Oregon Football

Oregon fans, players shut down hot take that Walker Little is better than Penei Sewell 

Oregon fans, players shut down hot take that Walker Little is better than Penei Sewell 

There’s no offensive lineman in college football better than Penei Sewell right now. Period. 

Sewell took home top honors for the nation’s top offensive lineman as 2019 Outland Trophy award winner and was just the third Duck to be named a unanimous All-American in 2019. Even his Pro Football Focus every-down numbers prove he stands above the rest. 

The scary part? That was only his sophomore season and Sewell is just scratching the surface on his potential. 

In a recent game of Fact or Fiction, Rivals.com national recruiting director Mike Farrell and national recruiting analyst Adam Gorney shared their takes on whether Stanford’s Walker Little could push Oregon’s Penei Sewell as the best offensive tackle in the Pac-12 in 2020. 

Let’s just say Oregon players and fans didn’t appreciate Walker in the same conversation as the 6-6, 335-pound monster left tackle. 

Ducks safety Bennett Williams shut down the claim immediately. “Stop the slander,” Williams said in a post on Twitter. 

Oregon tight end Spencer Webb had one simple response to the comparison: “Delete the tweet.”

The trolling continued…

  

Be sure to download and listen for free Sports Uncovered: The uniform craze that revolutionized college football

For those who didn’t read the article, both Farrell and Gorney called the take “fiction,” noting Sewell’s special and rare athletic abilities. 

“I like Walker Little a lot and I think he comes back from injury with a vengeance this season,” Farrell said. “But better than Penei Sewell? Sewell is the best OL prospect for the NFL Draft I’ve seen in a few years and should be a top five pick next year. The Pac-12 has some great lineman this upcoming season and these two could be 1-2 in the country. But Sewell is far and away more special.” 

Gorney added, “There’s almost no doubt that if Sewell was eligible to be drafted that NFL last April, he would have gone in the top five. Now he has another year to dominate in college football and other than some quarterbacks high on the list, no one is higher than Sewell.”

OK, so neither Rivals.com reporter was actually suggesting Little is better than Sewell, but that tweet did feel like a reach. 

Rest assured Ducks Nation, Sewell is still college football’s best. He's a likely Heisman Trophy candidate in 2020 and will have a bright future for years to come after being tabbed a top-3 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. 

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest Olympian Devon Allen].

Calvin Throckmorton delivers this powerful statement on Fourth of July

Calvin Throckmorton delivers this powerful statement on Fourth of July

While protests against police brutality and racial oppression took place in the United States over the holiday weekend, Calvin Throckmorton took to social media on Fourth of July to deliver a powerful message.

The former Oregon offensive tackle drew attention to Independence Day and used the holiday to remind his followers that true sovereignty has yet to be achieved for all.  

This 4th of July it is important that we all recognize that not all those who call this country their home have the same freedom. Our brothers and sisters of color continue to suffer from systemic oppression that has existed since and before our country became “free.” 

I stand with all those who are oppressed and will fight with them until we may all benefit from the same freedoms together. – Calvin Throckmorton 

Be sure to download and listen for free Sports Uncovered: The uniform craze that revolutionized college football

The powerful statement was retweeted by many current and former Oregon student-athletes including Troy Dye and Satou Sabally.  

Oregon football head coach Mario Cristobal shared the post with the comments, “purpose driven & powerful statement.”

Throckmorton is usually a pretty quiet guy on social media, but this was a matter the New Orleans Saints offensive tackle refused to stay quiet about. 

And he’s not the only one. 

Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard recently told NBCSNW that he believes it’s crucial for conversations around current social injustice movements to continue. 

The All-Star point guard, who has attended a Black Lives Matter march in Portland, says the NBA has a real opportunity to use its platform to advance discussions around social and racial injustices as play resumes in Orlando this month. 

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest Olympian Devon Allen].

How Ugo Amadi inadvertently landed at Oregon because of a wrong phone number

How Ugo Amadi inadvertently landed at Oregon because of a wrong phone number

Ugo Amadi didn’t always know he wanted to go to Oregon. 

In fact, the John Overton High School in Nashville, Tennessee standout, who initially committed to Ole Miss, had a roundabout way of landing in Eugene, Oregon. 

On the Talkin’ Seahawks podcast with host Joe Fann, the now Seattle Seahawks safety explained in great detail how he unexpectedly ended up in an Oregon uniform.  

That was a very, very stressful moment in my life. That’s where I hit adversity. A lot of stuff went down. I was committed to Ole Miss and then I was supposed to graduate early, and enroll early at Ole Miss. But when I had graduated high school, which was in December 2014, they didn’t want me to come in early. So I’m already at home, not doing anything but working out because I’m not in school anymore. They’re like we don’t want you to come in early, I’m like nah—I don’t want to sit at home in January and wait until June to enroll. I was like it’s alright and I just decommitted from there. -- Ugo Amadi 

Not even days after Amadi decommitted at Ole Miss, LSU head coach Les Miles and former defensive coordinator John Chavis showed up at his hometown in a suit and tie. They wanted Amadi to become a Tiger. 

“Later on that day, they came to my house,” Amadi recalled. “They talked to my parents, they’re all like “Yeah, you want to come and be a Tiger?’ They said you can play special teams, defense for us, all that stuff. And then some days go by and I ended up committing to LSU, the day of the Music City Bowl, the day they played Notre Dame in 2015.”

But the story doesn’t end there. Amadi found out following the game that Coach Chavis was leaving and after a few days of getting his voicemail, Chavis slid into his DMs with a scholarship offer to Texas A&M. 

At only 17, Amadi was faced with a difficult decision. Follow Coach Chavis to Texas A&M or explore other options. He chose the latter…and here’s where the curveball comes in. 

While working out one day, Amadi’s trainer said he knew Michigan Coach Jim Harbaugh’s assistant. He asked the four-star cornerback if he wanted him to reach out and a text was sent. 

The text, however, didn’t go to Harbaugh’s assistant, but instead John Neal, Oregon’s defensive backs coach. 

He said for some reason, it’s Coach Neal at Oregon, and then Coach Neal DMs me, gives me his number—this is when they’re getting ready for the Rose Bowl... After the Rose Bowl, they ended up offering me a scholarship and their media guy sent me a Twitter video of what University of Oregon looks like and it was like a 360 kind of video, you can move your phone and see the whole stadium. It was crazy. And then they sent me my initial letter of intent and then I signed at Oregon. I didn’t take a visit or anything, it’s kind of like a blessing in disguise. -- Ugo Amadi 

Blessing in disguise is a perfect way to put it, but Amadi arriving at Oregon is no coincidence. 

In his illustrious four-year career in a Ducks uniform, Amadi was a five-time game captain and shared Oregon’s 2018 team MVP award with Justin Herbert. Over his final two seasons, Amadi amassed six interceptions, highlighted by three pick-6s, and forced four fumbles.

He took home the Lombardi Award his senior year, an honor given annually to the best college football player regardless of position, based on performance, leadership, character and resiliency.

We catch up with Amadi on the latest Talkin’ Seahawks about his first year as a pro, how he’s preparing for competition this offseason and his favorite Oregon uniform combo. You can listen to the full podcast with Amadi here.

Ugo Amadi reveals his favorite Oregon football uniform swag 

Ugo Amadi reveals his favorite Oregon football uniform swag 

Long before Ugo Amadi stepped on the field at Autzen Stadium decked out in Ducks swag, he knew of Oregon football’s reputation for eccentric, tricked out, statement-maker uniforms, and he couldn’t wait to get his hands on one.

Little did Amadi know, he’d own about 60 Oregon uniforms over his four-year career with the Ducks. 

“It got to a point where I didn’t know which ones were my favorite uniforms because all of them look good. It was so tough,” Amadi told Joe Fann on the latest episode of Talkin’ Seahawks. “And then my senior year, we got to choose our uniforms, what we wanted to wear each weekend because Cristobal let us have fun with it man, it’s just crazy. The uniforms are ridiculous.”

Ridiculous is right. Whether we’re talking about the all-white stormtroopers or the green-on-green slick unis from the 2015 Rose Bowl, Oregon has been at the forefront of innovation while annihilating opponents. 

We discuss The Uniform Craze That Revolutionized College Football in our NBC Sports NW podumentary on the Sports Uncovered podcast feed

Amadi says the Oregon equipment room is a secret spot for hidden treasures. Inside, you can find the black and pink 2014 Breast Cancer Awareness jerseys and other vintage uniforms that players have never returned to claim. 

He wouldn’t leave his favorite combo behind though. Amadi says one highly-touted uniform paired with black winged helmets is his most cherished. 

I like the Jordan and Oregon collab they did with UCLA. I like that collab the most. But we had a lot of good uniforms. Even the Ducks uniform we wore against Colorado my sophomore year, that was really good too. I feel like Oregon likes to be different and that’s what I’m like, I like to be different, I like to standout. -- Ugo Amadi 

While Amadi’s days at Oregon are now in the past, the Seattle Seahawks safety says there’s one stylistic choice he still wears as a nod to his college team, who always strived to be offbeat. 

I always wear the action green gloves just so my family can tell me apart from other people, just look at my gloves. Everybody else wear their white gloves, but I like to wear the action green. -- Ugo Amadi 

Hear more from Amadi on the latest Talkin’ Seahawks podcast as he looks to his second season in Seattle and discusses how he’s adjusted to the unusual NFL offseason and learning from All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner. 

Oregon WR Mycah Pittman shows off insane Oregon swag collection

Oregon WR Mycah Pittman shows off insane Oregon swag collection

Likely the first thing you think of when you hear the words “Oregon Football” is a revolving door of endless uniforms. 

In fact, you can listen more about how the Ducks sparked this uniform craze in ‘Sports Uncovered: The uniform craze that revolutionized college football.'

It hasn’t become just a topic of conversation on Saturdays. The Oregon Athletic department releases Saturday’s uniform days before kickoff to get fans excited and to get fans talking.

But the swag doesn’t just end at uniforms on game days. 

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest Olympian Devon Allen].

From signature backpacks to specific bowl game attire and even travel outfits, the Oregon Ducks are constantly dressed head to Nike shoe in the latest and greatest gear. 

Sophomore wide receiver Mycah Pittman brings out his closet (literally) to show off his Oregon swag collection. 

Watch the YouTube video below:

The Ducks have begun voluntary in-person workouts, as permitted by the NCAA and Pac-12 Conference, in Eugene, Oregon. 

The NCAA has extended the 'dead period' for in-person recruiting, but that hasn't slowed down head coach Mario Cristobal and his staff from landing elite recruits from all over the country.

Not even the NCAA’s extended dead period can slow down Mario Cristobal on the recruiting trail

Not even the NCAA’s extended dead period can slow down Mario Cristobal on the recruiting trail

The coronavirus pandemic continues to halt the in-person recruiting trail for collegiate athletics. 

The NCAA Division I Council announced on Thursday an extension of the recruiting dead period in all sports through August 31.

“Additionally, the Men’s and Women’s Basketball Oversight Committees indicated they are not planning to recommend any changes to the summer access model that was adopted last week, which permits institutions to begin summer countable athletically related activities in basketball beginning July 20 and may include up to eight hours per week of weight training, conditioning and skill instruction, with not more than four hours of skill instruction.

“Council members also granted a waiver to modifying the start date for preseason practice in sports other than football. Fall preseasons generally begin a specific number of days prior to the first scheduled regular season contest. The waiver allows teams to count back from the first day contests are allowed, instead of a team’s actual scheduled first contest.

“The waiver allows some flexibility for additional acclimatization for fall sport student-athletes who missed out on spring participation opportunities and accounts for schedule changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest former two-sport athlete and Olympian Devon Allen].

Lucky for the Oregon football team, head coach Mario Cristobal hasn’t skipped a beat during this “dead period.”

Since mid-March when the COVID-19 pandemic slowly began to shut the sports world down, the Ducks continued to have success in recruiting:

2021 COMMITS:

- Five-star wide receiver Troy Frankin (CA)

- Four-star tight end Moliki Matavao (NV)

- Four-star tight end Terrance Ferguson (CO)

- Four-star OL Bram Walden (AZ)

- Four-star OL Jonah Miller (AZ)

- Four-star DB Jaylin Davies (DB)

- Three-star (transfer) Jadarrius Perkins (MS)

- Three-star WDE Terrell Tilmon (TX)

- Three-star CB Darren Barkins (CA)

- Three-star OLB Brandon Buckner (AZ)

This speaks volumes on Cristobal as well as the Oregon football program itself. The talent combined with the coaching and leadership pave the way for future success. The Ducks currently have the No. 1 recruiting class in the Pac-12 conference in 2021 as well as the No. 7 ranked class nationally.

[RELATED]: Two words keep coming up in why recruits choose Oregon: National Championship

Be sure to download and listen for free Sports Uncovered: The uniform craze that revolutionized college football

Oregon-Oregon State no longer using "Civil War" name for its sports rivalry games

Oregon-Oregon State no longer using "Civil War" name for its sports rivalry games

Since 1894, the Ducks and Beavers have squared off on the gridiron in a battle for bragging rights in the state of Oregon. The rivalry, known as the Civil War, is the state’s most anticipated sporting event. 

While the timeless tradition between the two archnemeses will continue for years to come, it’s colloquial name will be no longer.

Per a release on Friday, the University of Oregon and Oregon State University has mutually agreed to no longer refer to the rivalry as “Civil War.” The decision is effective immediately and will begin with all athletic competitions in the 2020-21 season.

Today’s announcement is not only right but is a long time coming, and I wish to thank former Duck great Dennis Dixon for raising the question and being the catalyst for change. Thanks also to our current student-athletes for their leadership and input during this process. We must all recognize the power of words and the symbolism associated with the Civil War. This mutual decision is in the best interests of both schools, and I would like to thank Scott Barnes for his diligence as we worked through this process. We look forward to our continued and fierce in-state rivalry with Oregon State in all sports. -- Oregon Director of Athletics Rob Mullens

[Be sure to download and listen for free Sports Uncovered: The uniform craze that revolutionized college football]

Oregon State President Ed Ray said changing the name was overdue, as “it represents a connection to a war fought to perpetuate slavery.”

While not intended as reference to the actual Civil War, OSU sports competition should not provide any misconstrued reference to this divisive episode in American history. That we did not act before to change the name was a mistake. We do so now, along with other important actions to advance equal opportunity and justice for all and in recognition that Black Lives Matter. -- Oregon State President Ed Ray

Former Beavers Steven Jackson and Ken Simonton are among prominent athletes to speak out about the rivalry's former name and will play a crucial role in the process of selecting a new name for the Oregon-Oregon State rivalry. 

Two-time Super Bowl champion and former Duck Dennis Dixon shed light on how the name change came into play. 

"I am happy to see two universities coming together to drive change, an everlasting change. I'm excited to be part of this change," Dixon said in a video. 

The 124th annual football game will continue to be played Nov. 28 at Reser Stadium in Corvallis. The two schools have competed in men’s basketball a record 354 times. 

Kayvon Thibodeaux learns from NFL greats in Von Miller’s virtual pass rush summit

Kayvon Thibodeaux learns from NFL greats in Von Miller’s virtual pass rush summit

If you want to be the G.O.A.T., you’ve got to learn from the G.O.A.T.s. 

That’s exactly what Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux was doing Thursday when he took part in a Zoom session with some of the NFL’s star pass rushers. Thibodeaux was among college and pro players to take part in Von Miller’s fourth annual Pass Rush Summit. 

The eight-time Pro Bowler gathers defenders each year so they can polish up their pass-rushing techniques on the practice field. This year, however, the 2020 summit was limited to Zoom.  

According to the screen grab from Thibodeaux’s Instagram Story, the Pac-12 Defensive Freshman Player of the Year learned from Pro Ducks like DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead, as well as NFL greats like Von Miller, Shaquill Barrett, Myles Garrett, Chandler Jones, Calais Campbell, Nate Burleson, Bradley Chubb, and Cameron Jordan, who were all in attendance at the virtual get-together. 

“I want to give a Huge Thank You! To everyone involved in today’s Pass Rush Summit. It was truly an honor,” Miller wrote on Twitter. “Hope you guys enjoyed it and were able to learn something because I sure did. Thank you guys!”

[Be sure to download and listen for free Sports Uncovered: The uniform craze that revolutionized college football]

Thibodeaux is primed for another big season in 2020. He appeared in all 14 games with five starts in his first year, notching 35 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, nine sacks, four quarterback hurries, three pass breakups and a forced fumble.

FOX College Football analyst Joe Klatt believes Thibodeaux’s ceiling is as high as they get. He named him as one of the top defenders in college football. 

“It’s so rare that a guy comes in with that amount of acclaim and expectations and reaches that,” Klatt said. “Thibodeaux at Oregon did that. What I love most about his game is that his explosive ability in the backfield in terms of pass rush really started showing up late in the season. He didn’t have that freshman drop off where they get tired and it’s a long season. He got better and better and better. You could tell that he was a gym rat. He understood the nuances of rushing the passer. Started learning that better.

"His most dominant games were late in the season when they needed him most. Big reason why they won the Rose Bowl, beat Wisconsin and won the Pac-12 Championship over Utah. He was a force to be reckoned with.”

The 6-5, 250-pounder was particularly commanding toward the latter half of the Ducks season. In the final six games, Thibodeaux compiled 10.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks, including 2.5 sacks and a blocked punt in the Pac-12 Championship. 

The expectations for Thibodeaux and Oregon are already at an all-time high. The Ducks captured a Pac-12 title and Rose Bowl victory in 2019. This season could be the year Thibodeaux becomes a household name in college football and solidifies his lofty projections for an NFL future.

[Be sure to listen to the latest Talkin' Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest former Oregon men's basketball head coach Ernie Kent].

Justin Herbert’s parents write heartfelt sendoff letter to their son

Justin Herbert’s parents write heartfelt sendoff letter to their son

His entire life, Justin Herbert has only ever known the game of football in Oregon. 

The Eugene-native played for Sheldon High School before getting an offer and committing to pursue an academic and athletic career four miles down the road at the University of Oregon. 

The hometown hero took over the reigns as a freshman in 2016, and the rest is history. Herbert’s talent and leadership brought Oregon back to national relevance, from a 4-8 season in 2016 to a Pac-12 Championship and Rose Bowl victory in 2020.

Now, he is taking the next step in this football career, 857 miles south to Los Angeles, California.

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent and special guest former Oregon men’s basketball head coach Ernie Kent].

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

For the first time, Justin Herbert will be living and playing football away from Eugene.

A proper sendoff was needed. Herbert’s parents offered their son life advice in this Twitter video from the Chargers.

“Dear Justin, 

As you begin this new chapter, the chapter you have dreamed about and worked hard for, we just want you to know how proud we are of you…”

For those who have been following Herbert’s career, you probably already know that Herbert has a strong head on his broad shoulders. A solid student in the classroom, a family-oriented mindset and leader on the football field. 

Herbert’s dad was Justin’s coach for part of his life.

When he coached, we lived by four rules: Never give up; Do your best; Always get better; and treat people the way you want to be treated. — Justin Herbert

Watch more on Herbert’s family influence throughout his football career in our interview with him the summer before his senior year on Talkin’ Ducks.

Be sure to download and listen for free Sports Uncovered: The uniform craze that revolutionized college football

Oregon football center Logan Sagapolu can deadlift the weight of an African buffalo

Oregon football center Logan Sagapolu can deadlift the weight of an African buffalo

Oregon football head coach Mario Cristobal did say he wanted monsters in the trenches…

How about a center who can dead lift 705 pounds? 

Just to compare, 705 pounds is the equivalent of a full grown African buffalo.

Logan Sagapolu, a 6-foot-3, 340-pound center from Skyridge High School in Lehi, Utah, got in one last workout before making his way to Eugene, Oregon. That workout was something else.

The three-star center signed with the Ducks as a part of the 2019 class and is ranked the fourth-best prospect from the state of Utah, according to the 247sports composite rankings.

The coronavirus pandemic forced Sagapolu to return early from his two-year mission in Hawaii after the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recalled thousands of missionaries.

He was scheduled to return to the mainland in December, but will instead have a chance to enroll in college early.

Oregon offensive line coach Alex Mirabal is excited to have Sagapolu back.

Sagapolu held offers from Utah, Arizona, Washington State, Oklahoma, USC and Washington amongst others before deciding on Cristobal and the Ducks.

Cristobal is getting his wish granted of more monsters in the trenches.

Be sure to download and listen for free Sports Uncovered: The uniform craze that revolutionized college football