Oregon coach Willie Taggart this morning stated that sophomore Brenden Schooler, who started 10 games at safety last season, will move to wide receiver, at least for now.
Also, junior running back Taj Griffin said he will practice some at slot receiver.
"Yeah, we're going to put Schooler over there, and see what he can do," Taggart said today. "Yesterday we let him run a couple routes and he looked pretty good."
Sophomore quarterback Justin Herbert welcomed the addition to wide receiver.
"He's super athletic," he said. "He's really good on both sides of the ball and I'm glad to have him on our side of the ball."
Schooler faces stiff competition to remain in the mix at safety this year. Redshrt freshman Brady Breeze and true freshman Billy Gibson made strong impressions last spring. Plus, the Ducks return redshirt senior Tyree Robinson, who played a lot of cornerback last season after starting at primarily playing safety in the past, and redshirt junior Khalil Oliver. Both veterans have the inside track to start. Senior Juwaan Williams is also competing.
"We are just going to find out the best position for all of our players and make sure we put them in the best position to help the football team," Taggart said.
The addition of freshman Thomas Graham Jr. at cornerback, where he could start opposite senior Arrion Springs, has allowed Robinson to return to safety, creating more of a logjam there.
True freshman safety Deommodore Lenoir, the No. 1-rated athlete in the nation according to Rivals.com, could also push for playing time at safety.
"He's done a great job for us," Taggart said.
Griffn's case is an interesting one. The Ducks return their top three backs from last season, senior Royce Freeman, redshirt junior Tony Brooks-James and redshirt senior Kani Benoit. Plus, Oregon has added three freshmen running backs that have impressed Taggart so far.
"I think we have some pretty good young running backs," Taggart said.
Griffin, the No. 4 back last season, injured his knee midway through the year and missed last spring. He returns to find a glut of running backs but a thin receiving depth chart.
With Griffin's speed and elusiveness, he could be used as a slot receiver. However, Oregon returns senior starter Charles Nelson, and freshman Darrian McNeal figures to be the backup slot receiver. Plus, the Ducks have four other freshmen receivers on the roster, including Jaylon Redd and Johnny Johnson III.
Still, Griffin is special with the ball in his hands and at the very least should see time at receiver or running back in situations designed to get the ball into his hands.