Quantcast

Position Change Makes Johnathan Loyd One Rare Duck

Johnathan Lloyd 4 UtahValley1314CS

Position Change Makes Johnathan Loyd One Rare Duck

Josh White
Reported by Josh White on April 18, 2014
In ,
| 4 Comments

 

Position Change Makes Johnathan Loyd One Rare Duck

If there are any Duck fans out there still skeptical or on the fence about Johnathan Loyd’s place in Oregon Duck athletic history, Dana Altman’s first recruit just gave you another reason to get on board.

Already the winningest player in the long history of Oregon Basketball, Loyd, like so many of the Oregon fans this time of year, has turned his attention to spring football.  Only in Johnny’s case, he had and has taken advantage of his opportunity to utilize the available fifth season of athletic eligibility and is using it to join the Duck football team as a wide receiver/punt returner/kick off returner/who knows what else/doesn’t really matter because he’s a plus from any angle.

At first glance, the move seemed almost odd.  The Ducks football team seemed flush at the position and was set to return players such as Bralon Addison and Keanon Lowe, as well as a host of young, fast and talented four-star receivers waiting in the wings.

Where Loyd has been solely committed to basketball for the past four years, how can he possibly expect to break through a deep roster on one of the elite football teams in the country?  Does he even have a chance of seeing the field?

Most would find it hard to bet against him.

Loyd running to daylight

Gary Breedlove

Loyd running to daylight.

It’s been well documented that Loyd played football at Bishop Gorman high school in Las Vegas where his team won the 2009 4-A state title.  He earned all-state recognition as a kick returner, when he averaged 32.6 yards per return, taking 5 of them to the house for touchdowns.

On the basketball court, physically, he showed a quick burst of speed and change of direction that would seem to carry over to football, and he also has the type of heart and competitive fire needed to be successful.

And honestly, if he records even one single reception next season it would  rank among the rare accomplishments ever by a Duck athlete.  Sure, at this early stage in the preseason, it’s not quite on the same level as say, Ashton Eaton’s Olympic gold metal in the decathalon, or someone such as Liz Brenner competing in virtually every women’s sport offered.

But, if the football team goes on and has the kind of year everyone expects and Loyd plays a role in that success, it will be difficult to not acknowledge that as a unique accomplishment in school history.

Looking back over the years, here are a few other multi-faceted athletes at Oregon:

(Note: This list is NOT all-inclusive, and not intended to be.  However, readers are welcome to leave their own multi-sport Ducks in the comment section.)

Jordan Kent -

Son of former UO, and current Washington State head coach Ernie Kent. Local Eugene Churchill High School product lettered in three sports while at Oregon, the first three-sport athlete in the Pac-10, since Arizona State’s J.D. Hill (baseball, football, track) in 1967-70.  The four-time All-American in track won the 200m with a time of 20.99 in the 2003 NCAA West Regional meet, as well as running the 100, 400, the 4×100 and 4×400 relays, to go with his long-jumping effort of 24’9.

Kent was also a defensive force and top rebounder for the  basketball team, and posted career highs in points (19) and rebounds (16) in a tough overtime loss to the hated Huskies.  But it was on the football field where he decided to pursue a professional career.  The Seattle Seahawks drafted the 6-foot-5, 217 WR with 4.43-40 speed in 2007, and he spent time on the practice squad with the Seahawks and Rams before being cut in 2010.

Arik Armstead -

Arik Armstead left the basketball team to focus full-time on football

Gary Breedlove

Arik Armstead left the basketball team to focus full-time on football

Huge expectations are still perhaps waiting to be met as the former 5-star recruit enters his third season in Eugene.  The 6-8, 297 lb defensive lineman has played in all 26 games in the past two years, recording 39 tackles, two pass deflections, 4-1/2 tackles for loss, and 1-1/2 sacks.

Originally a two-sport athlete, Armstead redshirted last season with the basketball team – finally seeing action on the court where he scored two points on his only career shot attempt – and picked up a personal foul in four minutes – before deciding to step away, seemingly for good, from basketball and focus solely on football.

Mel Renfro –

One of the greatest athletes ever to play football at Oregon, Renfro played offense and defense and excelled in the hurdles.  He was an All-American in both track and football, placing second in the NCAA high-hurdles and third in the long jump after rushing for 1,540 yards on the football team.

Renfro went on to become on of the greatest Dallas Cowboys of all-time, and is one of only six players in their team “Ring of Honor.”  His achievements in both sports while at U of O helped pave the way for the many football/track athletes since, players such as J.J. Birden, Sammie Parker, LaMichael James, Kenjon Barner, De’Anthony Thomas, Dior Mathis, B.J. Kelley, and most recently, Devon Allen.

George Shaw -

The very first two-sport All-American Duck, Shaw was quoted as saying “Baseball was more fun for me, but I was better at football.”  The Baltimore Colts agreed, and used the first overall draft pick on Shaw in 1955.

Loyd’s basketball career accomplishments combined with ANY activity in football has already put him on a very short list at Oregon.  If he is to next do the near-impossible and become a solid contributor during the football season, whether in practice and especially so in games, it would cement his status as one of the most rare Ducks in the entire flock.


Powered by

Announcements
  • The best Damn Opponent analysis on the web is coming out on Thursdays. Rory Davidson is a rising star at FishDuck.com as an analyst and you will always learn something new from him every week. Kim Hastings is our legendary humor writer who will be lampooning our opponent each week on Thursdays as well. So we will honor our opponent with Rory's respectful analysis...and then Kim will punch with glee and the opposing fans will have laugh at themselves. (or get indignant) What fun! Learning football and hooting at the opposition on Thursdays!
  • Want to help mentor and teach students at FishDuck.com? Be an ADVISOR to a department! We want people who are a little older to counsel associates and keep them on track. Knowledge of a dept. is not necessary and if you were in Eugene? All the better although other locations can work. If you can spare 3-5 hours a week, and enjoy working with students and like keeping things organized…then contact me charles@fishduck.com
  • Get experience in Media Management? Be a Managing Editor at FishDuck.com! If you can spare an hour a day to help the site stay on track, then you will be making decisions and learning skills that can help in Website or Newsroom management. A six month commitment required due to the training period, but it can help your resume as one who helping to manage over 40 writers and editors! Contact me charles@fishduck.com

About Author
Josh White

Josh WhiteJosh White has been a dedicated Duck fan since the Bill Musgrave days. He has attended (and lost his voice at) virtually every home game and many away games since the late 1980's, including 96 of the current 97 game sellout streak at Autzen Stadium. A Eugene native, Josh works full time in Eugene area real estate, helping people buy and sell residential and commercial properties, and also volunteers with Habitat For Humanity, Kidsports and Food For Lane County. He welcomes your feedback.Twitter: @WhiteHouseJosh Facebook: EugenesBestRealtorView all posts by Josh White →


 

 

This article is published and edited by:

Editor

FishDuck Staff

Editor In Chief

Dano Dunn

Dano Dunn

 

  • Mike Merrell

    Here’s one I’ll bet you didn’t know. In 1967 Scott Taylor finished a successful career as a sprinter on the Ducks’ swim team and then used the rest of his 4th year and his 5th year to walk on as a miler on the UO track team under Coach Bowerman. By the end of his fifth year at the UO, Scott placed in the top five in the mile at the Pac-8 championships. He went on to make the U.S. Olympic team in the Modern Pentathlon and finished 29th in that event at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

    • hokieduck

      Wow.