Coury follows in father’s footsteps

• Walk-on WR and son of former Beavers WR is sitting out spring

By Kevin Hampton / Corvallis Gazette-Times

Spring games

When: 11 a.m. Saturday

TV: Pac-12

When: 11 a.m. Saturday

TV: Pac-12

CORVALLIS — Spring is supposed to be the time when a football walk-on can show his stuff and maybe catch the eye of a coach.

Redshirt freshman receiver Stevie Coury worked on the scout team last season after walking on from Lake Oswego and was looking forward to getting some chances to catch the ball through April.

A torn labrum relegated him to the sideline, so Coury, ailing shoulder and all, stands by and soaks it in, watching intently as the Beavers install new aspects to their offense.

“Missing spring hurt, not being able to show the coaches what I can do and what I improved in, so I’m pretty bummed about that,” Coury said. “But I’m just trying to keep a positive attitude and just try to get back out here in the fall and help my team in any way I can.”

Coury might be seen by some as a long shot. He is a walk-on, a 5-foot-10, 150-pound receiver from in state.

He did have a few advantages going in when he decided to come to Corvallis.

His father is former Oregon State receiver Steve Coury, now the coach at Lake Oswego High School. Stevie grew up around the game and the position.

“He helped me become the man I am today and taught me at a young age just the fundamentals but never pushed me too far,” Stevie Coury said. “I love the game of football, I have fun with it, that’s why I play. But when I got into high school and it became more serious, he taught me how to really become a good receiver, taught me the fundamentals, taught me the little things that not everyone got to get from a good coach like him.”

Steve Coury did not have a lot of size or speed for a wide receiver.

He had enough quickness to get open, and when he did, he caught the ball.

Coury caught 135 passes for 1,837 yards in his career at Oregon State. As a senior in 1979, he had 66 catches for 842 yards, good enough to land him a first-team all-Pacific-10 selection and second-team All-Coast.

His dad’s playing days were done long before he was born, but Stevie has seen some film of him in action.

“He was a very good player, so I’m just trying to shadow as much of him as I can and just try to be like him as much as I can on and off the field,” Stevie Coury said.

Steve worked with Stevie to develop good hands. They worked on looking the ball in no matter the situation, whether he was wide open or in heavy traffic.

“That’s one thing I could do. I couldn’t run, but I could sure catch the ball,” Steve Coury said. “I think he’s got a little bit of sense of the game because he’s been around it all his life, a lot like me, I grew up in a coach’s family, so the knowledge of the game I think was helpful to me.”

While Steve Coury used quickness and craftiness to get open, Stevie has surprising speed.

When the Beavers ran some timed 40-yard dashes last spring, Stevie Coury ran a 4.34, he said, second on the team to star receiver Brandin Cooks.

“He’s a lot faster than I ever was,” Steve Coury said. “He catches the ball. He’s got a lot of great traits, actually. He’s got to get better and that’s going to be the big thing. Can he get bigger and more physical? He’s just got some God-given tools. He catches the ball and his speed. With the speed he has, it gives him a chance.”

They are both on the smaller side: Steve Coury in his playing days was listed at 5-8, 178 pounds.

So they worked on avoiding those hard hits that defensive backs and linebackers love to dish out to receivers.

“Never try to take big hits, us little guys,” Stevie Coury said. “You watch (Oregon’s) De’Anthony Thomas, Tavon Austin (of the St. Louis Rams), Brandin Cooks, even. Brandin Cooks never really took any shots. He was smart about his body. He knew when to get down when he needed to get down.”

Coury was able to use those skills at Lake Oswego, where he helped the Lakers to the 6A state title as a senior.

Last fall, he stepped into a role on the OSU scout team.

“I got a lot better from it just going against Rashaad (Reynolds) and Steve Nelson, all those guys that started defense,” he said. “I got a lot better off that and I just took it as my game time.”

Steve Coury said it could take three years for his son to get up to speed with everything he needs.

“You’ve just got to prove to everyone that you can play,” Stevie Coury said. “You didn’t get the notoriety that other guys got in high school, the fame that they got. Being from Oregon kind of hurts you a little bit just because the competition is not looked at like when you’re from Texas.

“So just being a walk-on, you’ve got to know what to do and just do anything for the team.”

Steve Coury comes to practices when possible.

“It’s an exciting time for me just to watch him out here and just watch him be a part of the program that’s here,” Steve said. “It’s a dream for him to have a chance to just be on the field with these guys, so yeah, it’s exciting times.”