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Beavers hope to do some scrimmaging

CORVALLIS — News from Monday's Oregon State practice session at Tommy Prothro Field …

• Overcast skies gave way to sun as the Beavers' workout ended, bringing a smile to coach Mike Riley's face.

"It's a good day," Riley said. "I wish the weather would be like this the rest of spring ball."

The Beavers continued to implement layers of both their offensive and defensive schemes, ending with a skeleton scrimmage that had both sides hitting to the whistle -- though tacklers were prohibited from bringing the ballcarrier to the ground.

"There's a fine line there," Riley said. "It's good for us to have some contact, and that's going to happen with guys eager to make an impression. It's been fun to watch the enthusiasm and see players get after it so hard."

Riley has indicated he hopes to have some live scrimmages prior to and during the May 3 spring game. One of the reasons is he wants to get a look at young running backs Chris Brown (a sophomore) and Damien Haskins (a redshirt freshman) to find out if they are ready to challenge incumbents Storm Woods and Terron Ward for playing time.

• No word yet on the eligibility of quarterback Luke Del Rio, who has appealed to the NCAA for immediate eligibility after transferring from Alabama.

Del Rio -- son of Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio -- was an unrecruited walk-on at Alabama. Since he didn't play in a game for the Crimson Tide, the Del Rios and Oregon State officials believe he should be considered a redshirt freshman this fall.

"We were anticipating (an NCAA ruling) early this week," Riley said. "We're hoping we'll hear any time."

Del Rio said his father received an email from an NCAA official late last week.

"He said it would happen this week," Del Rio said. "It's been so long since I sent everything in, I'm waiting for any news now. I'm tired of playing the waiting game."

The 6-2 Del Rio now weighs 215 pounds, 30 pounds more than he weighed as a prep senior.

"Just a matter of growing and maturing together with hard work," he said. "I was a late bloomer. I was 5-4 in eighth grade. Being on the weight program at Alabama, plus here and with the Broncos -- it all helps."

NOTES: Visitors to Corvallis Monday included ex-Beavers James Dockery, now with Carolina, and Scott Crichton, training for the upcoming NFL draft. Dockery, rehabbing from surgeries on his shoulder and hand, was in town visiting his girlfriend and watching practice. Crichton was lodged in the Sports Performance Center, lifting weights as Riley performed a yoga workout next to him. ... Last season, with Oregon State's linebacker situation depleted through injury, safety Cyril Noland-Lewis was moved to outside 'backer and saw extensive playing time. Now linebacker is a position of depth, with starters D.J. Alexander, Michael Doctor and Jabral Johnson backed up by players with plenty of experience, including Caleb Saulo, Darrell Songy and Rommel Mageo. So Lewis, a 6-foot, 210-pound sophomore, is back at safety, where he figures to compete for the first backup behind starters Ryan Murphy and Tyreque Zimmerman. … Tight end Connor Hamlett said he is "close to 100 percent" following January surgery to repair a meniscus tear on his right knee. … The new quarterback for the Portland Thunder of the Arena Football League, Danny Southwick, had a cup of coffee at Oregon State. The step-son of famed talk-show host Larry King spent the spring of 2003 at OSU, competing with Adam Rothenfluh and Anton Clarkson to serve as Derek Anderson's backup. Southwick left before playing a down for the Beavers, later playing at Dixie State JC in St. George, Utah., and at Occidental. He has been playing arena ball at various levels since 2011.

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