This week, another new development in the sports world attempting to navigate through the coronavirus pandemic has surfaced, and one that not many football fans are fond of: high school football in California and Washington has been pushed to spring 2021. Oregon is holding off for now to "exhaust all options" before making that decision.
What does this mean for college football? That remains unclear at this time.
However, the student-athletes are still preparing for what may come.
One of those players is Oregon State offensive lineman Brandon Kipper.
Kipper joined the Talkin' Beavers podcast and discussed how it feels to be preparing for a college football season during a pandemic.
I think I have trained my whole life to play college football and to have this opportunity. So for all the sudden for things to change, it was a very shocking feeling… I think this whole experience has made me appreciate the little things. — Brandon Kipper
The 6-foot-6, 304-pound redshirt-junior offensive lineman was recently named to the 2020 Outland Trophy preseason watch list, which is presented to the nation’s best interior lineman.
The Beavs carried a lot of momentum from last season, finishing second in the Pac-12 North standings and one game shy of being eligible for a bowl game, the best finish since the 2016 season when Oregon State finished third in the North.
Kipper has been a big part (emphasis on the big) of Oregon State’s success running the ball lately and blocking for one of the best running backs in the league, Jermar Jefferson. Last season, the Beavs finished fourth in the conference in rushing yards per game (156.7).
Another year in head coach Jonathan Smith’s system, arguably the best linebacker core in the conference, landing a dynamic JUCO quarterback transfer, and things were trending upwards in Corvallis, Oregon.
Then the pandemic struck.
The latest reports from Oregon State, announced in late June, that there was only one student-athlete that tested positive for COVID-19, but that student’s identity or the sport he or she played was kept in house. The testing occurred during the second week that student-athletes were let back on campus.
While numbers are down in Corvallis, Oregon, the status of football in the fall is still up for question. The Pac-12 conference canceled all non-conference games, following the Big Ten conference’s lead, heading into this season.
As Kipper states in the video above, the players will begin in-person meetings soon which is another good sign, but all for preparation for whenever the season will start. For a player like Kipper, who allowed just one sack in 2019, preparation and appreciating the little things are everything even amidst all this uncertainty.
When the time comes, Kipper and the Beavs will be ready.
You can listen to the full Talkin’ Beavers Podcast with host Ron Callan here.