Receiving Corps Thinning, Opportunities Rising

Photo by Kevin Cline

Stanford’s status is up in the air

When the news arrived Friday that Dwayne Stanford, the lanky, 6’5″ true sophomore receiver, was going under the knife to fix a potentially serious knee injury, panic began to spread amongst the Oregon faithful.  With Mark Helfrich now leading the charge, it’s expected that the Ducks could be looking to the air more this season, which will require the receivers to step up in a way that hasn’t been seen around these parts in a while.

Dwayne Stanford was expected to be part of a receiving corp that would bring a renewed air attack about.  Now, with his status up in the air, opportunity is arising for others to make a name for themselves.

Already, it appears that his teammates are taking the cue.  The buzz around practice is that Bralon Addison, another true sophomore, is lighting up anyone who attempts to touch him.  Also B.J. Kelley, the last remaining receiver from the much ballyhooed 2011 recruiting class, could be a burner in the slot that Marcus Mariota will rely on heavily.

Last year, I wrote that the initial depth chart at receiver was less than enthralling — at first glance, Keanon Lowe didn’t exactly strike fear into the hearts of opponents.  What was realized, however, is that clearly the coaching staff knows more than I do (I know, I was shocked too!) and sometimes the best weapon you have is the undervalued one.  Lowe was a wonderful compliment to Josh Huff, and his blocking skills and sure-hands came into play consistently throughout the season.

With De’Anthony Thomas expected to receive more carries in an attempt to replace Kenjon Barner, and Stanford’s status unknown, here is a list of guys who could find their workload increased this season:

Colt LyerlaNo player is more under utilized, at least in fans minds, than the freakish Lyerla.  With tight end size and receiver speed, Lyerla is a matchup nightmare for opponents, and could have a breakout campaign under Helfrich.

Bralon AddisonAs a true freshman, Addison says he was doing more thinking than playing.  With a year under his belt, and an expanded role, he could be the downfield threat that Oregon has lacked.  Small in stature at just 5’10” and 180 pounds, Addison’s jitterbug-maneuvers and speed could help open up the running game.

Chance AllenNot much is known about the rangy receiver, except that he is fast – really fast.  Allen redshirted last season in hopes that he would enter this season with a firm grip on the playbook, and from all that we have heard that’s exactly what happened.

Photo by Kevin Cline

Huff’s role should reach unused heights

Eric DungyNever flashy, always steady — much like his father, Tony  – Eric is a known commodity for the coaching staff.  Not a burner, but with sticky hands, Dungy could be a rock over the middle, a man not afraid to sacrifice his body to make a catch.  With an expanded role, Dungy could be a hidden gem for the Mariota to target.

Josh HuffHuff’s swan song has all the makings of being spectacular.  When healthy — which he battled, particularly in his sophomore season – Huff is perhaps the second most explosive player on the roster, just behind the Momba.  If he stay away from the injury bug, Josh may finally find himself entranced in an offense that utilizes his talents to the fullest.

Print Friendly
Joel Gunderson

Joel Gunderson

Joel Gunderson grew up in a small town, where the only thing he did for fun was worship the Oregon Ducks. He later moved to Eugene, where he studied journalism at the U of O. After working in radio, he married the woman of his dreams and settled down. Joel now spends his days studying Journalism and the fine world of grammar, all the while worshiping the ground that Charles "Chip" Kelly walks on! Follow him on twitter @gundy85

  • Probably the most important aspect of throwing the ball more, is not to completely abandon the running game—its been our bread and butter—but to ensure that the receivers block and block well in case we get too pass happy and bad things happen.

    We definitely need to have a sharp running (blocking) game to open up the passing game when we have to use it. I don’t feel as though we will change that much from the success we’ve enjoyed the past 4 years. But, it is gonna be nice to see that Lubic will have his charges ready to bust a few long ones.

    Couldn’t agree more about Colt Lyerla being under utilized. The guy is an absolute stud that every time he busts a long gain dragging five players along with him evokes the comment “almost unstoppable” and then he dissappears to the bench to sit the rest of the game on offense or plays are not called for him.

    I think the ducks will do just fine this year inspite of changes that may occur. I’m really looking forward to seeing the backs develop from spring to fall. I also believe that Thomas Tyner will light it up this year. Perhaps he already has the play book and is studying like crazy even before he gets here. I think he’s gonna be a can’t miss. Go Ducks! I believe you can fly, I believe you’re gonna touch the sky.

  • Td Todd

    The Oregon faithful panicked when Stanford got hurt? Seriously? I think not, even if it’s serious he has all summer to rehab.
    We return dat, colt, bralon and have a wr coach who does more than teach blocking technique.
    Every aspect of the offense should be improved this season imo

    • Joel Gunderson

      True, panicked may have been a touch strong. However, the amount of playmakers in at receiver has been limited, and Stanford could be the big target that Touinea was so adept at.

  • RED HERRING

    DON’T FORGET ABOUT DARRYL HAWKINS AND ALL OF THE INCOMING RECRUITS. STANFORD WILL BE HEALTHY BY FALL ANYWAY. DUCKS WILL BE JUST FINE.

  • If they aren’t going to utilize Lyerla like they can on offense, put him at linebacker and he’ll go number 1 in the draft when he’s done showing the nation how that position can be played