The past two seasons, there has been a revolving door at one spot in particular on the Oregon Ducks offense.
That position group is wide receiver.
In 2018, it was the Dillon Mitchell show. Sophomore quarterback Justin Herbert looked his way on multiple occasions during a series. The junior racked up 1,184 total yards of receiving in 2018. The next closest receiver recorded 433 receiving yards.
2019 was more of a collective effort. The common thread between the two seasons was Johnny Johnson III and Jaylon Redd. These two have started on the outside and in the slot for the past two seasons, and last season had Juwan Johnson there to contribute as well.
This season, Johnny and Jaylon are back, but that third receiver spot remains open for competition. And the Ducks have no shortage of that.
Returners: Mycah Pittman, Bryan Addison, Daewood Davis, Justin Collins, Josh Delgado, jaron Waters, Lance Wilhoite, Isaah Crocker, Tevin Jeannis, Jack Vecchi, and Korbin Williams.
Newcomers: Devon Williams, Kris Hutson, and Spencer Curtis.
One of these new faces has emerged after the first week of camp: Kris Hutson.
The 5’11”, 171-pound receiver was a consensus four-star prospect from high school powerhouse St. John Bosco in Compton, Florida. Coming out of high school, he was ranked the No. 100 overall prospect in the country and the No. 17 wide receiver in the class of 2020.
Oregon head football coach Mario Cristobal had this to say on the freshman:
“I think you’re going to see a lot of impactful, impactful guys and I think you’re going to see a guy like Kris Hutson as a few guys to watch as well. His explosiveness, special guy and we put a lot on him because when you’re a freshman wide receiver, it’s going to require all the little things that go with being a great player.
How Oregon does that specifically lies within the culture and is on full display on the field come Saturdays.
[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest former Oregon wide receiver Keenan Howry].
“He’s a beast. He’s a dawg as a young man coming in right now as a freshman,” said Redd. “I feel like his mindset is a lot more elevated than others coming in. I feel like he’s going to be somebody that’s gonna be on that watchlist coming up, making plays, helping us out this year and the future.”
Redd brings up a good point. A lot of the time, recruiting rankings or the star system can effect the ego of a player coming out of high school. It can impact the competitiveness in the first fall camp of his collegiate career.
Cristobal has always been adamant about recruiting players ‘who are made of the right stuff’ and any sense of ego or ‘me before team’ around the Oregon culture will not be tolerated.
Hutson’s mindset paired with his talent just might give him an upper hand on the two-deep when the season starts November 7.
Listen to the Talkin’ Ducks Podcast here.