Oregon Ducks

Ed Dickson: Once a Duck, always a Duck.

Ed Dickson: Once a Duck, always a Duck.

If you could name one piece to Ed Dickson’s game that made him the great tight end that he is, what would it be? His size at 6’ 4”, 255 pounds? His breakaway speed timed at a 4.59 40-yard dash? Or how about his sure-handed catches all over the field, making linebackers and secondaries look silly?

Whatever you may think, Dickson encompasses all these traits making him a deadly matchup on any piece of gridiron. He proved this at the college level with the Oregon Ducks (2006-2009) and then onward to the NFL.

Dickson was drafted in round three, pick No. 74 of the 2010 NFL draft by the Baltimore Ravens. After a season in Baltimore, then two seasons with the Carolina Panthers, Dickson now resides in Seattle catching lasers from quarterback Russell Wilson in front of the 12’s. 

Let’s rewind the clock to a game that most likely put Dickson on the map with NFL scouts watching closely at the blur that was #83 in green and yellow. With the then No. 6 ranked California Golden Bears in town vs. the unranked Oregon Ducks, Dickson recorded 11 catches for 148 yards and three touchdowns in the Ducks’ 42-3 upset win over the Bears. 

Or perhaps it was his touchdown grab from QB Jeremiah Masoli with :05 left on the clock in Arizona to force the game into overtime and an eventual Oregon victory? Ok, there may be more moments in his college career that put Dickson on the map, but Dickson is still turning heads today in the NFL. 

We got to catch up with Dickson following the Seahawks’ 27-24 win over the Green Bay Packers last Thursday Night, Dickson grabbing the winning 15-yard touchdown from Russell Wilson.

“I got a lot of respect for the coach and the direction that he is going,” says Dickson of head coach Mario Cristobal and the current Oregon Ducks culture. 

The Ducks are currently sitting on a 6-4, 3-4 Pac-12 conference record with just two conference games left: at home vs. Arizona State this Saturday and then the Civil War in Corvallis, OR Thanksgiving weekend. 

Dickson remembers what it is like to play in Autzen Stadium and in front of thousands of screaming Ducks fans. “I’ve played in Baton Rouge before, I’ve been to some of these bigger stadiums, Autzen Stadium is No. 1 in college football to me.” 

Some advice for the Ducks with just two games and one bowl game left? “Finish hard. Finish hard. We got a lot of pride and a lot of people watching. Proud of them for what they’ve done this season and don’t hang their heads for anything. Finish hard and try to get two more victories, and then go into the offseason with the mentality that you guys are going to be better than you were this year.”

Justin Herbert’s odds to win Offensive Rookie of the Year

Justin Herbert’s odds to win Offensive Rookie of the Year

With the sixth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the LA Chargers selected Oregon Ducks quarterback, Justin Herbert.  

Days following the draft, Chargers fans had mixed feelings about their team drafting Herbert, but as of late, it seems that most fans have bought into Herbert being the future.

Despite the former Oregon Ducks QB likely not seeing much playing time, if any at all, during the 2020 season with nine-year veteran Tyrod Taylor appearing to be the starting quarterback, Herbert is still a sleeper to earn the 2020 Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow is the favorite to win the honor.

Burrow’s odds are listed at +240 at MGM. If the former LSU quarterback wins the award, it will be the second straight year that the first overall pick is the Offensive Rookie of the Year. Last season, Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray earned the honor.

The next-best odds belong to the last pick of the first round, Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who is listed at +600. Followed by Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa at +900, while Herbert is at +2000. Packers quarterback Jordan Love and Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts are both at +8000.

[RELATED]: Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers were meant to be

Draft Kings released the odds for the winner of the 2020 Offensive Rookie of the Year Award just days after the 2020 NFL Draft. They also listed Herbert as a dark horse pick at +1600.

With Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn high on Taylor at the moment that will allow Herbert a year to grow into a starting quarterback while also providing the primary competition in training camp.

[RELATED]: Betting odds of Justin Herbert being LA Chargers' starter Week One

At the NFL Combine, the 6'6", 237 pound Herbert showed off his athleticism with a 40 yard dash time of 4.68 seconds (3rd among QBs), a vertical jump of 35.5 inches (tied for 2nd among QBs), broad jump of 123 inches (3rd among QBs), 3 cone drill of 7.06 seconds (1st among QBs), and a 20-yard shuttle of 4.46 seconds (4th among QBs).

But, as one of the most physically gifted quarterbacks in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Chargers may have to take a chance on the young QB this season just as the betting world might as well.

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest Oregon Strength & Conditioning Coach Aaron Feld.

Oregon Ducks HC Mario Cristobal attends Black Lives Matter rally in Eugene

usatsi_13758996.jpg
USA Today Images

Oregon Ducks HC Mario Cristobal attends Black Lives Matter rally in Eugene

On Friday, Oregon Ducks head coach Mario Cristobal released a statement in response to the death of George Floyd and the nationwide protests that have broken out in response. 

[RELATED]: Oregon football, CFB coaches call for change amid death of George Floyd

“Posting on social media isn't enough. We must carry out these principles and values in our daily lives," said Cristobal in the statement. 

“We are responsible for using our voices for change. We are responsible for protecting those that don't feel safe or are afraid to share their perspective. We are responsible for creating a new normal.”

Sunday, the Duck's head coach is putting his money where his mouth is by his actions.

Two days after making the statement, Cristobal was seen at a Black Lives Matter protest outside the Federal Courthouse in Eugene, Oregon by Henry Houston of the Eugene Weekly. 

The death of George Floyd went viral last week after a video showed police officer Derek Chauvin using his knee to pin Floyd's neck to the pavement for eight minutes and 46 seconds, two minutes and 53 seconds of which happened after Floyd became unresponsive, per a criminal complaint against Chauvin.

The officer ignored Floyd's pleas for him to stop: "I can't breathe... Please, the knee in my neck, I can't breathe."

The lack of charges brought upon Chauvin nor the other three officers standing by the Minneapolis Police Department sparked nationwide outrage leading to national protests and riots against police brutality and public pressure to arrest the four officers. 

Chauvin has since been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Floyd’s family said in a statement with their attorney, Ben Crump, that they “expected a first-degree murder charge.”

Mycah Pittman has a YouTube channel and it involves a flamethrower

Mycah Pittman has a YouTube channel and it involves a flamethrower

Many have gotten a lot of extra time on their hands due to the coronavirus pandemic and Oregon Ducks wide receiver Mycah Pittman has begun taking advantage of it.

How so? While he's still putting in work on the field getting ready for his true sophomore season, he's also begun producing content for his YouTube channel in the form of vlogs and Q&A videos.

After releasing just three videos so far, Pittman has gained over 10,000 subscribers. It also helps that his brother, Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr., had 159,000+ subscribers. 

Pittman's first video was a typical Q&A video where he answers questions provided to him by Ducks fans, including his favorite game from his freshman season and how disappointed he was to get injured not once but twice last year. 

The second video, and his first vlog, saw him with his friends set up and execute a prank on his brother.

Hint: The prank involved a flame thrower and if you want to see the payoff, the video is embedded below.

The latest video uploaded by Pittman showcases a typical workout from him along with some professional athletes such as his brother and John Ross of the Cincinnati Bengals. 

Mycah Pittman said his goal is to play in the NFL during his Q&A video, so it makes sense he'd practice with the best in the offseason when he can't be in Eugene. 

From the video, it's clear that Pittman's putting in the work necessary for a breakout sophomore campaign that may have well happened last season had he not had awful injury luck.

As a freshman, Mycah had 18 receptions for 227 yards and two touchdowns in seven games. The former four-star recruit broke his collarbone during fall camp causing him to miss the first four games of the season and broke an arm against Arizona, causing him to sit out each game until the Rose Bowl. 

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest Oregon Strength & Conditioning Coach Aaron Feld.

Oregon football, CFB coaches call for change amid death of George Floyd

screen_shot_2020-05-29_at_10.50.28_am.png
George Floyd's family attorney

Oregon football, CFB coaches call for change amid death of George Floyd

The death of George Floyd has affected many aspects of life and college football is no different.

This past Monday, Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, lost his life after a white police officer held Floyd down on the ground with his knee to Floyd's neck for several minutes.  

Four police officers connected to the death of Floyd were fired.  The officer who held Floyd down, Derek Chauvin, has since been charged with third degree murder and manslaughter.

Since Floyd's death, there have been protests, riots and looting in Minneapolis where the incident occurred and across the country.

Outrage is being felt across the country, which has prompted athletes and coaches across the country to weigh in on the matter. 

Various players and coaches of University of Oregon football team have reacted Floyd's death and the action that should be taken to prevent incidents like Floyd's death from happening again. 

Other college football coaches have weighed in, as well. 

 

Arik Armstead among Forbes' highest paid athletes, but there's a catch

Arik Armstead among Forbes' highest paid athletes, but there's a catch

This year’s Forbes list of highest-paid athletes in the world features a range of athletes across different sports.

While more NBA players made the list than any other sport (34 players), NFL players had their best year as a group thanks to the season’s late-summer start.

There are currently 31 NFL players on the list. Carson Wentz ranks the highest out of all of them with coming in at No.10.

Former Oregon defensive tackle Arik Armstead also made the Top 100. He came in at No. 59 with earnings of $26.8 million. After signing a blockbuster five-year, $85 million contract extension back in March, which included $45.85M in guarantees, it would make sense that him to be on this list.

Here is the thing, though. You most likely won’t be seeing Armstead in next year’s Forbes list.

Confusing? Yes, but let’s break down Armstead’s complicated contract.

As mentioned before, Armstead signed a 5 year, $85,000,000 contract with the San Francisco 49ers, including a $3,500,000 signing bonus, $40,000,000 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $17,000,000.

A lot of money upfront as you can see. But with it is a lot more complicated than that.

OvertheCap explains it a little bit more.

Armstead received $45.85 million in guarantees, $34.15 million of which is guaranteed at signing. His initial guarantee is made up of his 2020 and 2021 base salaries, a $17.5 million signing bonus, and a protected $7.5 million 2021 option bonus. If Armstead is on the roster on April 1, 2022, another $5.85 million becomes fully guaranteed. There are $750,000 in per-game bonuses in the final four contract years. The 2025 season is a void contract year used for the purposes of lowering cap charges during the contract. The contract voids if no extension is reached by the fifth day of the 2025 waiver period.”

Here is a breakdown of the cap hit by year:

2020: $6M

2021: $12.5M

2022: $20M

2023: $21.74M

2024: $23.26M

2025: $18.5M (Voids on 5th day of waiver claim which is after the Super Bowl)

So, yes, Armstead will still receive $34.15 million in full guarantees and $45.85 in total guarantees.

The contract is a little different from the norm of how contracts work, but they're becoming more common.

Long story short, it’s a three-year deal. The 49ers can get out after Year 2 if the option bonus is exercised, and that would mean $6.65 of his base salary is guaranteed instead of $14.15 million.

The 49ers basically got Armstead under $19 million against the cap for the next two years combined.

Armstead did make enough money for the Forbes list this year, but don’t be on the lookout for Armstead to be on next year.

The 49ers made him a wealthy man, but the organization is playing the money game well but spreading it out over the next five years.

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest Oregon Strength & Conditioning Coach Aaron Feld.

Oregon Football lands commitment from 3-star corner Darren Barkins

Oregon Football lands commitment from 3-star corner Darren Barkins

Another day passes and the Oregon Ducks continue to build upon the Califlock pipeline.

On Saturday, 2021 three-star defensive back Darren Barkins from mater Dei Catholic High School in Chula Vista, California has committed to the University of Oregon.

My whole life I’ve been waiting for this moment. With that being said I would like to announce that I will continuing my athletic and academic career at THE UNIVERSITY OF OREGON! — Darren Barkins

The 6-foot-1, 170-pound corner held offers from other Pac-12 schools Arizona, Cal, Oregon State, UCLA, Washington and Washington State as well as Oklahoma, UNLV and Boise State among others before deciding on Mario Cristobal and flocking north to Eugene, Oregon.

Barkins is the second DB to commit to Oregon in the past 24 hours. The Ducks landed JUCO transfer Jadarrius Perkins from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College on Friday. 

Here's what the Oregon corners room could look like in 2021: Mykael Wright, Trikweze Bridges, DJ James, Verone McKinley III, JJ Greenfield, Dontae Manning, Bennett Williams and Barkins.

First-year Oregon cornerbacks coach Rod Chance seems to be doing okay on the recruiting trail so far for the Ducks.

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest Oregon Strength & Conditioning Coach Aaron Feld.

Construction begins on nation's largest video board at Autzen Stadium

Construction begins on nation's largest video board at Autzen Stadium

Back in March, the University of Oregon announced plans to install a new video board and sound system with a targeted completion date of August 2020, ahead of the upcoming college football season. 

Now it appears to have begun construction.

"The project is anticipated to cost $12 million and involves the removal of the existing stadium sound system (installed in 2002), removal of the small video board located in the northeast end of the stadium, and the installation of a new structure at the east end of the stadium which will include a point-source sound system and a new video board."

The plan involves removing the 18-year-old sound system located above the end-zone terrace as well as the small video board in the northeast of the stadium completely. The existing large video board on the west end, last upgraded in 2008, will remain in use. 

Oregon Athletics wanted to start construction as soon as possible to ensure completion by August 2020 but then the coronavirus pandemic hit the United States.

Next, Oregon Athletics will install a new support structure and video boards above the east end-zone terrace that'll also hold a new point-source sound system that'll serve the entire stadium. 

The video board open to the fans in attendance will be 186' x 66' while another video board facing the outside of the stadium (47' x 26') will communicate messages and entertain patrons. 

Here are some renderings of the designs from the University of Oregon.

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest Oregon Strength & Conditioning Coach Aaron Feld.

Oregon Ducks land commitment from JUCO CB Jadarrius Perkins

Oregon Ducks land commitment from JUCO CB Jadarrius Perkins

What a Friday for the Ducks!

Hours after landing a commitment from three-star DE/OLB Brandon Buckner, the Ducks have gotten another addition to the 2021 recruiting class.

JUCO cornerback Jadarrius Perkins from Mississippi Gulf Coast CC has committed to the University of Oregon, he announced on Twitter Friday afternoon.

"FIRST and foremost I would like to thank God for blessing me with the ability to play this sport I love so much!" wrote the 6'2", 185-pound corner. "I also want to thank Coach Chance, Cristobal, and the rest of the Oregon family for believing in my talents that the good lord has blessed me with...WITH THAT SAID THIS SIP BOY COMING HOME TO Eugene I'M A DUCK BABY!!! #ScoDucks #TakeFlight21." 

Perkins held offers from Arkansas, Baylor, Louisville, Mississippi State, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Washington State, UCF, West Virginia, and more. While unrated on current recruiting websites, it's clear that he will be a highly rated player once the lists are updated. 

He had originally scheduled his commitment for Wednesday but delayed it to an undisclosed time, which happened to be just two days later.

Only a few months after accepting the defensive backs coaching job at Oregon, Rod Chance secured a highly touted recruit in the secondary. 

The defensive back will have three years to play two when he arrives in Eugene.

He took a virtual visit of the campus on May 11 which blew him away, as he told the Oregonian's Andrew Nemec.

“I visited [virtually],” he said. “The campus is so nice and everything is top notch. They have one of the best facilities I’ve ever seen.”

Perkins also said he wants to be a unique player in the Pac-12. One that aligns with Mario Cristobal's desire to bring SEC-like physicality to the West Coast.

They want me to press and be physical with receivers,” he said. “I’m a big, fast press corner. They ain’t seen anyone like me in the Pac-12 yet. I promise you that, sir.”

You can watch his hudl highlights below.

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest Oregon Strength & Conditioning Coach Aaron Feld.

Oregon Ducks land commitment from three-star DE Brandon Buckner

Oregon Ducks land commitment from three-star DE Brandon Buckner

Well, that didn't take long.

Just two days after landing a verbal committment from the nation's fourth-ranked tight end Moliki Matavao, the Ducks have secured another commitment for the 2021 recruiting class.

[RELATED]: Oregon Ducks land 2021 four-star, nation's No. 4 TE Moliki Matavao

Three-star strongside defensive end or outside linebacker Brandon Buckner, the son of former NFL defensive tackle Brentson Buckner,  has committed to the University of Oregon, as announced via his Twitter.

"First off, I would like to thank god for the position I am in today," said Buckner in his commitment video. "My whole life I've been waiting for this moment. Ever since I was a kid, the game of football has always been a passion of mine. Growing up watching my Dad play I always knew this was meant for me. To all my friends and family in Charlotte, thank you for believing in me. To my teammates, coaches and teachers at Chandler, thank you for pushing me to be a better leader on and off the field. To my Mom, Grandpa, and sisses, thank you for developing me into the young man that I am today. 

My Dad's a legend and I'm starting my own legacy at THE University of Oregon. Sco Ducks. 

Buckner's father, Brentson, was an All-ACC defensive tackle his senior season at Clemson in 1993. He then would be selected 50th overall in the 1994 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers to begin an eleven-year professional career. He now serves as the defensive line coach for the Arizona Cardinals. 

As a junior, Buckner recorded 14.5 sacks despite missing the first four games of the season. Additionally, he recorded 25 tackles-for-loss and had 50 total tackles which made him 6A All-Region First Team selection and a Max Preps All-Arizona First Team Selection.

While not having a Clemson offer, the 6'1", 234-pound defensive end had offers from Arizona State, Arizona, Colorado, Fresno State, Oregon State, Iowa State and more. 

247Sports grades Buckner as a three-star recruit and the eleventh best player in Arizona and the tenth best by composite ranking. This marks yet another Arizona prospect that has chosen the Ducks during the 2021 recruiting cycle, following the footsteps of four-star OT Bram Walden (best player in Arizona), four-star QB Ty Thompson (2nd-best player in Arizona), and four-star OT Jonah Miller (5th-best player in Arizona). 

The Ducks continue to recruit at a high level, backing up Cristobal's claims that the 2021 class could the best one in program history.

You can watch Buckner's hudl highlights here.

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest Oregon Strength & Conditioning Coach Aaron Feld.