Oregon Ducks

Who will Herbert sling the ball to? The Locks, Contenders and Longshots at receiver

Who will Herbert sling the ball to? The Locks, Contenders and Longshots at receiver

A paramount question mark surrounds Oregon’s wide receivers and tight ends entering the 2018 season: Who will dark-horse Heisman Trophy candidate Justin Herbert sling the ball to?

The Ducks return proven pass-catchers, juniors Dillon Mitchell and Jacob Breeland but the position group lacks depth from an experience standpoint. Will there be newcomers who will make an impact? A dive into which Ducks are locks, contenders and longshots at the wide receiver/tight end position to start the 2018 Oregon football season. 

LOCKS

Dillon Mitchell, junior, wide receiver: Mitchell led the Ducks with 42 receptions for 517 yards and four touchdowns in 2017. Mitchell was Herbert’s go-to target last season and has the potential to become a consistent stretch-the-field receiver. Fun fact, he closed the season with back-to-back 100-yard receiving games to become the first Duck to do so since 2015.

Jacob Breeland, junior, tight end: Breeland led the team with 17.8 yards per reception last season. Breeland's five touchdowns tied for the most within the conference for tight ends. Fun fact, Breeland played wide receiver in high school.

[WATCH: 3 reasons why Oregon the dark horse to win the north]

Johnny Johnson III, sophomore, wide receiver: Johnson started 10 games last year as a true freshman and played in all 13 games. He finished his first season with 21 receptions for 299 yards and one touchdown. Last season he impressed with his down-field snags amid a flurry of defenders.

Brenden Schooler, junior, wide receiver: Schooler finished last season with 20 receptions for 274 yards and three touchdowns. He also earned UO’s special teams MVP with seven tackles. Schooler also has shown his versalitilty; starting at safety his freshman year and transitioning to receiver.

CONTENDERS

Jaylon Redd, sophomore, wide receiver: Redd saw action in 10 games last season, totaling 122 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns. His 2017 stats don't jump off the page but his offseason improvements pose him for a breakout sophomore season. Redd totaled 110 all-purpose yards in Oregon’s spring game and earned a spot on ESPN’s top 25 breakout players from the spring session. Redd will play in the slot and return kicks.

Daewood Davis, redshirt freshman, wide receiver: Davis led all receivers with 75 yards and two touchdowns in the spring game. He added 20 pounds of muscle to his 6-foot-3 frame during Oregon’s winter workouts. Davis is known for his speed.  

Demetri Burch, redshirt freshman, wide receiver: Burch began last season as a quarterback before moving to receiver mid-season. He earned high praise from then coach Willie Taggart for imitating Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate while on the scout team. It will be interesting to see how Oregon utilizes Burch’s quickness and ability to change direction.   

Tabari Hines, redshirt senior, wide receiver: Hines can be utilized in the slot and out wide. Last season he led Wake Forest and tied for 13th in the ACC with 53 receptions. Cristobal announced that Hines may miss a few days of fall camp following a minor procedure on his knee but will be available for the season opener, and cleared full-go by game three.

[Watch: Tabari Hines exclusive interview]

Cam McCormick, sopomore, tight end: McCormick played in all 13 games last season, finishing with six catches for 89 yards and a touchdown. He proved himself as a good blocker in the run-game. He backed-up Breeland and started to see the field more in the second half of the season, which may indicate that he is ready for a regular role.

LONGSHOTS

Isaah Crocker, freshman, wide receiver: Crocker comes to Eugene as a consensus four-star recruit and top 300 prospect by ESPN, Rivals and 247Sports. Crocker was an excellent kick returner in high school and could work himself into the mix as a true freshman. Fun fact, Crocker almost committed to Oregon State.

Bryan Addison, freshman, wide receiver/defensive back: Addison enters Oregon fall camp as the nation's No. 3 athlete prospect in the class of 2018. Addison is 6 feet, 5 inches tall and likely to split time in practice between receiver and defensive back. Cristobal plans to make a firm decision on Addison’s position before fall camp ends.  Cristobal has been complimentary of Addison’s “football IQ”.

J.J. Tucker, freshman, wide receiver: Tucker is a three-star wide receiver that racked up 611 receiving yards on 27 receptions with eight touchdowns his senior season at Narbonne HS in Harbor City, Calif.

 

Which Oregon receiver do you think will exceed expectations this season?

 

Oregon Ducks hire a coach, just not an offensive coordinator

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Oregon Ducks hire a coach, just not an offensive coordinator

An addition to the Oregon Ducks coaching staff was revealed on Friday, but it's not the one many people were expecting.

Since news came earlier this week that the Ducks were expected to hire former Mississippi State head coach Joe Moorhead as their new offensive coordinator, many wondered when the university would make the news official. 

Well, it wasn't Friday. 

Although, Mario Cristobal did add to his coaching staff.

Jalen Ortiz, recently a defensive graduate assistant at Wyoming, will join Oregon as an assistant coach for the defensive backs.

Ortiz's Twitter account also lists "Defensive Graduate Assistant UO" in the description of his profile. 

Jalen Ortiz spent two seasons as a graduate assistant with the Wyoming Football program.

As a defensive graduate assistant in 2018, Ortiz helped coach a Cowboy defense that ranked No. 19 in the nation in total defense (allowing opponents only 326.2 yards per game), were No. 25 in the NCAA in rushing defense (129.5 yards per game), ranked No. 28 in scoring defense (giving up only 22.0 points per game) and were No. 32 in pass defense (196.7 yards per game).  The UW defense also ranked No. 16 in the country in fewest first downs allowed to opponents (223).       

Ortiz completed his college playing career with the Cowboys in 2017.  Ortiz was Wyoming’s starting strong-side (SAM) linebacker and nickel back in 2017. He was a transfer from UCLA where in two seasons, Ortiz appeared in 26 games. 

He'll work under defensive coordinator Andy Avalos and presumably co-defensive coordinator/safeties coach Keith Heyward and cornerbacks coach Donte Williams. 

Report: Former Oregon OC Matt Lubick to join Scott Frost's staff at Nebraska

Report: Former Oregon OC Matt Lubick to join Scott Frost's staff at Nebraska

Matt Lubick is back in the coaching game and reuniting with a former coaching teammate. According to reports, the former Oregon offensive coordinator will be joining Scott Frost's staff at Nebraska. 

Lubick coached at Oregon from 2013 to 2016. He was originally hired to be the new wide receivers coach when Scotts Frost, who was then the wide receivers coach, was promoted to offensive coordinator. Frost left Oregon in 2016 to become head coach at Central Florida, and Lubick once again filled his vacated position. 

The Ducks went 4-8 in Lubick's first year as OC and head coach Mark Helfrich was let go at season's end. The Ducks would go on to hire Willie Taggart as head coach, and  Taggert chose not to retain Lubick.

After leaving Oregon, Lubick would spend two seasons as wide receivers coach and co-offensive coordinator at the University of Washington before leaving coaching altogether in 2018 to pursue other business opportunities. 

Now he is back, thanks to old friend Scott Frost.

In Frost's two seasons at the helm in Lincoln, the Cornhuskers have gone just 9-15, finishing in fifth place in the Big Ten West both seasons. 

With Lubick, Nebraska brings in a coach that has experience not only running an offense, but experience working directly with coach Frost.

One interesting thing to note is that over the past two seasons with former offensive coordinator Troy Walters, Frost handled the play-calling duties. It remains to be seen if that will remain the same, or if Frost will let go of the reins a little bit and let Lubick takeover. 

Either way, Lubick may just be the shot in the arm that the Cornhuskers need to finally get Nebraksa Football back on the right track. 

 

WATCH: Penei Sewell's emotional acceptance speech of the Outland Trophy

WATCH: Penei Sewell's emotional acceptance speech of the Outland Trophy

A month ago, Oregon offensive lineman Penei Sewell won the Outland Trophy which recognizes the nation's top interior lineman.

He became the first Oregon Duck and the first Polynesian football player to win the award.

In his emotional acceptance speech, he remembers talking to Coach Cristobal about winning the award and bringing it to Eugene.

I will never forget. It was right after fall camp, before the season started, [Cristobal] looked me in the eye and said 'Don't wait. Go get it this year.' Well coach, I'm here and I went and got it.

Sewell clearly adores his head coach: "The trust you have in me and the confidence you gave to me is the reason why I'm standing here. And I'm forever grateful for you. Forever thankful for the way you've treated me and my family. You are a man of your word."

But reading the quotes doesn't do his speech justice, watch it for yourself. 

 

Oregon Ducks land 2020 four-star point guard Jalen Terry

Oregon Ducks land 2020 four-star point guard Jalen Terry

After the reclassification of N'Faly Daunte and Addison Patterson to the 2019 class, the Ducks did not have a commitment for the 2020 recruiting class.

That changed Friday when four-star point guard Jalen Terry announced via his Twitter he will be attending the University of Oregon.

247Sports has Terry rated as the nation's seventh-ranked point guard in next year's class. He'll look to take over for Payton Pritchard who will graduate this upcoming season. 

Terry originally committed to Michigan State, but later changed his mind. He chose Oregon over Louisville and LSU. 

You can watch his junior season mixtape below.

Former Duck Bralon Addison signs future contract with the Minnesota Vikings

Former Duck Bralon Addison signs future contract with the Minnesota Vikings

What do you and Vikings general manager Rick Spielman have in common?

You're both fans of the Oregon Ducks, apparently.

Days after signing Tony Brooks-James and Dillon Mitchell to future contracts for the 2020-2021 NFL season, the Vikings have also signed another former Duck: wide receiver Bralon Addison.

Farhan Lalji of TSN reports that the wideout turned down similar offers from the San Francisco 49ers and Cleveland Browns. 

At Oregon, Addison caught 146 passes for 1,937 yards and 20 touchdowns. Following his junior season, he declared for the NFL Draft, but did not hear his name called. He received a camp invitation from Denver, but was later cut. He eventually worked his way from the Bears' practice squad to the active roster where he recorded his only career reception before being waived.

Then the Missouri City, Texas native went north to the Canadian Football League where he groomed into a CFL All-Star for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats this past season recording 95 receptions for 1,236 yards and seven touchdowns.

Addison's former teammate, Kenjon Barner, took to Twitter to congratulate his fellow Duck.   

Stay tuned for the next Duck to sign with the Vikings, which seems inevitable.

Sabrina Ionescu becomes Oregon’s All-Time leader in points and All-Time savage in same night

Sabrina Ionescu becomes Oregon’s All-Time leader in points and All-Time savage in same night

EUGENE - A breaker of records and a breaker of hearts.

This is Sabrina Ionescu.

On a night where Ionescu had to play her best, she came through. Against No. 3 Stanford, in front of 12,218 screaming fans and on national television, this is where Ionescu shines brightest. She was just short of what would have been her 23rd career triple-double with 37 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists in the 32-point win over Stanford.

No. 6 Oregon (14-2, 4-1 Pac-12) upsets No. 3 Stanford (15-2, 4-1 Pac-12) 87-55 in Matthew Knight Arena.

Ionescu needed 25 points coming into this game to break the all-time scoring record previously set by Alison Lang (2,252, 1980-84). When she had recorded her 24th point, the crowd knew exactly what was at stake. When she drove left and sunk an elbow jumper, the crowd went nuts.

But in Ionescu’s mind it was just another basket. Just another basket in a big time game. At the following timeout, the stadium’s big screen showed her in the Ducks huddle and the crowd went nuts again.

Another milestone reached for the Walnut Creek, California-native and against a team located just shy of an hour from her hometown.

I’m just happy we won but like he [Graves] said, they’re [Stanford] the standard of excellence. Game in and game out that I’ve played them in my career here, that’s who I want to beat. Especially coming from the Bay Area and growing up with them in my backyard then choosing to leave and come here, it’s awesome to be able to play them. Obviously, I know a lot of their players and grew up playing with a lot of them so it’s always been competitive every time we play them and tonight it was. — Ionescu

The stat line is impressive, to say the least. But what makes Sabrina Ionescu the G.O.A.T that she truly is, is her attitude and mindset. It starts with a mamba mentality, a shark in the water, a “stay mad” type of grind. 

She seems to always do it on night’s like this too. When her best is needed, that’s when she usually steps up. I know sometimes against some opponents she isn’t as ready maybe mentally or that into it, but in games like this, she just has that other level to go to. And thank goodness. — Oregon coach Kelly Graves.

That mentality did not shut off when she subbed out with under a minute of game clock remaining. After putting in 38 minutes of work and the Ducks with a more than comfortable 30+ point lead, Ionescu etched her name onto Oregon’s Mt. Rushmore of savage moments: she waved and saluted goodbye to the Cardinal. 

When asked who she was waving / saluting at in the post game press conference, Ionescu replied with a smirk:

Stanford. I’m going to be honest.

But hey, honesty is the best policy, right? 

UP NEXT: The Ducks host the California Golden Bears on Sunday, January 19 at 2 p.m. (PT) at Matthew Knight Arena.

Sabrina Ionescu channels her inner Damian Lillard, waves bye bye to Stanford

Sabrina Ionescu channels her inner Damian Lillard, waves bye bye to Stanford

Last April, Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers faced off against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of the NBA playoffs. The series was full of drama, but the everlasting image of the series came courtesy of Portland's star point guard Damian Lillard.

The wave.

Lillard hit an improbable three-pointer over an outstretched Paul George to eliminate OKC, and as he walked away, Lillard waved goodbye to the Thunder bench. The video was replayed on every local and national sports show, and the gif circulated around the web faster than you could say "Lillard Time."

On Thursday, the scene replayed itself, but this time down I-5 at the University of Oregon.

No. 6 Oregon hosted No. 3 Stanford, a huge showdown between two top-10 teams.

It was there that Oregon star Sabrina Ionescu put on a show. Not only did she have a double-double, she also became Oregon's all-time leading scorer in the process.

Oregon blew out the Cardinal on this night, 87-55, and the lasting image that came from Thursday night's victory, gave us déjà vu. 

Two stars. Two games. Two iconic waves. One thing in common - They're both G.O.A.T.'s. But, which one did it better? You be the judge.

Well, there may not be a clear winner here, but we did learn something - All G.O.A.T.s wave the same! But if you ask former Lakers star Kobe Bryant, a G.O.A.T. in his own right, he may have a favorite in this race. 

 

Oregon has no answer for CJ Elleby in Washington State's first top-10 win since 2007

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Oregon has no answer for CJ Elleby in Washington State's first top-10 win since 2007

It was the battle of the guards.

Ducks senior Payton Pritchard and Cougars sophomore CJ Elleby went head-to-head as No. 8 Oregon traveled to Washington State., for the two teams' only meeting during the regular season.

Prior to Thursday’s game between Oregon (14-4) and Washington State (11-7), Payton Pritchard gained national recognition for his efforts on the court, including his dominant 29-point performance in the Ducks 68-62 win over Arizona State. His ability to knock down jumpers, pass balls and make shots from behind the arc is why he’s a proven candidate for National Player of the Year.

The Ducks’ iron man added 22 points, five rebounds and five assists for Oregon, but it wasn’t enough to seal the deal. Oregon fell 72-61 to Washington State, giving the Cougars their first top-10 win since 2007.

Washington State’s CJ Elleby stole the show and had the hot hand early on, finishing with 15 points before halftime. The Cougs floor general finished the night 9-20 from the floor for 25 points and 4-for-7 from behind the arc. He was perfect from the free-throw line and added 14 rebounds. 

Up next: The Ducks will look to bounce back against Washington on Saturday. The Huskies have dropped the last two games and will host Oregon State Thursday at 8:00 p.m. 

Check back for quotes from Dana Altman's press conference after the game. 

Instant Analysis: Oregon makes a statement with blowout win over Stanford

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Instant Analysis: Oregon makes a statement with blowout win over Stanford

EUGENE --  No. 6 Oregon stumbled against Arizona State last week, but that is already a distant memory. They bounced back with a win over Arizona, then welcomed the No.3 team in the nation to town in the Stanford Cardinal. Two of the top teams in the country battled it out for two and a half quarters before Oregon flexed its muscle. Standford trailed 44-42 with 6:00 minutes left in the third quarter, but Oregon turned on the jets and outscored them 43-13 the rest of the way. Behind another impressive performance from Sabrina Ionescu, the Ducks made a statement at Stanford's expense.

Final score: Oregon 87 - Stanford 55

Here are three quick takeaways from Wednesday’s win:

1. Sabrina takeover
The G.O.A.T was at it again. In a top 10 showdown, under the ESPN lights, senior guard Sabrina Ionescu recorded 37 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. Just shy of recording her 23rd career triple-double. However, her 37 points were good enough to put her at the top of the all-time scoring list at Oregon.

2. Defense steals the show
How do you take advantage of a home town crowd? Defense. The Ducks finished with 10 steals including two possessions in a row from Ruthy Hebard.

3.  Oregon dominated the final third of the game

Stanford trailed by just two points with six minutes left in the third quarter. Then, Oregon flipped the switch. The Ducks ended the quarter on a 21-6 run. Stanford never had a chance after Oregon landed that knockout blow. This team is scary good when the engine is running at full speed. 

Up Next: The Ducks host the California Golden Bears on Sunday, January 19. Tipoff is set 2:00 pm. 

Be sure to check back throughout the night and tomorrow morning for analysis, articles, and videos from the players.