The Oregon offense has become famous for its blazingly quick receivers and backs. A vast majority of these athletes have been under 6’1″ or so, with a jaw-dropping ability to cut up and down the field; but what about that red zone possession receiver who Mariota can toss the ball up to in the corner of the end zone? Look no further than current freshman wide out: Dwayne Stanford.
At a rangy 6’5″, 195lbs, perhaps he could fill that rather foreign role in this offense. He comes from Cincinnati, OH where he played football for the Taft HS Senators. Throughout his time there, Stanford managed to earn all-state 1st team honors at the Division III level his junior and senior year along with the offensive player of the year award in his team’s CMAC league. He also participated in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl as a senior.
His statistics were nothing short of impressive as he broke into the national recruiting scene during his junior year. Stanford racked up 44 receptions, 865 yds, and 9 touchdowns. After some impressive showings at skill camps, he saw offers coming in from all over the nation: Alabama, FSU, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, USC, and of course Oregon. Those prestigious offers alone should clear up any misconceptions about whether or not this kid is the real deal.
He came into his senior year focused on high school football and his stats remained consistent. Stanford visited both LSU and Oregon in late fall of 2011, and to Les Miles’ dismay, he stuck with the Ducks and committed on November 22nd.
Below are some of his high school highlights:
So what kind of player is he? What exactly can he do for Oregon?
Stanford’s size alone makes him an asset for this offense; however, besides the 6’5″ frame he has a lot more to offer. Recruiting services have emphasized the tremendous in-game strength and the physicality he displays with cornerbacks and outside linebackers. He has been quoted as saying, “… I’m a real physical wide receiver. I’m big and tough and I can get separation well because I’m so physical with the corners in the secondary.” When it comes to the jump balls in the corner of the end zone — well, he has a recorded a 35-inch vertical leap.
One thing he has aimed to get better at since high school has been his route running technique. With such a long body, he’s not able to make all of the quick cuts and change his direction nearly as well as Keanon Lowe or Josh Huff. Stanford has displayed great open field speed when given space with his long strides, but don’t expect him to juke defenders and turn an 8-yard wheel route into a 30-yard gain clear across the field.
Here are his thoughts after his first game suited up as a Duck:
In 2012, Stanford saw time at receiver in the second halves of lopsided victories. He managed to catch 11 balls and gain 114 yards on the year. He remained active through special teams and has been noted for his consistent improvement by coaches. Perhaps that is why he is being projected as the 4th or 5th receiver on the 2013 depth chart, ahead of notable prospects like B.J. Kelley and Chance Allen. Spring ball will give Duck fans a bit of a preview of what is to come from Dwayne Stanford in 2013. Spring practices will begin on April 2nd and the spring game will take place on April 27th.
Joe Packer is a sophomore at the University of Oregon, majoring in Journalism. A Portland, Oregon native, he has been an avid Duck fan his whole life, attending his first of countless Duck football games at the age of 2. He played Lacrosse in high school, and today enjoys shooting hoops and a round of golf just about every day. As a player, referee, and youth sports coach, Joe looks to share his diverse perspective on the world of sports. He welcomes your feedback. Follow him on twitter: @JoePa_
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