Sean Mannion went into last year's fall camp uncertain whether he would be the starter. This season, the uncertainty centers on who will emerge as his go-to receiver.
Mannion set a Pac-12 season record for yards passing with 4,662 and threw an Oregon State-record 37 touchdown passes, third-most for a single season in conference history.
The fifth-year senior has 10,436 career yards passing and could break Matt Barkley's record of 12,274 before the end of the season.
A drop-back passer who fits perfectly into coach Mike Riley's pro-style offense, Mannion is on the preseason watch lists for a slew of honors, including the Walter Camp, Davey O'Brien and Maxwell awards.
But he'll need a new favorite target now that Brandin Cooks has moved on to the New Orleans Saints.
Cooks won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation's top wide receiver. As a junior last season, he set Pac-12 records with 128 catches for 1,730 yards. He also broke the school record with 16 touchdown receptions.
The heir apparent appears to be Richard Mullaney, who caught 52 passes for 788 yards and three touchdowns as a sophomore last season. Sophomore Victor Bolden is expected to slide into Cooks' spot at flanker, and redshirt freshman Hunter Jarmon could also see playing time.
"I think that we've got quite a few guys with capabilities. And frankly, it's gonna be a matter of who plays the best in camp," Riley said last week in a conference call with reporters who cover the team. "A lot of them haven't played very much, so they gotta come fast and make plays in camp and become reliable."
Oregon State opened fall camp on Monday. Last season, the Beavers finished 7-6, capping off the year with a 38-23 victory over Boise State in the Hawaii Bowl.
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