Post-Poyer Beaver defense mixes youth with experience

CORVALLIS, Ore. - The Beavers wrapped up two-a-day practices on Monday as they prepare for Eastern Washington, a team that knows how to air it out.

The aerial assault will put Oregon State's secondary to the test. So while Corvallis waits for coach Mike Riley to name a starting quarterback, the defensive core is taking shape.

And they've got big shoes to fill: Jordan Poyer is gone. But the Beavs return plenty of new and experienced talent, including senior Rashhad Reynolds at right corner.

Battling to replace Poyer at the left corner position is junior college transfer Steven Nelson and senior Sean Martin.

Riley announced on Monday that true freshmen Dashon Hunt, a nickel back, and Brandon Arnold, a safety, will not redshirt this season. That leaves the Beavers with a good mix of players for a secondary that had 20 interceptions last year.

The defense will be all important in their season opener against Eastern Washington, a team known for their up-tempo, spread attack. Eastern Washington averaged 319 yards per game through the air last season.

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