    At Oregon State, defensive tackle starters Andrew Seumalo and Castro Masaniai have moved on, leaving little experience at the position.
    The coaching staff responded by signing some junior college players and two — Edwin Delva and Siale Hautau — have been with the Beavers since the spring.
    Right now they're running mostly with the second team while Mana Rosa and John Braun are the ones.
    All of the players need to get up to speed before the start of the season.
    "It's a huge learning curve for everyone, even myself being here for a long time," Rosa said.
    "As far as the JC guys, they're definitely learning faster than normal guys but the learning curve is still high. Everyone's still learning and it's something that's going to click. It just takes time."
    Delva and Hautau will give the Beavers an immediate boost to their depth.
    The defensive coaches rotate the tackles in and out of games to keep them fresh and sharp.
    That's particularly important when dealing with teams such as Oregon and Arizona that push the tempo.
    "It's always good to have depth," defensive line coach Joe Seumalo said. "Also the condition part of it plays in the fact as well because sometimes you can't pull them out. Sometimes you can't sub.
    "So those high-tempo offenses definitely puts a little bit of a challenge condition-wise and mentally. So we've got to be able to be ready for all that, be prepared for it."
    The JC players also add some size to the spot.
    Delva is 6-foot-3, 300-pounds and Hautau is 6-1, 345.
    They're the biggest players at defensive tackle for the Beavers, along with Noke Tago (6-1, 306).
    Delva said he's quick off the ball and a good pass rusher. Hautau has the potential to disrupt the opponent's run game.
    Both are busy learning how to play in the Beavers' system.
    "When I first got here I was nervous that it was going to be different than where I came from in JC and everything was different. It's all new," Hautau said. "Back in JC we never did this kind of stuff.
    "Over here it's a lot harder. Everyone's trying to play and fight for their spot."
    Hautau said he's trying to get adjusted to the defensive line drills in practice.
    They're not quite the same as he's used to from JC.
    "It was hard for me to get the double-team split and all the stunts and everything. It takes time to learn it and once you get it down, you've got to play fast," he said.
    "For me, I feel like I'm not there yet. I'm still at the bottom, still learning. Trying to learn the plays. I'm not there yet. Once I get things down, then I'll be there, so it will take time."
    Delva said the process is getting better.
    During the spring everything came at him fast, but the game has slowed for him this fall.
    "So I'm catching on a little better, I'm doing what coach asks me to do a little better and I think Siale's doing the same thing," Delva said. "So I'm pretty confident about going in there right away."
    Delva goes through his playbook every evening.
    He said learning the plays is the toughest part of fall camp.
    "I'm learning the plays every day and I have to remember them and you've got a lot of things to remember like alignment on a play, the stunts you've got to do," he said.
    "The playbook's kind of difficult for me right now, but I'm getting it. That's why I go every night, so I just need to keep doing it, get repetitions at it and it will be second-nature to me."
    Seumalo is confident the players will keep improving and be good to go against Eastern Washington.
    "I think they're doing a good job," he said. "We've got a couple weeks here before we play somebody different, so I think they'll progress fine."
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