Photo courtesy of David Putzier at Flickr.

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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
• What do you do if you are a small college in need of a football team? If you're Lander College for Men you adopt the Ducks. (link courtesy of an Andy Mac tweet)...

As the football season ends and the college recruiting begins, we must pay due to the Lander College for men football team. Well, Lander College for Men doesn’t actually have an official football team, but I have worked long and hard to mold these men into loyal Ducks fans. I believe I have been fairly successful. As a University of Oregon graduate, you understand I had to… so now there are 300 Jewish kids in Queens rooting for the University of Oregon Ducks. And who knows, maybe that’s why they’ve been playing so well this season! Go Ducks!

 Mark Flores ponders the possibilities when it comes to recruiting speedy linebackers.

• Former Oregon CB Cliff Harris didn't help his draft stock with an unimpressive forty time but Eddie Pleasant had one of the best for his group.

Harris, whose off-field decision making led to him being kicked off the team in 2011, didn't exactly deliver in Indianapolis. He ran an electronic timed 4.59 seconds in the 40-yard dash on Tuesday. Not slow, but hardly elite. He ranks 28th among corners at the combine.

Pleasant, always one of Oregon's fastest players during his time in Eugene, ran the 40 in 4.56 seconds, unofficially, and led his position group with 22 reps in the bench press. Pleasant always tested well; he's a freak athlete.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

FishDuck breaks down the action in a new formation we saw last year the "Lead Sweep," and then describes the different variations. Always well done and enjoyable.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

• Oregon Graduate Assistant Football Coach Greg Austin is profiled in this report courtesy of TheNC61.

LaMichael James "dazzled" the NFL combine onlookers according to this report by Jeffrey Martin.

“Several stopwatches had James running 40 times as quick as 4.42 seconds. He looked faster in drills, displaying a great combination of speed, quickness and balance in all his drills. James easily cut back against the grain in bag drills and lost no momentum. He was complimented by coaches for his pass-catching skills later in the day.”

 BenzDuck opens the history book and tells us about the un-official "first" football game at Oregon.

• Ted Miller declares a tie for #12 in his ongoing countdown of the top 25 players for 2011 in the Pac-12. Darron Thomas and De'Anthony Thomas get the honor.

Darron Thomas, despite surprising many with his decision to enter the NFL draft a year early, ranks first in career touchdown passes (66) for Oregon, seventh in passing yards (5,910) and sixth in total offense (6,633). He is the third player in Pac-12 history (USC’s Matt Leinart 2003-04, Stanford’s Andrew Luck 2010-11) with consecutive seasons with 30 or more touchdown passes. And he was outstanding in the Rose Bowl, completing 17 of 23 for 268 yards with three touchdown’s and one interception in the win over Wisconsin.

De'Anthony Thomas was even more outstanding in the Rose Bowl, with a team-high 314 all-purpose yards, carrying the ball twice for 155 yards and two TDs, including a stunningly explosive 91 yard bolt. He also caught four passes for 34 yards. De'Anthony Thomas was the Pac-12 co-offensive freshman of the year and earned first team All-Conference honors as a kick returner. He was the only player in the nation with at least 400 yards rushing, receiving and kick returning. He ranked 11th nationally in all-purpose yards with 147.8 ypg. He earned numerous freshman All-American honors and is already being mentioned as a leading 2012 Heisman Trophy candidate.


Monday, February 27, 2012

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Keeerrrttt1 shares episode 31 of his weekly Vlog. Topics this week include the following:

Oregon recruiting violations investigation (0:37), Kickstarter campaign for Oregon women’s track project (4:26), Oregon spring sports update (5:11), update (6:58), Random tweet of the week (9:54), Music recommendation of the week: (9:58)...


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Keeerrrttt1 has a Q&A session with a longtime referee in the Pac-12 and WAC. Kurt asks exactly what they look for before throwing that flag. Good read.

Referees are placed in a position where no matter what they do they will never make anyone happy, and more often than not end up as the scapegoat when one team isn’t playing well. While their lack of vision and intelligence is often attacked, those who wear the stripes spend a great deal of time and effort to be the ones governing athletic events, and are quite skilled at the difficult job tasked to them.

LMJ came in second among the running backs with a 4.45 forty at the combine yesterday.

George Schroeder details a year of living anxiously regarding the NCAA investigation.

Keeerrrttt1 shares his picks of the all-time worst calls in Oregon history and has a lot of video clips to make his case.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Tra Carson 2011 Highlights

Most of Tra's playing time came during mop up duty after a game was well in hand. You can tell he will be a solid addition to the running game as he is a powerful runner. He'll be seeing more action this year and it won't be limited to killing the clock late in the fourth quarter.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Rob Moseley provides the transcript of LaMichael James' NFL combine press conference. Here is just one of the questions and James' answer.

Q: What do you see your role being at the next level, and how will you fit in with a team?

James: I feel like I can do anything. I’ll be an all-around back. You don’t have to take me out on third down. I can run the ball, I can probably throw the ball, too. All special teams, and if they ask me to kick the field goal I can probably do that too.

John Canzano usually files one of his reports and starts moving on to the next piece. But something struck a chord with readers after hearing about a former heroin addict coming to Eugene to talk with the football team a couple of days ago. Canzano details how powerful a simple message can be. A must read.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Eddie Pleasant 2011 Highlights

Senior rover Eddie Pleasant, another Oregon player on defense last year, who might not have had a ton of individual highlights, but he was a big part of the reason that as a group, the Ducks were very impressive.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

• Kevin Gemmell continues looking at the top performances in the Pac-12 during the 2011 season and likes LaMichael's performance during the Stanford game.

Oregon's win snapped Stanford's 17-game winning streak, which was the nation's longest (its last loss was more than a year earlier at Oregon). His 58-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter put Oregon ahead by two scores and the Ducks never looked back. How good was James' vision on that run, by the way? James would add a 4-yard touchdown in the third quarter and a 1-yard touchdown in the fourth. Here's the most impressive part: James did most of his damage running straight at Stanford's 3-4 defense. He accounted for 132 yards and all three of his touchdowns running between the tackles on 17 carries. The win propelled the Ducks to the top of the Pac-12 North and eventually to the Rose Bowl, while also shattering Stanford's national championship hopes.

Jeff Martin wonders if LMJ could be the next Darren Sproles.

The one certainty with James is that he’ll run fast. No one is debating that – it’s another matter altogether of how fast. There is buzz building in Indy that James might walk away as “best in show,” meaning he might post one of the best times in the 40, if not the best.

Seven former Ducks are in Indianapolis as they take the first step in hopefully becoming a NFL player.

Rob Moseley reports Oregon has agreed with the NCAA that the football's team relationship with three scouting services were improper from 2008 to 2011.

The NCAA announced a rules change that will start this year moving the kickoff from the 30 to the 35 yard line. The rule is intended to help keep players safer by increasing touchbacks.

ESPN's Insider (must be a member) reporter KC Joyner says not to forget about Oregon as the preseason buzz is all about USC. His main points in building a case for Oregon are listed below.

-Oregon's offensive losses are not as great as generally thought.
-The USC pass offense has consistency issues.
-USC's defense has similar consistency issues.
-USC has a young shutdown cornerback, but so does Oregon.
-USC took a bigger offseason hit to its pass rush than did Oregon.
-Oregon's defense is better at forcing opposing offenses into mistakes.
-Oregon's schedule strength is very similar to USC's.


Friday, February 24, 2012

John Boyett 2011 Highlights

• Last but not least on my list of recent videos is free safety John Boyett. While he didn't have a ton of individual highlights, he is a definite leader in the backfield and figures to be a force in 2012 during his senior season.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

LaMichael James is determined to make it as pro and I for one believe he will succeed. The Road to the NFL is not an easy path, a lot of hard work goes into it.

Josh White takes a closer look at the seniors as spring practice approaches.

John Canzano has a good story about Chip Kelly bringing in a former NBA player to talk with the Ducks about addiction problems.

Ted Miller previews the Pac-12 North division heading into spring practice. Here is just one of his thoughts on Oregon.

The Ducks must replace two of their three leading receivers in Lavasier Tuinei and tight end David Paulson. Sophomore Colt Lyerla flashed promise backing up Paulson last season, and Josh Huff and Rahsaan Vaughn have potential at receiver. But the big question is whether a trio of touted redshirt freshmen -- Devon Blackmon, B.J. Kelley and Tacoi Sumler -- break through and live up to their recruiting hype. How dangerous might Oregon be with the potential to throw five-receiver sets at defenses?


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Boseko Lokombo 2011 Highlights

• Third on my list of recent player highlight videos is Boseko Lokombo who had some tremendous plays in 2011. Here are just a few. Can't wait to see what he does  this year.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

• As LaMichael James prepares for the NFL combine, ESPN goes behind the scenes and takes a closer look at how the preparations are going.

• Rob Moseley has a nice story on former Oregon linebacker Dewitt Stuckey who is literally selling the shirt off his back to help out a friend who met with a tragic fate.

• The BCS big shots are meeting in Dallas this week to discuss changes to the playoff system and ESPN has the latest news.

Keeerrrttt1 goes one-on-one with contributor Jerod Young and they talk about Oregon sports.

Chris Charbonnier looks at the nine through seven spots when it comes to Pac-12 recruiting talent.

Ted Miller and Kevin Gemmell are looking at the top performances of 2011 in the Pac-12 and have Darron Thomas as yesterday's subject.

After an error-plagued season opener against LSU, Thomas and the Ducks went wolf hunting and found themselves with a 41-7 lead before the bands even came out for the halftime show. Thomas threw five of his six touchdowns in the first half -- to five different receivers. He added his second of the game to De'Anthony Thomas (also his longest, 69 yards) midway through the third quarter before being spelled by Bryan Bennett. Consider Thomas' numbers from the week before: 31-of-54 for 240 yards and one touchdown. In this instance, Thomas definitely proved that less is more. The win launched a nine-game win streak and was the 17th straight victory at Autzen. The five first-half touchdowns were a school record and the six matched a school record for total touchdowns, which had been done three times (the last by Joey Harrington in 2001).


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Michael Clay 2011 Highlights

• Up next on my recent videos you'll find Michael Clay who had some fantastic plays in 2011. Here are a few of them. Enjoy.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

• If OregonGridiron's video doesn't make you wish opening day was tomorrow and to get up and shout GO DUCKS I don't think you're a true Duck fan. Road to the Rose Bowl is just plain awesome.

Ted Miller looks at the NFL combine intrigue where you will find several former Ducks on his list.

Mark Flores looks at a few 2013 recruiting prospects including the nation's number one pick (Rivals) Robert Nkemdiche who lines up on both sides of the ball.

Will LaMichael James be a first round draft pick? At least one AFC personnel director thinks it might happen.

"There isn't a lot of strength at the position, but I can see a team taking James because he runs well, and saying, 'OK, he's situational, but in our offense, he'll get enough snaps to justify taking him in the first round.' "


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Dion Jordan 2011 Highlights

• No one particular player had more highlights than any other last year on defense, but collectively, they were a force and provided many enjoyable moments. For the next few days I will be posting new videos for a few of these players.

First up, Dion Jordan, aka The Praying Mantis, is really starting to shine since moving to the defensive side of the ball. Here are a few of his biggest plays from 2011.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Charles Fisher breaks down why Bryan Bennett is so good at running the Oregon offense in his FishDuck Minute.

Rob Moseley provides multiple links to recent stories regarding Oregon football and a few from other teams around the Pac-12.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

• Keeerrrttt1 shares his 30th weekly video log which includes these topics:

Duck helmet (0:38), NCAA violation (1:01), Spring sports (1:59), Basketball (4:01), update (6:49), Random Tweet of the Week (10:32), Music Recommendation of the Week: (10:44)


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

• Brian Libby calls this 91 yard run by De'Anthony Thomas at the 2012 Rose Bowl one of the most transcendent touchdown plays in Oregon history.

For me, Oregon football transformational touchdowns were before the 2012 Rose Bowl just two in number: Kenny Wheaton’s 1994 interception and score against Washington, and the Joey Harrington to Samie Parker 79-yard bomb from the 2002 Fiesta Bowl. But now they’re joined by Black Mamba’s dazzling dash to the goal line in Pasadena seven weeks ago. (Brian's piece is a good read, check it out)

• I know it isn't football but did you catch Oregon beating Stanford yesterday afternoon in a tight basketball game? Big win on the road (68-64) and E.J. Singler had one of his best games. Or how about the baseball team as they lit up Hawaii in a 14-5 rout. Nice wins for both teams.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Duck Stud: Morning Mud

Steve Maher wonders if Kenjon Barner can handle the running load for the entire season?

What many forget about Barner is his consistency. Over the course of the past three seasons, he has averaged 6.2, 6.1 and 6.0 yards per carry. James, over his career, averaged 6.6 yards.

And if the guy who wears No. 24 gets anywhere close to 250 carries in 2012-13 — James averaged 257 carries a season over the past three — the rest of the Pac-12 should be really, really worried.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

• Spring practice is just around the corner, and on a slow news day, lets look back at the highlights from last year's Spring Game.

The Sporting News has a handy Pac-12 guide to important spring football dates. Here is Oregon's schedule:

Oregon Ducks (12-2, 8-1)

Start: April 13
Spring game: April 28
2012 season opener: September 1 vs. Arkansas State

• Dennis Dodd @CBS Sports looks at what the founding father of the BCS playoff system, Roy Kramer, has in mind as the commisioners meet in Dallas next week to begin talks on developing a new system that would go into place for 2014.


Friday, February 17, 2012

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud features Michael Clay as the Hero of the Week in the O Heroes program.

Most recently, Clay has focused his work with the community in two main areas: mentoring two 5th graders at McCornack Elementary School with his friend and fellow teammate Grant Thompson, and spending time playing games, tutoring and mentoring youth at the Boys and Girls Club (BGC) of Eugene. He said his favorite O Heroes events thus far in this three years at Oregon was doing the Polar Plunge (a benefit of Special Olympics Oregon) and his time at the BGC Eugene.

Clay is a Family and Human Services (FHS) major at the University of Oregon and one day aspires to use his experience with FHS and with O Heroes to start a scholarship foundation for youth aspiring to enroll in private schooling.

Rob Moseley reports the U of O will self-report a minor NCAA violation.

The University of Oregon’s athletic department will self-report a violation of NCAA rules stemming from comments made by football coach Chip Kelly to UO coach-turned-broadcaster Mike Bellotti before national signing day.

Coaches are barred from commenting publicly on recruits until letters of intent have been submitted, which this year took place on Feb. 1. Bellotti acknowledged during an ESPNU telecast that morning that he and Kelly had discussed defensive lineman Arik Armstead and running back Byron Marshall the day before.

• Odds of De'Anthony Thomas winning the Heisman trophy this year? According to Danny Sheridan via Kevin Gemmell @ESPN, 25 to 1.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

• Keeerrrttt1 goes one-on-one with former Oregon TE Jed Weaver. Good stuff, be sure to check it out.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
• George Schroeder believes the handwriting is on the wall, change is coming to post season college football.

We’re not sure what form it will take — no one is at this point — but when the next BCS TV deal kicks in two years from now, well, there might not even be a BCS. Whatever it’s called, it won’t much resemble the current postseason structure.

“I would be shocked if it doesn’t get significantly changed.”

Those words come from a Pac-12 insider who didn’t want to be identified. The league’s commissioner was traveling Tuesday and unavailable for comment. On Monday, Scott told the San Jose Mercury News the Pac-12 “has stopped short of taking a position” on potential changes.

Stephen Alexander notes Kenjon Barner is taking nothing for granted when it comes to being the main running back this season.

“I’m not getting complacent,” Barner said, of his mindset during the offseason. “I’m not listening to (people saying) I’m supposed to be the guy. I’m constantly staying focused on what got me here ,and that’s hard work.”

• Chris Charbonnier looks at #12-10 spots when it comes to recruiting talent in the Pac-12.

• Will Harris @ESPN has an early look at the best BCS title bets (Insider access required) where you'll find Oregon in the #4 spot at 10 to 1.

Oregon capped 2011 by conquering multiple demons, beating a physical team in a big game away from Autzen. The Ducks unexpectedly lost quarterback Darron Thomas to the NFL draft and return just five starters on offense, but figure to score plenty anyway.

Like Alabama, the Ducks have a real shot at a title berth but have too many holes to back at such a short price. We'd hold our nose and take Bama or Oregon if forced to choose from among the favorites.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Kevin Gemmell (new side-kick of Ted Miller) reports that Dion Jordan grabs the number twenty spot in their top 25 Pac-12 players for 2011.

Having to replace six starters on defense from the 2010 squad, Oregon was solid on defense in 2011 — and Jordan had a lot to do with it. Now two full seasons removed from his switch from tight end to defensive end, Jordan came on very strong in the second half of the year — notching six of his sacks in the final seven games of the season. The First-Team All-Pac-12 defensive end tied for fifth in the conference in tackles for a loss, while leading the Ducks in TFLs and in sacks.

Ted Miller posts some Valentine wishes from Oregon fans.

• In honor of African-American history month BenzDuck tells the intriguing, and sad, story of former Oregon running back (circa 1931) Joe Lillard. Great read if you like Oregon athletics history.

• Mark Flores takes a closer look at 2013 Oregon commit, RB Thomas Tyner out of Aloha HS in the Portland area. Tyner was selected as Rivals top-rated RB in the 2013 class.

• Rob Moseley has some thoughts on the most intriguing redshirt freshmen entering spring practices and also includes links to other stories.

Entering spring practices would no doubt include a quarterback as well, Marcus Mariota, who I think has a legitimate shot to challenge sophomore Bryan Bennett for playing time as Oregon moves on following the departure of Darron Thomas. Other redshirt freshmen who figure to have a chance to make an impact in 2012 would include receivers Devon Blackmon, B.J. Kelley and Tacoi Sumler, tight end Christian French and defensive ends Koa Ka'ai and Sam Kamp, all of whom play at positions of need for the Ducks.

• Mark Schlaback @ESPN wonders if Bryan Bennett is ready to take control of Oregon's high-octane offense.

Bennett, a rising sophomore from Encino, Calif., doesn't have much of a choice, after former Ducks quarterback Darron Thomas surprised nearly everyone by turning pro after the 2011 season. Bennett played in eight games last season, completing 25 of 46 passes for 369 yards with six touchdowns and no interceptions. At least Oregon has a couple of replacements ready for departed tailback LaMichael James: De'Anthony Thomas and Kenjon Barner combined to run for more than 1,500 yards with 18 touchdowns last season.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

• Josh Schlichter examines Oregon's swinging gate formation during extra point attempts and calls it more than just a point after.

The Pac-12 broke ground on their new network home in San Francisco yesterday and filed this video report.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
The Oregon Sports Award banquet was held Sunday in Portland and the Oregon football team was one of the recipients of the George Pasero team of the year award.

In 2011 the Ducks continued an amazing run with the best three seasons in Oregon Ducks football history. The team's 12-2 finish included a thrilling Rose Bowl victory over Wisconsin, the third consecutive BCS bowl appearance for the team. The Ducks also won the inaugural PAC-12 championship game. The team's season included many other superlatives: De'Anthony Thomas collected the crystal trophy as CFPA co-kick returner of the year and was named freshman All-American; four Ducks were named all-PAC-12 first team; and offensive lineman Carson York was named an Academic All-American.

• Hosting the award ceremony mentioned above was former Oregon RB Ahmad Rashad who chatted with John Canzano (audio podcast) on that topic and many more including his former Duck playing days.

John Canzano also had former Oregon LB Spencer Paysinger on his radio show who talked about the amazing season he had in the NFL that culminated with a Super Bowl victory with the Giants.

Jon Wilner continues his excellent coverage of news and notes concerning the Pac-12 Network which broke ground yesterday in San Francisco.

• Mitch Coffman at the National Football Authority believes LaMichael James can be a game changer for the team that drafts him.

James is a guy who, if picked in a later round, will be a steal for any team looking to add a multi-dimensional player to its roster. He has the ability to make an impact immediately for any NFL squad.


Monday, February 13, 2012

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Keeerrrttt1 opens the history book and looks at the first two African-American student athletes who came to the U of O, Bobby Robinson and Charles Williams. It was a different era of course and they weren't afforded the same privileges as other students-athletes. (very good article)

At the University of Oregon, truly the only colors that matter today are green and yellow…and black, and steel matte, and grellow; and whatever other fluorescent rainbow uniform combinations may be unleashed in the future. Oregon is a place of innovation and forward-thinking, spurred by the sense of family within the program and universal acceptance in the community. For the present and future grand accomplishments to come at the U of O, we all owe a debt of gratitude to those who have come before, in particular the incredible talents and groundbreaking courage displayed by Bobby Robinson and Charles Williams.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Darron Thomas Career Highlights - 2008 through 2012 Rose Bowl

• Here you go Duck fans, a little treat for your Sunday morning enjoyment. All of DT's best plays from the game against boise city in 2008 through the 2012 Rose Bowl. Enjoy....


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Keeerrrttt1 posted his 29th Vlog and discusses the following topics:

Football update (1:02), Player leaving (2:23), Basketball update (3:20), Oregon Baseball (6:15), Super Bowl (6:36), update (7:12), FishDuck messageboard (9:37), Random Tweet of the Week (10:45), and a Music Recommendation of the Week: (10:58)...

Rob Moseley looks at how Oregon football players Dior Mathis and B.J. Kelley fared in the 60 meter dash at the Husky Classic indoor track meet in Seattle.

Mathis, a redshirt freshman reserve for the football team, finished third overall in a time of 6.83 seconds. There were two races run to account for a field of 12 finalists, with Mathis running in the faster of the two. Kelley finished third in his flight and eighth overall in 6.90 seconds.

Kelley, who redshirted last fall, was second in his preliminary heat in 6.93 seconds. Mathis won his heat, one of eight contested, in 6.80 seconds.


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Ted Miller opens the mailbag and answers a readers question about Chip Kelly and his seemingly magic touch with "coaching up" quarterbacks.

I don't want to sound fawning but I'm not sure any coach in the nation has been better with quarterbacks since 2007 than Chip Kelly.

The Pac-12 Network will break ground on there new digs next week in San Francisco.

The Pac-12 Studios will be home to the Pac-12 Network and the Pac-12 Digital Network. The Pac-12 Network will showcase 850 live Pac-12 sporting events each year as well as original studio programming. It is scheduled to launch in August, 2012.


Friday, February 10, 2012

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Jared Sawyer sits down with former Oregon WR Cristin McLemore and has a "real talk" about Oregon football.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Ken Goe reports that De'Anthony Thomas might not run track and field during the indoor season (it's almost over) but according to track coach Vin Lannana, will most likely be a part of the team during the outdoor season which starts March 18th.

"He's high end," Lananna said. "He's pretty good. I haven't seen him run track yet, but I've seen him run in football. He can run."

Ted Miller notes there are playoff changes being discussed but advises not to hold your breath.

Josh White shares his list of the 15 greatest "Oregon" Duck Athletes.

In light of the recent trend of elite in-state athletes deciding to stay home in Oregon for their respective college careers, it is time to take a look back at some of the iconic Ducks from the state of Oregon. Whether they were born here- or in a few cases- they just moved here early on. (Josh starts with Jordan Kent in the #15 spot-click here for the rest of the story)

Aaron Fentress is running a poll to see who fans think will win the QB competition come fall. Bryan Bennett has a comfortable lead, 65% to 16% over Marcus Mariota.

My hunch: There's enough talent here to lead to a fiasco that should provide a superstar starter. This is the first time in a long time - if ever - Oregon has had three or more talented quarterbacks with starting potential. My how far the program has come.


Thursday, February 09, 2012

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Keeerrrttt1 has a Q&A with Mark Flores about the 2012 recruiting class and the future.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Adam Jude reports that while there were a few misses, the 2010 recruiting class has had quite a few bright spots.

Of the 23 members of the 2010 class, 12 played in the Ducks’ Rose Bowl victory over Wisconsin, with five getting a starting assignment: Huff, center Hroniss Grasu, cornerback Terrance Mitchell, plus Maldonado and Howell.

...The 2010 recruits still on the roster, figure to have an even greater role in 2012 as Oregon tries for a third consecutive top-five finish.

Benzduck opens the history books and looks at "how to hire the wrong coach by committee" circa 1972. The coach in question, Dick Enright.

Enright had the shortest tenure of any non-wartime Oregon head coach since 1931. After six wins in two years, accompanied by defensive ineptitude and declining attendance, his decision to publicly complain about the team’s coaching facilities was the last straw. He was dismissed in December 1974. He learned of his termination from a reporter via telephone.

His football program having hit rock bottom, and amid suggestions that the Big Sky Conference was more appropriate for Oregon’s athletic efforts, Norv Ritchey resigned as athletic director in 1976, shortly before his last coaching hire, Don Read, was terminated.

The Suffering was well under way.

• We all had a scare when the rumors surfaced of Chip Kelly going to the NFL. This writer says we had better be prepared because it's only a matter of time.

And as time moves forward, it would behoove Oregon fans to remain in the “acceptance phase.” Because, as Sports Illustrated’s Stewart Mandel smartly observed Monday, this is the new reality for Oregon. Tampa Bay was not the first NFL team to show interest in Kelly, and it certainly won’t be the last. At some point, Kelly will take the bait and move on to a new opportunity. Maybe next year. Or the year after that. But it will happen, and perhaps it’s best to accept that now.

This process will play out all over again sometime in the near future, no matter how high Oregon climbs.


Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

GoDucksdotcom takes us behind the scenes to see what it takes to keep a home football game safe and running smoothly.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Rob Moseley reports that it has become official, seven Oregon players have been invited to the NFL combine.

Seniors Mark Asper, Josh Kaddu, David Paulson and Eddie Pleasant will be joined by juniors Cliff Harris, LaMichael James and Darron Thomas. The biggest oversight among UO players would have to be receiver Lavasier Tuinei, who followed up a Rose Bowl MVP appearance with a promising showing at an all-star game.

Aaron Fentress notes that Cliff Harris' transgressions while in school haven't stopped the NFL scouts from wanting to see more of him at the combine. has Harris rated as the 136th player in the draft and a projected fourth-round pick. In a league increasingly becoming more reliant on the passing game, teams can never have too many cover corners. Harris is just that, although he could stand to add bulk to his 5-foot-11, 168-pound frame.

• Chris Charbonnier has a recruiting special and looks at the Pac-12 talent in an introductory article.

• Bryan Bennett and Marcus Mariota say it's all about competition, not controversy, as they vie for the starting QB role. Aaron Fentress has the story.

"We've talked and it's not a controversy for us," Mariota said. "It's more of a way for each of us to get better. People might bring up what they want but we're just taking it day by day. ... We're both good players. No matter what happens we know that in the end, the guy who is playing, the other guy will root for him."

• Ted Miller started his Pac-12 top 25 countdown for 2011 now that the season is over and David Paulson sits at #25.

How valuable was Paulson to Oregon? “I would argue he’s our most valuable player on this entire team because of what he does in so many different roles,” coach Chip Kelly told the Eugene Register-Guard late in the season. Paulson, 6-foot-4, 241 pounds, earned second-team All-Pac-12 honors (behind Stanford's Coby Fleener) after getting a first-team nod in 2010. He has outstanding hands and also is a very good blocker. He likely will be a middle-round pick in the NFL draft this spring. Off the field, he was first-team all-academic in the conference for a third consecutive season, earning a business degree with a 3.7 GPA. It has been reported he will finish his MBA this summer. So add a big brain to his NFL resume.


Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

• FishDuck examines what other Pac-12 coaches already know by looking at our formations. What will Oregon bring against them on the next offensive play? Trick is, they don't when or which variation.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Ted Miller is looking at the top performances around the Pac-12 in 2011 and LaMichael James is on his radar to no ones surprise.

Oregon running back LaMichael James, despite leaving the game early in the fourth quarter with a dislocated elbow, dominated California on Oct. 6 in a 43-15 Ducks victory.

James rushed for 239 yards on 30 carries -- 8.0 yards per carry -- with a 53-yard TD against the Bears.

• Will Colt Lyerla be a breakout TE in 2012? He is mentioned in this ESPN article.

• Rob Moseley provides numerous links to stories on topics ranging from recruiting rankings to the not so unexpected departure of a walk-on.

• The Pac-12 announced that they have extended commissioner Larry Scott's contract through 2016.

• Ted Miller posted his post-signing day Power Rankings for the Pac-12 and you'll find Oregon in the number two spot behind USC.

 The Ducks surprisingly lost QB Darron Thomas to the NFL, but the far more important news is not losing coach Chip Kelly to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. A strong recruiting class and another likely top-5 preseason rankings sets the Ducks up nicely to enter the national title chase.

• Dale Newton examines the grit and determination needed to excel at the next level and then wonders, which Duck on the 2012 roster will make the most of the opportunities afforded them.

The hardest thing in life is to sustain your effort after the initial enthusiasm wanes and your dream is still a long way off, when there's a lot of necessary drudge to slog through and equipment to haul before you reach your shiny reward.


Monday, February 06, 2012

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

• Here is a very nice video put together by what I assume are a group of  U of O students. Here is their description on the YouTube page:

Boseko Lokombo is a linebacker for the Oregon Ducks. He has a very unique background and volunteers with OHeores in his spare time. This has allowed him to become a positive role model and mentor to younger children who look up to him.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
George Schroeder examines the improbable road that former Oregon Duck LB Spencer Paysinger took from playing in the BCS championship game to a Super Bowl ring, all in a little over a year.

“For the most part, it’s been a hard road to travel,” he said. “It’s been probably the craziest year anyone can imagine.”

• Brian Libby wonders if the Cas Center project is just an appetizer before another Autzen Stadium expansion.

An expansion would not only put Autzen right again in terms of its original form, but would also bring capacity up to some 70,000, and probably surpassing that figure with standing-room seating.

A new addition to Autzen would give Oregon the opportunity to make a grand architectural statement.


Sunday, February 05, 2012

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

A group of students at the U of O produced this video piece on Oregon kicker Rob Bear, "specialist for life."

Keeerrrttt1 shares his 28th Vlog and talks about these topics:

Signing Day (0:33), Track & Field (2:46), Oregon basketball (3:47), update (4:32), SuperBowl (6:56), Random Tweet of the Week (8:00), and a Music Recommendation (8:11).


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
• Steve Maher takes a closer look at incoming recruit, 6'7" 230lb. Cody Carriger from Butte, MT.

If the Ducks were looking for a kid who embodies toughness and grit and hard work, they probably could not have gone to a better place than the nation’s old mining capital, where the residents still pride themselves on the rough-and-tumble....This is no prima donna heading to Eugene.

“Cody has a great frame, but he’s one of the hardest working kids I’ve ever been around,” said Butte High School coach Arie Grey. “He’s always looking to make himself a better person and player. He has tremendous tools, and his work ethic will make him a very good player.

“The thing about Cody is he does whatever we ask him to,” Grey went on. “One week he’s at end, then he plays linebacker and then tight end.” (check out the complete article here)

Rob Moseley has a couple of news items regarding football. Cliff Harris received his invite to the NFL combine and the Spring Game will be held on April 28th. Rob surmises that spring practice will begin on or around April 3rd.

ATQ has a good piece on the 2012 recruiting class and why you should be excited.

What is exciting about Oregon's last two classes is that they are now combining elite level recruits with elite level coaching.

Oregon is knocking on the door and recruiting players that are not only highly regarded by pundits, but who also fit their scheme perfectly.


Saturday, February 04, 2012

LaMichael James Career Highlights - 2009 through 2012 Rose Bowl

• Special treat for Oregon Duck fans, one of the greatest players to ever set foot in Autzen Stadium, LaMichael James. Enjoy the memories in my compilation of his career highlights. We wish him the best in the NFL and beyond. He won't be forgotten.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
• Aaron Fentress says the coaching staff displays confidence in makeup of offensive line.

The Oregon Ducks signed just one offensive lineman on Wednesday and although transfer Kyle Long has NFL pedigree and potential, the community college transfer also only has one year of eligibility remaining.

The 2011 line shapes out nicely assuming Long is the real deal at left tackle.

Oregon has at least seven or eight solid guys who should form a very good offensive line, regardless of how offensive line coach Steve Greatwood juggles around the bodies.

Dale Newton takes a closer look at QB recruit Jeff Lockie.

He's a good student, boasting a 3.8 grade average, and he trains at a specialized Northern California fitness facility called California Strength Academy.  Jeff Maehl did some sessions there to prep for the NFL combine, and 5-star recruit Kline works out there also.  CalStrength uses a speed/power/performance model that incorporates some of the principles Jim Radcliffe has implemented successfully at U of O.  So right away we know two things about Lockie: he's an accomplished passer, and he takes his improvement and potential very seriously.  The third thing is that Chip Kelly wants him, and that trumps everything else.

• Not much else new in Duck football news but I will have a LaMichael James career highlight video ready later today. Stay tuned and get subscribed to my YouTube channel if you haven't already.


Friday, February 03, 2012

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

• Rob Moseley and Adam Jude discuss the 2012 Oregon football recruiting class on this edition of  The Postgame Brew. (I'm thinking the off camera color commentator should be kept in a separate room)


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Adam Jude details the recruiting process when Chip Kelly was confronted with "the elephant in the room" and supplied the video from CK's Wednesday press conference.

“He explained how it went down, the negotiations and all that,” Armstead said. “Coaches, just like players, they get recruited. He’s probably going to be recruited every year he’s successful.

“I’d rather play for a coach like that than a coach that’s mediocre and nobody wants. The other (assistant) coaches have been there 30 years, 20 years. I’m confident the program will still be the same even if Chip Kelly did decide to leave.”

George Schroeder delves into the same subject regarding Kelly's flirtation with the NFL.

John Canzano does a nice job with his story on Oregon recruit Oshay Dunmore who has a recruiting tale worth telling.

He's 17, and I wish I could take the kid on a nationwide speaking tour this weekend, telling everyone how a football player from a small high school on the Oregon coast -- senior class 160 -- can rule the world. Except, I can't. Newport High has its Winter Ball this weekend, so the tour must wait.

Here's hoping I meet more kids just like him next recruiting season.

The Sporting News ranked the Oregon recruiting class at number four in the Pac-12.

• Ted Miller wonders if the Pac-12 recruiting needs were met and here is what he had to say about Oregon's efforts.

Arik Armstead headlines a diverse class that, as expected, is heavy on speed and addresses depth across the board. Next to duct tape, few things are quick fixes than a juco kicker.

• Dale Newton says the speed, versatility and athleticism add depth and intrigue to the 2012 recruiting class.

Recruiting sites try to project 18-year-old high school students three years into the future. They do a good job, but it's far from an exact science.

Versatile athletes create extra depth on the roster, and sometimes a player can develop into a surprising star in an unexpected place.


Thursday, February 02, 2012

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

Rob Moseley shares the video of Chip Kelly breaking down each new recruit and what they bring to the program.

Steve Summers and Chris Courtney of eDuck give their assessment of the 2012 recruiting class.

Keeerrrttt1 has a great one on one session with ATQ's Jared Light (jtlight) and discuss Oregon athletics.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Rob Moseley has the notes and quotes from Chip Kelly's signing day press conference and supplied the video of CK's opening remarks.

The Ducks announced 21 signees, and while Kelly left the door open for more, he also made it sound like this could be it.

Moseley also shares the print edition story from today's R-G. has the official list of the 21 new recruits but Mark Flores and  Dale Newton go into greater detail for each player.

Ted Miller says the NFL rumors revolving around Kelly didn't hurt recruiting.

There were no negative surprises on signing day. The Ducks flipped a couple of receivers -- Bralon Addison from Texas A&M and Chance Allen from Oklahoma State -- without losing any players who were previously committed. On a day of flips, the Ducks weren't victimized.

Chip Kelly also mentioned no scouting services were used this year.

“Not going there again,” Kelly said with a chuckle.


Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Morning Mud: Bonus Video

• Another iconic season of Oregon football is in the books and GoDucksdotcom looks back at the 2011 highlights.


Duck Stuff: Morning Mud

Morning Mud
Dale Newton reminds us that we should learn some lessons from signing days past.

It's important to keep perspective as the faxes come in and Twitter goes over capacity. The players who come to Oregon and those who choose other opportunities all deserve good wishes and respect. Welcome the new Ducks, but welcome them with class and a mature viewpoint. The Webfoots went to the National Championship game a year ago. They did with five recruiting classes that averaged 24th in the country. Spencer Paysinger and Jeff Maehl were two of the stars of that team. Paysinger was a 2-star wide receiver when recruited, Maehl a 3-star cornerback.

• Rob Moseley reminds us today is only about the "fax" for Oregon football.

High school recruits can begin submitting signed letters of intent to college programs this morning, and the fax machine in the UO football offices is poised to spit out LOIs from 19 prep players, along with three junior college transfers, according to reports.

Oregon got a verbal commitment from the #2 punting prospect in the nation in Dylan Ausherman.

• Aaron Fentress highlights the "tall group of recruits" who have given their verbals to Oregon.

• Ted Miller notes that Phil Steele has projected the Ducks as the number four team in the country when the initial AP top 10 is released later this year.

The Ducks have become a fixture among the nation’s elite under HC Chip Kelly with 3 straight BCS appearances and last year captured their first Rose Bowl win since 1916! While QB Darron Thomas and RB LaMichael James are gone, their replacements are plenty capable as QB Bryan Bennett and RB’s Kenjon Barner and De’Anthony Thomas return with some valuable game experience and the Ducks do not open with a marquee non-conference game like they did last year vs LSU.

• Rob Moseley has a couple of stories about LaMichael James and his preparation for the NFL combine.

• Aaron Fentress has another mini-profile for Oreon commit DT Stetzon Bair who hopes to follow in his brother's footsteps.

Fans should prepare to do a double take, or two. Bair is the younger brother of former UO standout defensive tackle Brandon Bair, now with Kansas City of the NFL. Brandon Bair stood 6-7, 272 as a member of the 2010 Ducks who reached the BCS National Championship Game deserves partial credit for his younger brother following in his footsteps.