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Beavers gear up for spring practice

CORVALLIS — Spring football practices start Monday for Oregon State and the Beavers are looking to improve on a tough 2015 season.

In the months following the Civil War game, a few players have left the program for other teams and the coaching staff went through a makeover.

Coach Gary Andersen, new defensive coordinator Kevin Clune and new offensive co-coordinators Kevin McGiven and T.J. Woods will get their first on-field work with the Beavers next week.

Each practice will be divided into four quarters and include a halftime to give the players a game-like feel.

"So as we go through practices it will be based like a game," Andersen said. "We're going to be out there for a long period of time on certain days. I want to have every kid understand how long three hours and some change is and that's how long a game is."

The competition for starting quarterback will begin this spring between Utah State transfer Darrell Garretson, sophomore Marcus McMaryion and true freshman Mason Moran.

Andersen said he would like to have a starter in place by the end of spring.

Garretson was voted as one of the team's spring captains despite being limited to running the scout team in the fall while sitting out his required one season.

"The team voted him and it wasn't even close, so he will be one of captains as we go through spring and we'll continue on and we'll vote again in the fall," Andersen said.

"He handles himself like a pro, but he's a very good teammate on and off the field and the kids know his experience. They see what he's done and they respect what he did in his starts that he's had as a Division I quarterback. He's had some good things come his way and we're excited to get him on the field."

Ryan Nall will be back at running back after rushing for 174 yards with a 66-yard touchdown run against Oregon.

Paul Lucas also got some snaps at running back last season, but Andersen said Lucas will concentrate a little more on developing at receiver during the spring.

"Paul will be used in multiple ways in the offense," Andersen said. "It will be fun to see that."

Regarding running backs, Tim Cook will be back on the field and junior college transfer Kyle White will join the team. Andersen said Damien Haskins had an excellent offseason.

Deltron Sands has left the team and Chris Brown has retired from football due to medical reasons.

"At the end of the day, by the time we go play we need three really, really talented running backs to be able to win in this conference, in my opinion," Andersen said. "If we have two, it lessens our chances. If we have one, it's really hard to win."

The Beavers have plenty of depth on the offensive line despite the losses of Isaac Seumalo and Josh Mitchell.

The Beavers get Gavin Andrews back from a season-ending injury last year and he will work at right tackle along with starter Dustin Stanton, whom Andersen said put on about 15 pounds. Stanton was listed at 6-foot-6 and 300 pounds on the 2015 roster.

Leo Fuimaono has the inside track at center to start the spring.

Starting left tackle Sean Harlow will be held out of action to rest his ankle and Drew Clarkson is also out.