Two years ago, when Santa Monica High quarterback Ryan Katz accepted a scholarship to Oregon State, I asked Beaver coach Mike Riley about him.
“We’re excited about Ryan,” Riley replied.
However, it’s rare in college football for newly-arrived quarterbacks to play right away. Especially because Oregon State has two experienced quarterbacks with two years left.
They’re gone now and Katz has been running with the first team in practice.
Katz is competing with Virginia transfer Peter Lalich but has gotten most of the work with the first team offense which includes star players Jacquizz Rodgers, James Rodgers, Jordan Bishop and Darrell Catchings.
Jacquizz Rodgers ran circles in a win over USC and his brother, James, caught 91 passes last season.
Whoever becomes the quarterback, Riley wants him to play superbly like the others are expected to do.
“If we can bring our quarterback up to the rest of the offense it’s going to be good,” said Riley.
“What stands out about Ryan – always has – is he’s got really good physical ability. A great arm.”
“He’s got to learn a little more about taking something off it every once in awhile. I tell him all the time you don’t have to throw it 95 miles an hour.
Katz had the credentials college scouts like when he came out of Samohi: Good size at 6-foot-2, strong arm, and a good runner. So it’s been a matter of polishing obvious skills.
He was primarily a passer at Samohi until Coach Zach Cuda saw how effective Katz was as a runner and how much he could help the Vikings’ offense by adding that dimension.
Riley appreciates that dimension and has added more designed bootlegs to the Beavers’ offense.
Lyle Moevao and Sean Canfield were the Oregon State quarterbacks the last two years and Katz learned from them.
“Ryan has constantly improved since he came here from Santa Monica,” said Riley.
“More than vocal wise I try to lead by example,” Katz told Oregon sportswriter Ted Miller.
Oregon State’s opening game will be at TCU, a formidable opponent, especially at home. The Beavers will play USC in the Coliseum on Nov. 20.
Mirror Sports Editorsports@smmirror.com