Quarterback Sean Mannion of the Oregon State Beavers developed quite an offseason by adding more accolades to his resume. With the honors of being named to the Johnny Unitas and Davey O’ Brien watch lists, Mannion looks to continue the momentum he established from last season, where he set the Pac-12 record for passing yards in a season and came in second overall for the NCAA with 4,662.
He’s off to a good start this season by winning the QB accuracy competition last month at the 2014 Manning Passing Academy, beating out North Carolina’s Marquise Williams, Ole Miss‘ Bo Wallace, Baylor’s Bryce Petty, Georgia’s Hutson Mason, USC’s Cody Kessler and Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, just to name a few. During the academy, Mannion became roommates with Florida State Seminoles quarterback and last year’s Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston, both are considered among the top QBs in the nation.
The Beavers opened training camp last week with Mannion as the team leader, but again go into this season as underdogs of the Pac-12. In order to help the record breaking cause for Mannion this season, Head coach Mike Riley needs to find a replacement for All-American wide receiver Brandin Cooks, who was the first-round draft pick in the NFL Draft for the New Orleans Saints after he led. A couple of receivers will be needed for the Beavers to replace the production value left from the absence of Cooks. Sophomore Victor Bolen appears to be the one who will step up into the flanker spot and will be joined by junior Richard Mullaney, who caught 52 passes with three touchdowns for the Beavers last season; both will be prime targets at the wide receiver position.
After making the decision to stay in Corvallis for his senior season, Mannion will close in on setting career records in passing for both the Pac-12 conference and OSU. He’ll also to continue to climb the list of all-time passing leaders in the NCAA, needing only 2,817 yards to break into the top 10. The Beavers have a tough conference road schedule ahead of them with games at the USC Trojans on Sept. 27, Stanford Cardinal Oct. 25 and Washington Huskies Nov. 22. Mannion undoubtedly needs to have a strong year to help raise his NFL Draft status and has his work cut out for him.