Jordon Scott

Oregon football offseason updates: 6 takeaways from Mario Cristobal

Oregon football offseason updates: 6 takeaways from Mario Cristobal

College football is creeping in… Ready for some Duck football updates? Oregon football coach Mario Cristobal met with the media prior to the Portland Golf Classic at Langdon Farms Golf Club on Monday. Here are the biggest takeaways:


Cristobal is admittedly bad at golf, has never played 18 holes and spends a lot of time recruiting while he is on the greens. In fact, he said the entire UO football staff is not good on the golf course. He thinks it is a good sign that his staff is much better at their jobs than golfing.


The Ducks are getting after it in the weight room as apart of their offseason strength and conditioning program. Junior defensive lineman Jordon Scott posted a video squatting 605 pounds and freshman defensive lineman Kayvon Thibodeaux just joined the 500-pound squat club.

Last year, Oregon had 29 players who could squad 400 or more pounds. That number has almost doubled to 56 players in the “400 club”, according to Cristobal. 15 Ducks can squat 500 pounds compared to three a year ago. He gave a special shout out to the seniors who have been leading the way in the weight room.


Oregon football has been ever present in the community this offseason. The Ducks had almost 60 players volunteer for the Oregon football women’s clinic and quarterback Justin Herbert spends a lot of his time in the OHeroes program.

“There is no head faking, there is no putting on a show,” Cristobal said. “I’m proud of the fact that they chose to be apart of the community and chose to give back because if it’s forced, it’s not the same. Our players are made of the right stuff on the inside and that’s what we are most proud of.”


It was all eyes on Oregon’s 11 early enrollees during spring football practices. Now, the rest of Oregon’s highest-rated class is headed to Eugene and will arrive on campus on June 22-23.

The remaining four-star recruits that will officially join the team in two weeks are: linebacker Masu Funa, wide receiver Lance Wilhoite, offensive lineman Jonah Tauanu'u, running back Sean Dollars and defensive tackle Keyon Ware-Hudson.

“They have about four-and-a-half weeks to prepare for their first collegiate season,” said Cristobal. “They have about four-and-a-half weeks to do a great job in the classroom, learn the systems, get in the best shape they can, attack every phase of the process we have set for them before a small break before we start fall camp.”


Cristobal praised former Oregon quarterback Nate Costa, who played for Oregon from 2006-10. Cristobal hired Costa as a Senior Offensive Analyst in March but it’s not the first time the two have met.

“I met Nate three years ago,” Cristobal said. “While I was in Tuscaloosa, he came in for an interview… Super bright guy with an extremely high football I.Q. He has been in a couple different systems and has done some coaching as well at IMG. He’s a very well respected guy and a guy that will, without question, help us offensively.”


Since the NCAA has altered the transfer rules, granting a larger number of waivers for immediate eligibility, many programs have adjusted their strategies. The Ducks aren't making any drastic changes but always on high alert when it comes to the transfer portal.

"If you have to change because of the transfer portal, you're probably not doing it right to begin with. I say that very openly and honestly," Cristobal said. "If you have to change what you are because of an adjustment, I think that’s a problem. We don’t change, we are what we are, 24/7, 365. We do things the right way, we work extremely hard, we’re demanding but not demeaning. We take care of our players but we also make sure to challenge them and push them to reach their highest potential. “

Takeaways from Oregon football Hillsboro scrimmage: changed physiques, freshmen highlights and Duck “celebrities”

Takeaways from Oregon football Hillsboro scrimmage: changed physiques, freshmen highlights and Duck “celebrities”

Oregon football loaded up the buses for a rainy drive from Eugene to Hillsboro Stadium for a half practice, half traditional 11-on-11 scrimmage in front of over 2,000 die-hard Duck fans who spent their Saturday with former Duck Marcus Mariota.

Former Heisman Trophy winner Mariota and former Duck Ifo Ekpre-Olomu supported the team from the sidelines while Oregon fans craned to get their first peek at the nation’s top recruit Kayvon Thibodeaux, among others.

It’s been four months since Oregon beat Michigan State in the Redbox Bowl and some players definitely hit the winter strength and conditioning program (Coach Cristobal calls it the "Fourth Quarter" offseason program) hard. Some of the biggest physical changes I noticed was to the offensive linemen; particularly senior Shane Lemieux and senior Jake Hanson who seem to have toned up and added lower body strength. Junior nose guard Jordon Scott, who started all 13 games last season, definitely has slimmed down. Junior tight end Cam McCormick, won the starting job last August but was injured in the season opener, appears to be 100 percent physically ready and a force to be reckoned with.

Of course it was all eyes on the newcomers, 10 early-enrollee freshmen in Oregon’s highest-ever rated recruiting class.

It was my first look at Thibodeaux, who is not your typical 18 year old. The freshman was on the first-team and is poised to make an impact this season. Freshmen wide receivers Josh Delgado and Mycah Pittman participated in returning punts with Brenden Schooler and Travis Dye. Tight end Patrick Herbert provided a highlight of the day; a touchdown catch in a one-on-one drill.

Not a freshman, but still a highlight was Penn State graduate transfer Juwan Johnson, who literally stood out among the wide receivers at 6-foot-4, 225 pounds. He made some terrific catches from redshirt-freshman quarterback Tyler Shough. Shough, who did not attempt a pass last season, seems to have secured the back-up quarterback position and made some excellent passes.

The longest touchdown of the 11-on-11 scrimmage came via quarterback Justin Herbert to Darrian Felix for 50-yards that brought Oregon fans to their feet.

The Ducks have six more spring practices remaining before they host the spring game at Autzen Stadium on April 20.

Players reactions: Ducks defense is shook over Leavitt news

Players reactions: Ducks defense is shook over Leavitt news

If you are shocked to hear that defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt and Oregon are parting ways, you aren't alone.

In the few minutes since the story broke, many Oregon defensive players took to Twitter to share their reactions about Leavitt leaving, one can assume. It appears the Ducks were not aware that Leavitt would not be back for a third season. Very notable is linebacker Troy Dye's response, who made the decision to forgo the 2019 NFL Draft to return for his senior season. Also, is the nation's No. 1 recruit, Kayvon Thibodeaux, HAPPY that Leavitt is gone? The good news is he does not plan on transferring. 









A little background on Leavitt: Leavitt is the highest paid coordinator in the Pac-12 conference. Over the span of two years as Oregon's defensive coordinator, he has improved the Ducks' 126th ranked defense in 2016 to 67th in 2018 in the nation. Oregon's scoring defense has also improved from 41.4 points per game to 28 points per game.

Oregon football's best recruiting weapon: Mario Cristobal's authenticity

Oregon football's best recruiting weapon: Mario Cristobal's authenticity

Oregon coach Mario Cristobal’s middle name might as well be “genuine”... it's how his team refers to him over and over again.

Cristobal came to Oregon in 2016 with a reputation as one of the top recruiters in the country, an instrumental piece to Alabama hauling in top prospects year after year. Oregon promoted Cristobal in 2017 to head coach with large recruiting expectations… and the 2015 National Recruiter of the Year has delivered.

UO has landed the program's highest-rated recruit in program history and highest-rated class ever AFTER a predictable 8-4 season, finishing 4th in the Pac-12 North, and winding at the Redbox Bowl… How?

Yes, Oregon is considered to be Nike University and has been for the last decade. Certainly, high schoolers love the Oregon Football brand and its facilities, but it’s Cristobal’s honest and welcoming approach that has made the difference.

Senior defensive end and first team All-Pac-12 selection Jalen Jelks has three head coaches during his time at Oregon. He recounts why Cristobal is special.

“He will text you in the middle of the day, ‘Hey how is it going? What’s your class schedule like?’ and then he will pop by and see you,” Jelks said. “Little stuff like that shows the kind of person he is and how much he really cares about you… He’s just a real genuine guy.”

While many draft-eligible players are deciding to forgo bowl games to focus on the 2019 NFL Draft, not only does Jelks want to play as a Duck one last time on December 31, he wishes he could return for another season under Cristobal.

Sophomore nose tackle Jordon Scott agreed that one of the biggest reasons recruits gravitate towards Cristobal is how much he cares about his players’ well-being off the field. Scott, who has started 22 consecutive games, told a story about the week leading up to Oregon’s upset victory over rival Washington.

“I had gotten a real bad stinger in practice and I didn’t know if I was going to be able to play because I couldn’t really life my arm up,” Scott said.  “(Cristobal) texted me, ‘Don’t worry about it. You’ll be fine’. I think that’s the biggest thing about him, he’s genuine and he knows that little things like that can really help us mentally.”

The Ducks expect their commitments to put ink to paper on during early signing period, which begins Wednesday. Oregon has never finished with a class ranked in the top 10 of the 247Sports team rankings. Currently, the Ducks have 20 commitments that have bought into Cristobal’s vision and shaped the No. 5 ranked 2019 class.

The top-rated high school player in the country, defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux, is proof that Cristobal and his staff can compete against the top programs in the country. Thibodeaux passed over Alabama, Florida and Florida State for Cristobal, the coach that Thibodeaux’s mom liked.

“Mario Cristobal is a great guy, my mom loves him, and he’s a God-fearing man,” Thibodeaux said during his selection. “He can take my game to the next level.”

The five-star recruit also said Cristobal talked to him about more than just football, expressing an enthusiasm in his other interests, which include journalism.

Mario “genuine” Cristobal, has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

Ugo Amadi, the Duck who does it all, has something up his sleeve

Ugo Amadi, the Duck who does it all, has something up his sleeve

Senior Ugo Amadi likes sending Oregon fans into a frenzy.

Autzen Stadium roared when Amadi scored the first touchdown of the game against UCLA; a dazzling 56-yard punt return taken to the house.

Last month at California, the ball-hawk stunned with two interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown.

He is the only player in the nation with a punt return for a touchdown and a pick-six. After each, he earned Pac-12 Player of the Week honors.

So basically, when Amadi scores a touchdown, he gets recognized. However, Oregon coach Mario Cristobal thinks Amadi deserves more acknowledgement.

“I hope that he is further recognized as one of the best players in the country," Cristobal said. "Because what he has brought to the table, the multiple positions he plays on defense, what he has done on special teams, not only as a returner but on coverage units as well, it has changed us. It really has.”

Cristobal laughed and continued to say he would try to talk Amadi into returning kickoffs as well.

Amadi has become Oregon’s main punt returner this season averaging 24.8 yards on eight returns, only after he suggested the new position to coaches in the offseason. He isn’t laughing about the idea of increasing his role to include kickoff returns. On the contrary, he continues to shove his high school film in front of Cristobal to pitch the idea. Will he get his chance this Saturday in Salt Lake City, Utah?

“Not yet. It’s in the works,” Cristobal said. “(Amadi) is very capable. He’s made sure I go back and watch his high school film again, for the 18th time, so that I see that he has the skills to do so. He’d be excellent at it.”

Jury is still out on if Amadi should add the salesman title to his resume. According to nose tackle Jordon Scott, Amadi is most likely to be a magician.


Amadi agreed because he is “always doing something out of the ordinary.”

The senior certainly likes to delight an audience. Amadi put on a show last season against Utah, in perhaps the best play of his junior year. He punched the ball away from former Oregon wide receiver Darren Carrington and ran it back 47 yards for the touchdown.  

This week, the Ducks and Amadi face a tough road game at Utah, who is tied for first in the Pac-12 South Division with a 4-3 conference record. The Utes have a run-heavy offense and an NFL-caliber running back in Zack Moss that will challenge Oregon’s front seven. However, a report just came out that Moss is out for the rest of the season. 

Amadi or the “quarterback of the defense” as Cristobal calls him, will be as integral as ever for Oregon. The Ducks will need their leader to halt a two-game road losing streak. 

Will Duck fans explode with noise due to another Amadi sparked play? With just three Pac-12 conference games left in his college career, who knows what else Amadi has up his sleeve.  

Ducks can't allow meltdown against Stanford to destroy season

Ducks can't allow meltdown against Stanford to destroy season

EUGENE - The door to Oregon's locker room slammed shut while a player let lose an F-bomb loud enough to be heard throughout the third floor of the Hattfield-Dowlin Complex. 

Oregon had just lost a game that it won in every way but on the scoreboard.  

It read: 38-31, Stanford, in overtime. But it didn't tell the entire tale.

The Ducks (3-1, 0-1 Pac-12) let this one slip away in mind-numbing fashion. A potential game-cementing touchdown erased by a pylon rule few understood. There was a bad snap that became an 89-yard touchdown for Stanford. A late fumble led to a tying field goal. A tipped pass for a touchdown in overtime won the game for Stanford.

It's the type of loss that could demoralize a team and send it spiraling into the abyss. Avoiding that is the first major challenge of new coach Mario Cristobal's tenure. 

"You've got to get right back on it and shake it off," Cristobal said. "Shake it off fast. You can't let this thing beat you twice."

Next up is a 3-0 California team that had this weekend off and certainly watched what transpired on national television. If you're Cal, you should be worried. The Ducks looked formidable against a top 10 team. Oregon met head on with a seemingly immovable object in No. 7 Stanford's defense and bullied the Cardinal all over the field Saturday night while the defense rocked one of the most consistently devastating rushing attacks of the past 10 years. Quarterback Justin Herbert looked like a future first-round NFL Draft pick. The front seven appeared to be the best in the Pac-12 Conference. Wide receiver Dillon Mitchell put on one of the best pass catching shows in Autzen Stadium with 14 receptions for 239 yards. 

Oregon led 24-7 in the third quarter with the ball deep in Stanford's territory. From that point on, Oregon seemingly won the game several times but ultimately lost it and a chance to make a national statement. 

So where do the Ducks go from here? That's up to them. This is a relatively young team with just six senior starters. They must lead the team back to a better place mentally, or this loss to lead to another at Cal with No. 10 Washington visiting Autzen on Oct. 13. Just like that, Oregon could be 3-3 and 0-3 in conference if the Ducks don't find a way to put this loss behind them. 

Oregon didn't simply lose a game. It most likely lost its best shot at winning the North Division and thus the Pac-12

"That to me is the biggest part that you have to address and you have to make sure you do your best work at as a coach," Cristobal said. "It could be very difficult and devastating for a lot. I know certainly that we all feel it. But, like we talked about in there, there is nobody feeling sorry for us on the other side of the conference and the other side over there in California. We are going to have to immediately get back to work at this."

The faces of each player that exited the locker room on their way down stairs to see family expressed sadness, frustration anger.

"We were up 24-7," one player mumbled to another, who just shook, his head. 

In the interview room, solemn faces put forth a positive spin. A sense that this team is equipped to recover within 24 hours. 

"Tomorrow's practice will show the true leaders of the team and the core of the team will come together," sophomore defensive lineman Jordon Scott said. "And once we go through meetings and watch the film we're going to flush it as a team and that's when we'll start preparing for Cal. The rebound is not going to be easy but by the end of the day tomorrow, everybody is going to be focused on Cal and this will be behind us."

That's the correct mentality. It's up to Cristobal to make sure the team follows through. 

"I feel like we have an outstanding team that knows how to rebound," Mitchell said. "We've got guys that can do the job. So that's not even a question. I already know everybody is going to come to work tomorrow and start preparing for Cal."

Jordon Scott: Oregon's secret to stuffing Stanford

Jordon Scott: Oregon's secret to stuffing Stanford

Oregon’s starting nose tackle Jordon Scott could be a future president of the United States. At least, that’s what coach Mario Cristobal said he “would most likely be”.

"Does he get my vote? Oh, yeah," Cristobal said. 

Scott’s big personality and high football IQ are crucial to Oregon’s front seven. The sophomore lightens up stuffy meeting rooms and his teammates gravitate toward and replicate his humble yet hungry attitude.

Even more essential than Scott’s personality, is his ability to defend the middle and control the A-gaps, the space between the center and either guard. Cristobal says Scott’s combination of size and speed make him a perfect fit for Oregon's 3-4 defense. Linebacker Troy Dye appreciates Scott’s consistent play that he considers the foundation of the Duck defense.

“You can’t even put into words what he does for our defense,” Dye said. “He’s probably the most integral part of our defense because it all starts up front and it all starts in the middle.”

Scott is going to have to continue his work in the trenches this Saturday against No. 7 Stanford and Heisman-Trophy runner up Bryce Love.  Love is an offensive weapon with quick change of pace and explosive speed, at any moment he can burst through a hole and take it the distance.

So far this season, Scott’s hard work has been evident in how his teammates have shined. He can hold down a double or triple team, freeing up Jalen Jelks and Justin Hollins to put up impressive numbers. The duo has combined for 9.5 tackles for loss with 5.5 sacks through three games.

“I think he's undervalued in the passing game. You don’t hear his name much, but he creates so much push in the pocket that it prevents the quarterback from stepping up and allows the edge rushers to get there,” Cristobal said.

While Scott has proven invaluable to the Ducks’ front seven, the stat sheet doesn’t accurately show his domination of the middle. That may change this week, as Scott has been putting in extra practice time to work on his pass rush moves. Stanford quarterback K.J. Costello could have number 34 barreling his direction. 

[Five reasons why Oregon vs. Stanford is worth the hype]

Scott came to the Oregon football program from Largo, Fla., weighing in at 370 pounds. He shed 40 pounds and became a Freshman All-American. His progression from year one to year two makes defensive line coach Joe Salava’e grin from ear to ear.

“He’s a big body that can move and cover short distance bursts, and can cover sideline to sideline,” said Salava’e. “For a big guy, that size moving that fast, that’s a tremendous attribute to have.”

Whether his stat line jumps off the page or not, Scott is confident heading into Saturday.

“Right now, our front seven versus their front seven… I like our guys,” Scott said.

His own guys like him, too. Jelks, who rooms with Scott on the road, says his teammate is a “goofball” that constantly makes him laugh. Jelks spending so much time on the road with Scott begs the question, does he snore?

“No," Jelks said before calling out former UO defensive lineman DeForest Buckner.  “I roommed with De-Fo before. He is the biggest snorer ever. (Scott) does not snore so I can sleep.”

Just another way Scott is helping the Oregon defense.

The 2018 Ducks will contend if (Part 7)...: They replace DL Henry Mondeaux.

The 2018 Ducks will contend if (Part 7)...: They replace DL Henry Mondeaux.

Oregon's promising 2017 season ended with a wild two weeks that saw Willie Taggart depart for Florida State, coach Mario Cristobal take over the program, recruits decommit left and right and then the Ducks fall flat during a 38-28 loss to Boise State in the Las Vegas Bowl. Still, the 2018 season could see Oregon return to Pac-12 prominence. That is, if a lot of variables play out in the Ducks' favor. We will take a position-by-position look at the team to discuss what must happen in order for Oregon to rise again in 2018. 

Other position entries: QuarterbackRunning backsReceivers/Tight endsOffensive lineDefensive backsLinebackersDefensive line.   


Today: The 2018 Ducks will contend if (Part 7)...:They replace DL Henry Mondeaux.

Key losses: Senior Henry Mondeaux was an impact, three-year starter. Also gone are Elijahn George and Scott Pagano, who was limited by injuries after transferring in from Clemson. 

Projected starters: Defensive end Jalen Jelks, RSr., (6-6, 245); Nose Jordon Scott, So., (6-1, 200); defensive end Austin Faoliu (6-3, 289). 

Key backups: Drayton Carlberg, RJr., (6-5, 286); Gary Baker, RJr., (6-3, 325); Hunter Kampmoyer, RSo., (6-4, 272); Malik Young, RSr., (6-2, 301)

What we know: Jelks has blossomed into a star. The ultra-athletic and talented Jelks led the team with both 6 1/2 sacks and 15 tackles for loss last season. He gave the Ducks a pass rusher that they sorely lacked in 2016. He should be all-Pac-12 in 2018, if not make a run at defensive player of the year.

Scott is a beast in the making. As a freshman, he proved to be a valuable run stuffer and pocket destroyer, and he should only get better. 

What we don't know: Faoliu remains a bit of a wild card. There is reason to believe that he will step right in and fill Mondeaux's former spot, but we don't yet know how well he will do in that role full time. 

Plus, the depth situation remains precarious. 

What must happen for Oregon to contend: At the very least, Faoliu must play consistently well. He doesn't need to dominate, just be better than average. If so, Oregon will have one of the best three-man defensive lines in the conference and that will allow the linebackers, where there are some question marks, to flourish. If Faoliu is average, and the depth doesn't come through, the Ducks could have a weakness in play that might prevent them from contending in the Pac-12. 

Jordon Scott named to freshman All-America team

Jordon Scott named to freshman All-America team

EUGENE, Ore. – Oregon defensive lineman Jordon Scott has been named to the 17th annual Football Writers Association of America Freshman All-America Team.


Scott (Largo, Fla. / Pinellas Park HS) finished his freshman season with 34 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and two sacks while starting 11 of Oregon’s 13 games. He had a season-high five tackles at Washington earning a spot on that week’s Pro Football Focus All-Pac-12 Team. Scott had multiple tackles in 11 games, including the last 10.


Scott, who was previously named the 247Sports True Freshman All-America Team, is the eighth Oregon player to be named to a FWAA Freshman All-America Team. He joins Haloti Ngata (2002), LaMichael James (2009), John Boyett (2009), De’Anthony Thomas (2011), Tyler Johnstone (2012), Royce Freeman (20014) and Troy Dye (2015).


Will "freak athlete" Troy Dye return for his senior season?

Will "freak athlete" Troy Dye return for his senior season?

Since the minute linebacker Troy Dye arrived in Eugene, Oregon, he’s disrupted backfields and locked down in coverage but has his reign of terror on Pac-12 offenses come to an end?

Dye has a major decision to make and a looming Jan. 14 deadline; forgo his final season of eligibility and declare for the 2019 NFL draft or return for his senior season at Oregon?

“He’s a great linebacker. We haven’t had a linebacker like him in awhile,” senior defensive end Jalen Jelks said. “When he doesn’t make a play, he thinks about it the rest of the game and then gets after it more… It’s intense.”

Jelks is correct. The last UO linebacker to throw up similar statistics to Dye was Michael Clay (linebacker 2009-2012). Dye is the first Duck with 100 tackles in back-to-back seasons since Clay (2011-12).

Dye’s domination as a Duck etched him into the history books; the junior is the 15th player in program history to reach 300 career tackles, earning the Oregon defensive player of the year honor as a freshman, sophomore and junior. 

But will Oregon’s leading tackler for three-straight seasons play his last game in a Duck uniform in the Redbox Bowl on December 31st?

Dye has not indicated his plans for the 2019 season, yet. Although, he did send this tweet after the Ducks landed the top rated high school player in the country, defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux.

So, does that indicate Dye was planning on going to the NFL before the Ducks beat out Alabama, Florida State and Florida to win the Thibodeaux lottery?

Adding the 6'5'' 235-pound elite pass rusher with scary speed and agility to the Oregon roster certainly didn’t hurt the Ducks’ chances at getting Dye back for another season.

UO coach Mario Cristobal told Dye to lay off the cryptic tweets, but plans on sitting down with him and his family to help discuss the benefits and disadvantages of waiting or declaring for the NFL this season.

“I think everybody has a decision to make and some make more sense than others and the facts will certainly at least points you in the right direction,” Cristobal said.

Oregon requested scouting reports from the NFL advisory committee for a number of draft eligible juniors including: quarterback Justin Herbert, wide receiver Dillon Mitchell and Dye. Herbert elected to stay for his senior season and Mitchell is headed to the NFL. 

“Troy is special because he can do more than just make tackles,” nose tackle Jordon Scott said. “He can cover, he can rush the passer, he can fill a gap… Overall, he has control of our defense and that’s one thing that is intangible."

Dye is gaining traction in NFL draft circles, scouting reports often listing him as a “freak athlete” with elite agility and lateral quickness that has the ability to power through linemen and can get skinny to shoot multiple gaps.

The concerns around Dye revolve around his thin, tall frame. At 6-foot-3, 224-pounds, Scouts call out his build and worry that he’ll get shoved around against NFL blockers.

Draft network named Dye as one of the top five draft eligible Pac-12 players that would benefit by playing another year at the college level and bulking up in the weight room.

Dye’s draft projection ranges from as high as the fourth round to undrafted.

A promising NFL talent and a proven college star, Dye has 10 days to decide if he will continue to pester Pac-12 backfields for another season or not.