For four years, Mike Riley and the Oregon State Beavers relied on CB, and all-purpose threat, Jordan Poyer to make plays when they needed to be made. Whether it was locking down on a wide receiver or providing a spark in the return game, Poyer was there. Now, it’s time to move on to the NFL for the former consensus All-American and Oregon State is now taxed with finding his replacement.
As far as Poyer’s CB position goes, it’s more or less a two-man battle.
One one hand, the Beavers coaching staff will take a hard look at incoming junior college transfer, Steven Nelson. Signed by OSU last December out of the College of the Sequoias in Northern California, Nelson recorded 71 tackles with six interceptions in his two JUCO seasons. At 6-0 and 185lbs., Nelson is nearly the mirror image of Poyer, however may not possess quite the athleticism that Poyer did. But, Nelson’s outstanding cover skills should definitely catch some of the coach’s attention this spring.
The Beavers’ second option at corner is the one with the veteran experience. Senior Sean Martin has seen significant time at the corner slot, especially last season, filling in for an injured Poyer at one point. Recording two interceptions last season and proving to be a more than suitable cover replacement while Poyer was out, Martin gave folks an early look into what he’s exactly capable of.
Aside from the ongoing quarterback battle in Corvallis, this battle may be the most intriguing to watch play out over the summer.
When it comes to replacing his contributions as a return man on special teams, this may not turn into as much of a battle as replacing his defensive spot is.
Fellow kick returner and backup running back Terron Ward is expected, as of right now, to pick up most of the slack in that department.