Spring Practice

by Frank Baldwin March 30, 2016

 

New alignments as spring practice begins

By Rob Moseley

 

Another transfer at quarterback: Oregon’s one season with Adams behind center was a rousing success, when he was healthy. This year the Ducks added another fifth-year transfer, Dakota Prukop, who played three seasons at Montana State (see profile below). Prukop’s credentials at the Football Championship Subdivision level rival those of Adams, though he’s considered more of a dual-threat than his predecessor. As was the case with Adams, when a fifth-year transfer enters the program he’s probably a solid bet to win the starting job. That said, redshirt freshman Travis Jonsen generated some buzz this winter as he progressed back from an injury that sidelined him last fall. Also, true freshman Terry Wilson has enrolled for spring quarter at the university and will participate in spring practices.

New faces, and faces in new places: Wilson is joined on the spring roster by fellow spring enrollees linebacker Eric Briscoe Jr. and tight end Cameron McCormick. They join winter enrollees Prukop, OL Jacob Capra, LB Troy Dye, LB Darrian Franklin, LB A.J. Hotchkins, DL Hunter Kampmoyer and WR Dillon Mitchell. The spring roster also notes several position changes, most of which stem from the switch to a 4-3, and the need for more bodies on the defensive line. Former outside linebackers Torrodney PrevotJustin HollinsCody Carriger and Eddie Heard are now listed as defensive linemen, as is Elijah George, a redshirt junior whose progress his first two years on campus was delayed by injuries. Also, two-way threat Charles Nelson is listed at receiver, where he figures to spend 2016 barring anything unforeseen. And Jhet Janis, a member of the track and field program who showed some promise as a receiver on the scout team last fall, is now at defensive back, where he practiced a bit during the run-up to the Alamo Bowl.

Welcoming back two major weapons: Both tight end Pharaoh Brown and receiver Devon Allen remained limited throughout 2015 due to leg injuries suffered late in the 2014 campaign, Brown to the point that he redshirted last season. But both progressed in their rehab throughout the year and should be in better position to contribute in 2016. Brown provides a major pass-catching threat at tight end, and Allen brings his world-class speed to a receiving corps that lost Bralon Addison.

Reshuffling the offensive line: Position coach Steve Greatwoodtypically mixes and matches his unit throughout spring practice, so the Ducks figure to feature a lot of potential new looks on the offensive line. The returning starters are right tackle Tyrell Crosby and right guard Cameron Hunt, who played left tackle and right tackle, respectively, for a stretch of the Alamo Bowl. Redshirt freshman Jake Hanson spent last season as the center with the second unit on offense, and should have a shot to replace Hegarty with the first unit in 2016. At the guard spots, juniors Evan VoellerJake Pisarcik and Doug Brenner all have some experience to tap. The wild card will be Zac Morgan, a graduate transfer from Dayton who signed this winter to compete for a starting job in the fall.

For reference, here are position capsules writing after the Alamo Bowl, which don’t reflect some changes to the roster made since.

Quarterback
Running back
Receiver/Tight end
Offensive line
Defensive line
Linebacker
Defensive back
Special teams

__________________________________________________

 

New starting quarterback?

DAKOTA PRUKOP

Player Profile:

 

Position:

Quarterback 

Height:

6'2"

Weight:

200

Year:

5th Year Senior

Hometown:

Austin, Texas

High School:

Vandergrift

Other College:

Montana State

Experience:

Transfer

 

 

2016 – Formally joined the program in January at the start of winter term.

BEFORE OREGON – The Associated Press first-team All-American completed his career at Montana State with 7,347 yards of total offense, fourth in MSU history; 1,763 rushing yards, 10th-most as a Bobcat; and 5,584 passing yards, fifth in MSU annals . . . Rushed for 24 touchdowns in his career and threw for 46 scores . . . Was named a second-team All-Big Sky honoree following his junior year as well as a STATS FCS Player-of-the-Year semifinalist . . . Passing for 3,025 yards while accumulating 3,822 yards of total offense yards in 2015, his 37 total touchdowns were the most in school history . . . Throwing for 399 yards in back-to-back games against Cal Poly and Northern Arizona, he also passed for 313 against Montana . . . He added 196 yards on the ground against Eastern Washington and 102 against Portland State  . . . The team captain was named third-team pre-season All-America by STATS Inc. heading into last season . . .  Despite missing two late-season games due to injury as a sophomore, he accounted for 2,559 yards passing and rolled up 3,525 yards of total offense, including two of the top four total offense games in school history (509 yards vs. UC Davis and 478 yards against Sacramento State) . . . The third-team all-Big Sky Conference honoree ran for 13 TDs and passed for 18 more in 2014, with his 31 total scores ranking as the school’s second-most single-season tally ever . . . Voted by his teammates as the team’s MVP, he was rewarded as the conference’s Player of the Week on four occasions and FCS national Offensive Player of the Week vs. Sacramento State . . . He eclipsed 100 rushing yards in five games, including 176 vs. Black Hills State . . . Graduated with a degree in economics from Montana State before utilizing the graduate transfer rule in order to play his fifth and final year at Oregon.

 (HIGH SCHOOL) A two-year team captain who earned All-District 25-4A honors as a quarterback and safety during his senior season … Team MVP and academic all-district choice as a senior … first scholarship student-athlete signed from Vandergrift.

PERSONAL – Persuing a master's degree in non-profit management ... Has three siblings ... Dad played football at UC Davis and grandfather played football at USC.

_____________________________________________________________

 

Pharaoh Brown

It's a question that's been asked numerous times over the last year, and on Tuesday afternoon there was finally a different response. 

How is Pharaoh Brown doing? Do you expect him to play? 

"Yeah," Oregon coach Mark Helfrich said on the first day of spring camp. 

Brown, Oregon's senior tight end, missed all of 2015 after suffering a devastating leg injury against Utah in November of 2014. He was around Oregon's facility last season, becoming a limited participant in practice while rehabbing his leg. 

Comments on Brown generally revolved around the health of the 6-foot-6 tight end. He looks good, they would say, but would give no further comment regarding the timetable of his return. 

That changed on Tuesday. It wasn't just Helfrich that expects Brown back, either. 

Tight ends coach Tom Osborne said he would be shocked if Brown didn't suit up this season. While he still hasn't been 100 percent cleared to play in a game, Osborne said Brown's made monumental progress. 

"Oh yeah, I have no doubt he plays this season," Osborne said. "Playing football, that's what motivates him. Because that's his mindset, that creates a work ethic to try and get him healthy enough to play. When you go through what he's gone though, I don't know how many guys will do that. I have no doubt he'll put himself in position to play. No doubt at all." 

If Brown returns to 100 percent, the Ducks will have one of the deepest tight end groups in the country. Brown earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors in 2014 after catching six touchdown passes despite missing the last five games of the season, while Johnny Mundt and Evan Baylis both garnered plenty of experience in his absence last year. 

"The nice thing about having some older tight ends is those guys don't have to be babysat so much in terms of what to do, what our expectations level is, how we want them to practice, how we want them to play," Osborne said. "It allows us to spend time, the extra time, with the younger guys to get those guys caught up to where they can go as well." 

-- Tyson Alger




Frank Baldwin
Frank Baldwin

Author




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