Coming off a full year as the starting quarterback of the Oregon State Beavers in 2010, where he threw for 2401 yards and 18 touchdowns to only 11 interceptions and had OSU on the brink of getting to a bowl game, junior Ryan Katz saw the Beavers 2011 home opener against Sacramento State spoiling before his eyes on Sept. 3.
The junior from Samohi had thrown one interception and only led one scoring drive as the Beavers were down 14-3 at halftime.
“I played for 30 minutes in the first game and that was it,” Katz said.
OSU coach Mike Riley sent in redshirt freshman Sean Mannion for Katz, and Mannion started the final 11 games for the Beavers. OSU finished their season 3-9 with the loss to Oregon this past Saturday. With a year of eligibility left, Katz will transfer to another program.
“I came in as the starter, and they decided to go in a different direction,” Katz said. “I was kind of blindsided by it. I was surprised by it. My teammates were surprised by it.”
In the Civil War against Oregon in the 2010 season finale, Katz broke his wrist, which caused him to miss workouts in the offseason. But by fall camp, he was 100 percent and taking reps with the first team. He said there was no competition in the fall camp. Not even a hint.
“If things were an open competition, you battle it out, the best guy wins. I’m all for that,” Katz said. “That’s not how it was portrayed. I just wasn’t given the opportunity this year.”
Katz will complete his undergrad at the end of the current OSU quarter. He plans to enroll in a master’s program at another university in January. This will allow him to play spring ball and give him chance to compete for the quarterback position in 2012 without redshirting, the same way Russell Wilson did for the Wisconsin Badgers this season. Katz said he had a rare opportunity to transfer and compete right away and he is taking it.
In a press release on the Oregon State athletic website, Coach Riley said, “I want to thank Ryan for his contributions at Oregon State and he leaves our school with my utmost respect. Everybody associated with the Oregon State football program wishes him great success in his future endeavors.”
Katz said it was not an easy decision to leave the Beavers.
“I’ve considered Oregon State home for the last four years. I love Oregon State, but I have to do what’s best for me both academically and athletically.”
Katz said he is looking for the best fit, being the experienced quarterback who is “the missing piece” that takes a team to another level.
“I’m confident in myself. I know I can still play football. I still believe in myself. I have some experience under my belt and I want to help a team win some ball games.”
Katz did not disclose the schools showing interest but said a decision will come soon to allow him enough time to enroll. By NCAA rule, Katz is not allowed to transfer to another Pac-12 school.