All eyes on Oregon State's defense, quarterbacks at Dam City Showcase

Lindsey Wisniewski
NBC Sports Northwest
Is this the year second-year coach Jonathan Smith takes Oregon State to new heights?

All eyes on Oregon State's defense, quarterbacks at Dam City Showcase

Is this the year second-year coach Jonathan Smith takes Oregon State to new heights?

All eyes on Oregon State's defense, quarterbacks at Dam City Showcase originally appeared on nbcsportsnorthwest.com

Oregon State fans in the Portland metro area can get their first look at 2019 Beavers football team this Saturday. 

Like previous years, Oregon State wiill host the Dam City Showcase at Mountainside High School in Beaverton. The practice will take place between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and will be open to the public. Fans will also have the opportunity to get autographs from some of their favorite players.

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The Beavers are looking to build upon their 2-10 season in 2018, the team's third last-place finish in four years. Oregon State is returning 20 of its 25 starters, including specialists. This will be the second season for coach Jonathan Smith, who played quarterback at Oregon State and led the Beavers to a No. 4 ranking during the 2000 season.

Is this the year Smith takes Oregon State to new heights? 

The quarterback race is on

Some things to keep an eye on this Saturday? Oregon State's quarterback situation. Last season, Jake Luton and Conor Blount shared the duties, but Blount has since transferred out of the program. Luckily for the Beavers, Luton is back after petitioning for another year of eligibility and he will compete once again for the starting gig.

Some other quarterbacks to watch include junior Jack Colletto, redshirt sophomore Aidan Willard, redshirt sophomore Nick Moore, freshman Jackson Chryst and redshirt sophomore Tristan Gebbia, who performed well at OSU's spring practice at Prothro Field. Gebbia, a four-star prospect out of Calabasas High School in California, transferred to Oregon State from Nebraska last fall and recently ran the Beavers scout team. 

While it seems like Luton and Gebbia are the clear frontrunners for the starting quarterback nod, Beavs fans will get their first taste of the QB competition during Saturday's practice.

Focus on defense

Oregon State's defense ranked dead last in the Pac-12 last season, allowing 45.7 points per game, approximately 12 points per game worst than any other team in the conference. It will be interesting to see what strides Oregon State has made to improve its d-line from last year.

The good news is the Beavers should get some help from the incoming recruiting class, which includes three-star linebacker Omar Speights and three-star defensive lineman Evan Bennett and Jordan Whittley.

So, what's up next for Beaver football fans? The Oregon State Spring Game will be held on Saturday, April 20 at Reser Stadium in Corvallis. 

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