In his second year with the Ducks, offensive linemen Doug Brenner has been nothing short of sensational. Yeah, you read that correctly: Doug Brenner is just a redshirt freshman. I was able to interview Brenner at the Hatfield-Dowlin complex last Thursday and we discussed his first season playing with the Ducks and what he foresees in his years to come with the program.
There are some athletic genes in the Brenner family. Maybe you’ve heard of Liz Brenner before, the University of Oregon star senior volleyball player. “I am a pretty good setter. But I would never try and block her, that’s just a bad idea,” said Brenner.
Marie Claire Brenner, Doug’s oldest sister, also ran track and played softball at Oregon State. At home, the Brenner’s keep up that same competitive spirit, except in a different way. “The whole family, we’re pretty competitive. When we go home we like to go to our athletic club and play racquetball or lots of card games,” said Brenner. “We’re big on card games and get really rowdy.”
The Oregon offensive line has received a lot of negative publicity this season. Seeing Hroniss Grasu go down in the Utah game couldn’t have been easy for the young Brenner. As Brenner watched Grasu being helped off the field during this year’s game vs. Utah, he knew he would have to step up. And stepped up he has.
“It’s good playing with such a successful team right now. To be able to play with some of the guys I’m playing with is really awesome. I’m really enjoying it,” said Brenner.
Hroniss Grasu has also had an impact on Brenner off the field. Brenner said, “He has been so huge for the last year and a half since I’ve been here, just teaching me the offense. My biggest thing is I just try and watch him. Everything he does, his mannerisms and how he is conducting the offense, because he is so successful. He is such a good leader by example.”
In a battle for the Rose Bowl and with a trip to the national championship on the line, the Ducks will face the reigning champs, the Florida State Seminoles, on New Years Day. The Ducks’ offensive line has a tough task in front of it: stopping the ferocious Seminole defense and giving Oregon QB Marcus Mariota enough time to run the offense.
“The have a really talented defense. They are really athletically gifted up front with their big guys. We are just learning personnel and watching their game,” Brenner said. “Their whole defense line is good at batting down passes. They are one of the leading teams in the country for that. So we have been talking about how we need to do a good job of getting our hands on them and their pass rush and getting their hands down.”
I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for the New Year. Go Ducks.
Top Photo By: Craig Strobeck