CORVALLIS -- Oregon State's offense has again sputtered through the first three games of the 2017 season, ranking 92nd nationally in scoring (25.3 points per game) and 96th in yards per game (356.7).
But the Beavers could get a significant lift this week. Starting slot receiver Seth Collins (finger) has been upgraded to probable to play Saturday at Washington State on OSU's latest injury report and was back practicing Tuesday.
"He's just a firecracker," quarterback Jake Luton said of Collins. "He has that spark. He just comes out, and everyone just kind of feeds off of it. He's the kind of guy that any ball that you throw, he doesn't believe it's out of his reach. You know he's going to do everything that he can to make that play.
"That's something that you have to love, and the whole team loves."
Collins was working with the first-team offense in a red no-contact jersey, his first extensive full-speed reps that the media could view since his injury occurred during fall camp in mid-August.
But Collins has stayed engaged throughout his absence. During 11-on-11 team periods, he'd park behind the receivers and offer tips and encouragement to them and Luton. During lighter practices, he'd run routes but just would not catch the ball. And he was easy to spot during pregame warm-ups, grooving along to the music and using his fiery demeanor to pump up teammates.
Collins was OSU's second-leading receiver in 2016, totaling 36 catches for 418 yards and one touchdown in his first full season since converting from quarterback. Whenever he makes his debut, it will also be his first time back on the field since he missed the final two games of last season after being hospitalized with an illness.
"We're gonna get him in there and utilize him and try to get him up to speed," offensive coordinator Kevin McGiven said.