Introducing DAT, future track All-American?

Many expect De’Anthony Thomas to eventually earn All-America honors in football. His freshman season at Oregon was that spectacular. But some believe Thomas also has a shot at earning a similar honor in another sport — track and field.

This past Thursday, The Oregonian’s Ken Goe took a look at Thomas’ potential as a sprinter. The immediate news is that Thomas likely will not be running indoors this season, although he should hit the track in outdoor meets, which begin March 18.

De'Anthony Thomas as a sprinter in high school.

But what caught my eye were the remarks from Oregon coach Vin Lananna, who compared Thomas favorably to Jordan Kent, the former Duck All-American sprinter and three-sport athlete (he played football and basketball, too).

“He’s high end,” said Lananna of Thomas, who ran the 200 in 20.61 seconds as a high-schooler. “He’s pretty good. I haven’t seen him run track yet, but I’ve seen him run in football. He can run.”

Lananna also points out that — unlike some fast football players who run track but really aren’t tracksters — Thomas fits the mold.

“He has some pretty good experience as a track and field guy,” Lananna told Goe.

As for spring football, Thomas will be there, too. Football coach Chip Kelly encourages his players to run track if they keep up their academics, in part because he believes it ultimately makes them faster on the gridiron.

* * *

We’ve been searching high and low all week for the best, most entertaining Duck football stories. Here is what we came up with:

Don’t worry, Duck fans, Chip Kelly has the QB magic. And that means Bryan Bennett and Marcus Mariota are already under his spell, right?

The Oregonian poses the question: Who should start at QB next season?

Josh White compiles his 15 best all-time Duck athletes with Oregon roots in this FishDuck piece. All lists are subjective, but I like this one because of the angle White took: the best Duck athletes who either were born in Oregon or grew up as kids in the state. One big omission (in my humble opinion): Legendary track coach Bill Bowerman. Another: wide receiver Bob Newland. Be sure to read the comments at the end of the story, too. Interesting reactions.

And speaking of great Ducks, here is an old Register-Guard story I stumbled across after reading Josh White’s FishDuck piece and trying to unearth more info on past Duck greats. It’s on Oregon’s 10-7 loss to Ohio State in the 1958 Rose Bowl. Be sure to check out the quotes from coach Len Casanova and the photo of him (above the story) — “the first time in Rose Bowl history that a losing coach was carried from the field,” according to the caption.

Good news for Oregon on the recruiting front — as ranks Aloha running back and Oregon verbal commit Thomas Tyner as the top 2013 back in the country (and ninth-best player overall).

Tosh Lupoi runs to Seattle.

As for the ongoing Tosh Lupoi hubbub, ESPN’s Ted Miller reports the Seattle media rather oddly never asked the Cal turncoat about the recruitment of Shaq Thompson, who switched from Cal to UW after Lupoi fled the place, when they had a chance earlier this week.

USC and Oregon are expected to be the two top Pac-12 teams next fall. While that may end up being the case, Stanford and UCLA are closing the talent gap, argues ESPN’s Brian Fremeau in a Ted Miller post.‘s Bucky Brooks pegs LaMichael James as the 48th pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.

Pretty bored with the Super Bowl? We were, too, until this hit by former Duck Patrick Chung jarred us awake.


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