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August 15, 2009

Dilbeck & Wheaton talk about transition to college football

A new group of freshmen hit the Prothro Practice fields this week for the first time. As they continue to adjust to college life and the rigors of being a student-athlete, BeaverBlitz caught up with Dax Dilbeck and Markus Wheaton two stand-outs from the class of 2009 who are working hard to learn the system and impress the coaches.

Both have been in Corvallis for a little over a month, participating in the Bridge Program and then transitioning right into Fall Camp. While they enjoyed getting to know their teammates, both were ready to get on the football field again this week.

"It was fun and it was nice to be done with school and try to get some football in. It was definitely, good," Dilbeck said. "I thought the speed was what I expected it to be. I mean, I was expecting it to be a lot faster while I was in high school so it lived up to my expectations."

College is full of transitions and both Wheaton and Dilbeck have been greeted with that reality early. For Dilbeck it was a position change right before Fall Camp began, and for Wheaton it was the realization that the competition is fierce.

"I've been thinking that I'd be playing safety, but the coaches had been talking about moving me to cornerback," Dilbeck said. "Then recently (Sunday evening) they decided to move me and try that out. I've been trying to pick that up. It is a little different, but I think I'll be able to transition to it pretty well."

"For me, the biggest adjustment has been the realization that I'm just another person on the field, just being average basically," Wheaton said. "So I need to work hard so that I can get back to where I am used to being (one of the best)."

Wheaton has seen a great deal of early reps as the coaches evaluate the quick wide receiver to see if he is ready for early playing time. The experience is something he appreciates, but he still feels that he has a lot to learn.

And while many athletes point to the speed of the game as the biggest transition they face, Dilbeck offered a different perspective.

"Probably the toughest transition is the mental part of the game," Dilbeck said. "It is completely different than in high school, where you can just go out there and run with the receivers. I think it will take a little bit of time, but we'll get it."

While both young men continue to learn the nuances of the Beavers system, they've settled into their new home in Corvallis and have made some great friends along the way.

"It is beautiful here," Wheaton said. "My teammates are cool and the veterans are nicer than I thought they'd be. They're taking us under their wing a little bit. I'm really loving it."

"Yeah definitely," Dilbeck added. "This beats 110 degree practices any day."


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