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Former Oregon guard Johnathan Loyd gets a chance at a football national title

Johnathan Loyd

Oregon’s Johnathan Loyd signals to the crowd after hitting a 3-point shot late in the second half against Arizona in an NCAA college basketball game in Eugene, Ore. on Saturday, March 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Chris Pietsch)


Johnathan Loyd

Oregon wide receiver Johnathan Loyd (10) celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the third quarter of an NCAA college football game against Wyoming at Autzen Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014, in Eugene, Ore. (AP Photo/Steve Dykes)


If you’re watching the College Football Playoff National Championship game on Monday night between Oregon and Ohio State you might notice a former college basketball player playing a role in the proceedings.

Former Oregon point guard Johnathan Loyd is now playing wide receiver for the Ducks on the gridiron and he’s exercising a NCAA rule that allows players who have exhausted four years of eligibility in one sport to get a waiver to play an extra season in another. College basketball and football fans are probably aware of former Duke point guard Greg Paulus pulling this same move to play football at Syracuse five years ago.

Loyd was Dana Altman’s first basketball recruit at Oregon and an accomplished four-year player for the Ducks. The former point guard averaged seven points per game as a senior and has the most wins of any Oregon basketball player in program history. When he left, Loyd also ranked fifth all-time in program history in assists and fourth in steals. He also appeared in the most basketball games in Oregon history with 144.

Now Loyd will try to help Oregon capture its first national championship in football on Monday night. As a wide receiver and special teams contributor, he’s appeared in nine games and caught four passes for 19 yards and a touchdown (celebration pictured above).

In high school, Loyd starred on the hardwood but also led Bishop Gorman to a 4A state title in football as a senior while being named first team all-state as a return man in 2009. That season Loyd returned five punts for touchdowns, while also averaging 32.6 yards per kick return.

The 5-foot-8 Loyd could see more playing time with the absence of wide receivers Darren Carrington (suspended after positive drug test) and Devon Allen (injured on opening kickoff of the Rose Bowl) on Monday, but isn’t expected to play a major role.

It’s unique that Loyd gets a chance to win a football national title after a good four-year basketball career at Oregon.

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