Bryan Addison

How Mycah Pittman's injury affects Oregon

How Mycah Pittman's injury affects Oregon

The Oregon Ducks (9-1, 7-0 Pac-12) have lost one of their most dynamic offensive weapons most likely for the rest of the season, due to injury. Freshman wide receiver Mycah Pittman’s broken arm suffered in the first quarter of Oregon’s 34-6 win vs. Arizona will sideline him for six weeks and creates a need for more contributions.

Is Pittman done for the 2019 season?

Oregon Coach Mario Cristobal communicated the possibility of Pittman returning to play in the Ducks’ bowl game. The College Football Playoff semifinal (Dec. 28) or Rose Bowl (Jan. 1) are about six weeks out.

Already this season, Pittman rehabbed back from a broken collarbone that caused him to miss the opening four games.

"He’s proven before he’s a quick healer," Cristobal said. "Our training staff, our medical staff is second to none. I mean the very best in the country… And Mycah is a guy that attacks every opportunity to get better a hundred miles per hour. If anyone can heal quickly, it will be him, and if the timeline matches up, certainly that’s a consideration."

How does this impact the depth chart?

Oregon lists freshman Josh Delgado behind starter Jaylon Redd at slot receiver, in Pittman’s role. The Ducks moved Daewood Davis once again back on offense to add depth. Listed backups Davis, Josh Delgado and Bryan Addison will likely see increased playing time with Pittman out.

How can Oregon replace Pittman’s contributions?

In six games, Pittman has 14 receptions for 197 yards and two touchdowns. His speed and relentless tenacity will be missed from the receiving corps. 

Without Pittman, look for starting playmakers Johnny Johnson III, Juwan Johnson and Jaylon Redd to continue their positive progress in the passing game with quarterback Justin Herbert.

Redd leads the team with nine touchdowns and has caught multiple passes in 13 straight games. Johnny Johnson III is coming off a four-catch performance vs. Arizona, including a 73-yard catch, the longest of his career and longest by a Duck in 2019. Juwan Johnson’s potential is also being realized, totaling 16 receptions, 263 yards, and four touchdowns in the last three games. He led Oregon with five catches, one touchdown and 93 yards vs. Arizona.

Who else is a possible backup receiver?

“Justin Collins is a guy last year in this game proved to be very valuable, caught a slant down there and got us in the tight red zone at the end of the half,” Crisotbal said. “He’s been coming along. He’s coming off an ACL as well.”

Cristobal also mentioned Isaiah Crocker, J.R Waters and Lance Wilhoite as options UO will explore. Although, Wilhoite and Waters are both coming off injuries and are likely not caught up to speed.

The Ducks travel to Tempe for their final conference road trip to face the Arizona State Sun Devils (5-5, 2-5 Pac-12) at 4:30 p.m., Saturday.

Former Oregon football star receiver Bralon Addison's advice to current Duck Bryan Addison

Former Oregon football star receiver Bralon Addison's advice to current Duck Bryan Addison

Redshirt freshman receiver Bryan Addison has become a key contributor, with tremendous upside, in Oregon’s offense in 2019. In a prime opportunity, Bryan Addison could heed some advice from former Duck football wide receiver, Bralon Addison.

Bryan Addison’s lengthy 6-foot-5 frame, athleticism, and ball skills make him a potential Duck star. “Potential” can often become a dirty word in football when a top 100 recruit is embossed with lofty expectations to quickly transition to the college pace to make an impact. That is not the case with Addison.

With Dillon Mitchell’s departure for the NFL, Oregon searched for its next leading receiver and Addison’s talent remained largely under the radar. That is, until the receiving corps got hit with a nasty injury bug before the season began that sidelined five scholarship receivers.

With a concerning lack of depth, Addison’s name was called, his reps were ramped up and he has delivered with increasing production week after week.

“(Addison) has got a really good skillset,” Oregon offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo said. “He’s a long body, he’s fast off the line of scrimmage, he can catch a ball, he’s rangy, has run after catch, he’s tough.”

The Ducks’ passing offense is the most efficient (187.01) in the Pac-12 Conference and ranks sixth in the nation. The Ducks are thriving, minus some of their most veteran and talented receivers, with much thanks to production from Addison, Johnny Johnson III, Jaylon Redd and Jacob Breeland.

After redshirting in 2018, Addison (2) joins Breeland (3) and Johnson III (3) as the top three Ducks with 20 or more yard receptions. Addison’s career-high 58 yards and first Duck touchdown against Nevada came after a drop in the end zone during Oregon’s lone loss to Auburn. Addison didn’t let the drop define him and has become a reliable target for quarterback Justin Herbert. In Oregon’s win over Stanford, Addison caught four passes.

“He’s confident now,” Johnson III said. “He can go out there, jump high and catch the ball but he also has sneaky speed. People don’t realize that he can run. He’s a vertical threat and I think he’s doing a great job.”

Now that two of Oregon’s offensive weapons (Brenden Schooler and Mycah Pittman) are cleared and ready to play, where does that leave Addison? The added depth will bolster a rotation in games that should keep the group fresher and faster for longer.

With likely less, but more meaningful reps, Addison must continue to seize his opportunity and transition into the Duck star his talents set himself up for.  

Speaking of great Oregon receivers, Bryan Addison and former Oregon receiver Bralon Addison are not brothers, cousins or related in any way.

The 6-foot-5 redshirt freshman Bryan stands seven inches taller than Bralon , who is thriving in the Canadian Football League. The two athletes have never met in person and embody different skillsets, but Bralon has advice for Bryan.

“I would give Bryan the advice to stay grounded, keep grinding, don’t worry about outside influences and things you can’t control,” Bralon Addison said. “Maximize every opportunity and everything will work it self out!”

Bryan’s potential has impressed Bralon, who led the Ducks in 2015 with 63 receptions for 804 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also rushed for two touchdowns and returned a punt for a touchdown in addition to passing for a touchdown. 

Bralon’s versatility and ability to play wideout, in the slot and at wildcat quarterback recently earned him Top Performer of September in the CFL. Playing for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Bralon is currently third in receiving in the league, already surpassing 1,000 receiving yards.

Talk about making the most of an opportunity, the Addison’s are in a prime one.

Justin Herbert and his successor Tyler Shough are “two of the same”

Justin Herbert and his successor Tyler Shough are “two of the same”

At Oregon football practice, senior quarterback Justin Herbert lines up, commanding the quarterback unit with precise stretching, smiles and quiet high-fives. Lingering nearby, a Los Angeles Rams scout dutifully watches him.

The Eugene-native is months away from making millions in the NFL but first he has major goals in mind at Oregon. Intentionally or not, Herbert’s passion in his final season is bestowing major impact on the future of the Ducks program.

Back-up quarterback Tyler Shough is watching, emulating and ready to go at a moment’s notice. Besides learning from Herbert’s physical mechanics, Shough (rhymes with "Duck") has been impacted on how to carry yourself during practice and take command during a game.

“One thing I’ve seen out of Tyler is, he’s a lot more confident and he’s a lot more precise with what he does,” said wide receiver Bryan Addison. “He knows what he’s doing. (Herbert) is putting a great role model on him. Whenever Tyler is in the game it’s just like (Herbert) is in the game. Really, they are two of the same to me.”

Shough’s reliability illustrated reason to be confident in his role as back-up and a future starting Pac-12 Conference quarterback… A statement Oregon fans haven’t been able to rely on in over five seasons when former Duck Bryan Bennett transferred, the beginning of a slew of many, many, many transfers in and out of the position group.

The No. 15 Ducks got its most substantial glimpse of Herbert’s likely successor in Oregon’s 77-6 win over Nevada. The redshirt freshman threw his first college pass and finished 8-of-9 for 92 yards and two touchdowns. Shough took over in the third quarter and while he didn’t drop any jaws with downfield throws, he did display solid decision making, showed his accurate arm and toughness under pressure.

“He’s got the traits you are looking for at quarterback. In regards to command, personality, understanding the game and work ethic,” Offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo said. “Tyler has had those since he was a recruit… You can see his physical tools that will enable him to be successful, moving forward.”

The 6-foot-5, 220 pound passer made a couple heads up plays, including one flick to tight end Spencer Webb while getting blitzed on third and nine and showed off his mobility with a 11-yard run. Oregon Coach Mario Cristobal reflected that if Shough hadn’t been tripped up, he would have gone for more.

“I come off as a tall, lanky guy that’s not super fast but I can be sneaky fast,” Shough said. “I’ve been working on it a lot this offseason so it is kind of nice to get into those scenarios.”

Oregon’s likely 2020 starting quarterback’s first college completion was a quick screen pass to the perimeter to junior Jaylon Redd for a seven-yard touchdown. After playing in three games in 2018 without attempting a pass, what will Shough remember most about the moment?

“My teammates and sharing that moment with them,” Shough said. “It’s been a long time coming.”

Shough has been grinding in the Oregon weight room and with the second string for over a year and a half. The consensus four-star and top 300 prospect enrolled early in January of 2018 to get a jump start.

“Me and Tyler have some history,” said wide receiver Daewood Davis, who recently moved back to the position from defensive back. “When I was at receiver (last season), that was my guy, I was a two, he was a two. Man, me and Tyler have a connection. Seeing Tyler now, he’s grown up, matured and his arm is a lot stronger, his motion is a lot smoother. He’s a force to be reckoned.”

Since joining the Duck football program, Shough’s added 10 pounds of muscle and stole the show in Oregon’s spring game. Last May, he returned to Hamilton High School in Chandler, Ariz, where he earned academic honors and finished with a 4.0 plus GPA, to walk in his graduation.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BjbDNssDsxB/

His Instagram game has stayed the same- photos of the blonde-haired blue-eyed quarterback with friends and family, playing football and exploring the outdoors.

Herbert doesn’t have social media. If he did, his teammates say it’d be photos of the four “fs”: family, friends, fishing and football.
While Herbert and Shough’s social media would be similar there is one big difference between them… Experience. 

This Saturday against Montana, Shough will likely get some more of that. 

Shough was nearly perfect in his most substantial playing time in a Duck uniform, now he holds a chance to build off his performance against the Grizzlies.

The significance of Mycah Pittman’s injury

The significance of Mycah Pittman’s injury

Oregon’s depth chart at wide receiver is looming.

True freshman receiver Mycah Pittman, who was expected to contribute or possibly start this season, suffered an injury during Oregon’s most recent scrimmage on Saturday.

Pittman landed on his shoulder while making a catch. No official word on how serious the injury is yet but he was seen wearing a sling on Sunday.

“(He) landed on it pretty good," Oregon coach Mario Cristobal said. "I think some people that were out there saw it, and he caught the ball.”

A possible good sign, Pittman tweeted a thumbs up emoji on Monday morning. He has since deleted the tweet.

Possibly the most praised incoming freshman from teammates and coaches, Pittman made his presence felt from the moment he arrived in Eugene.

“He’s got that swagger, he knows who he is, his potential, but he can ball too,” safety Jevon Holland said. “He’s resilient and he’s got fire in his belly. He’s got a lot of what we need in the receiver position and on the team, period. Especially from a young guy to push the older guys.”

Dropped passes aren’t an issue for Pittman. “Yea, you will rarely see me drop a pass,” Pittman said before correcting himself. “You wont see that. Let’s leave it at that.

“I never double catch the ball, I’ll make sure I stay after practice if I need to get it right,” Pittman said.  

What this means
The Ducks receiving corps is already coping with the loss of senior receiver Brenden Schooler, who will be out another five to seven weeks after suffering a right foot injury that required surgery. The depth took another hit when freshman wide receiver JR Waters had a lower leg procedure and won’t return for four to six weeks. Freshmen Lance Wilhoit and Josh Delgado have also been limited with lingering injures.

With Schooler (the Duck returner with the most experience) out, Oregon needs unproven, inexperienced receivers to step into a contributing, if not starting, role right away.

The series of unfortunate events has lessened the pool of possible contributers.

Pittman was turning heads and splitting first team reps at slot receiver. Pittman has strong hands, a running back body and excels at getting separation. The impact of a speedy return cannot be understated, as Oregon currently has five healthy scholarship receivers.  

Without Pittman or Schooler, expected starters Jaylon Redd, Juwan Johnson, and Johnny Johnson III, will be backed up by Delgado and redshirt freshman Bryan Addison.

Four-star Delgado has a good grasp on the playbook and gained 15 pounds in offseason workouts while Oregon can also utilize large-bodied, 6-foot-5 Addison.

However, Pittman’s impact on the Duck offense was already visible, connecting with quarterback Justin Herbert during spring and fall practice, moving up the depth chart and pushing veterans. 

“Pittman has been surprising me,” tight end Cam McCormick said. “Always goes beyond, he always does extra.”

Oregon is trying to best take advantage of Herbert’s final season. The sooner reliable Pittman is back on the field, the better for Oregon.

The hunt is on for Oregon football’s next leading receiver

The hunt is on for Oregon football’s next leading receiver

Ring the alarm bells, warm up the searchlight, the hunt is on for Oregon’s next leading receiver. Quarterback Justin Herbert has lost his most reliable target for 2019.

Coming off of one of the best seasons a Duck has ever had, Dillon Mitchell will not return to Oregon for his senior season and has declared for the 2019 NFL Draft.

Mitchell’s parting moment following Oregon’s victory over Michigan State in the Redbox Bowl was touching. After setting a new program single-season receiving record with 1,184 yards (breaking Josh Huff’s 1,140 record set in 2013) and catching the game-winning touchdown pass, he was awarded offensive MVP during the on stage trophy presentation… Which he then gave to his dad in the stands.

"It has been great living a childhood dream these last three years. Ever since 7th grade, I wanted to be an Oregon Duck. I fell in love with the uniforms, the players, the fast spread offense, and the Nike brand,” Mitchell said in an announcement on his Twitter account. “I will always cherish my time here and know that I am an Oregon Duck for life.”

Mitchell, the Pac-12 leader in receiving yards this season, had 75 receptions for 1,184 yards and 10 touchdowns, both ranking as third-most in a season in program history. He became quarterback Justin Herbert’s go-to receiver, and in a season plagued with dropped passes, his most reliable target. Herbert was even criticized for throwing to Mitchell too often.

Oregon's receiving corps will severely miss Mitchell. UO's second returning receiver, sophomore Jaylon Redd, has less than half of Mitchell's receptions and yards with 368 yards on 31 catches.

The Ducks will return all 10 of their other starters on the offensive side of the football for the 2019 season including; Herbert and offensive linemen Calvin Throckmorton, Shane Lemieux, and Jake Hanson. But is there a reliable pass-catcher on the roster who can be an offensive weapon?

The pool is large for Oregon’s next No. 1 receiver, with new names added to the list that could make an impact immediately.

Redd, a junior next season, is an option. He finished second on the team in receptions (38), yards (433) and touchdowns (5). He’s listed as 5-foot-8, 178-pounds, but his smaller stature doesn’t stop him from getting physical. His blocking ability has impressed his coaches and teammates. He gives Oregon a speed option in the slot.

Also returning is Brenden Schooler and Johnny Johnson. Neither had much production in 2018, dropping key passes, and would need to greatly improve to become a go to target for Herbert.

The jury is still out for Bryan Addison and Isaah Crocker, who both redshirted this season. Addison, the 6-foot-5 former Top 100 recruit, played in four games and caught one pass for 12 yards. Addison made huge strides as a redshirt, according to offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo. At 6-foot-1,175-pounds, the former four-star recruit, Crocker, has the tools to also make an impact in 2019.

The Ducks needed talented pass catchers in the 2019 class and they signed four, four-star receivers and one underrated three-star athlete during the early signing period. There are at least two commits that could conceivably make an impact as soon as next season.

Mycah Pittman, remember that name. Pittman is the third-highest rated wide receiver to ever sign with the Ducks. The 5-foot-11, 200-pounder is the type of talent that could step in from the start. Pittman has strong hands, a running back body and excels at getting separation. He also could make an impact on special teams. Cristobal called him, "an explosive and strong route runner.”

The lone in-state prospect, four-star tight end Patrick Herbert, also could contribute right away. He is the fourth highest-ranked tight end prospect to ever sign with Oregon and the little brother of quarterback Justin Herbert. At 6-foot-5, 225-pounds, Herbert’s strength is catching the ball in traffic.

Oregon also adds four-star athletes Lance Wilhoite and Josh Delgado, two of the 10 highest-ranked wide receivers to ever sign with Oregon, to its roster.

The opportunity for playing time is plentiful. Can Oregon’s young talent make the transition to college football, impact the 2019 season and live up to expectations? Will the returning Ducks find a way to increase production from 2018?

Hopefully the answer to those two questions is yes, otherwise Herbert and Oregon’s offense could be in trouble.

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?