Last season when former Duck OL Jake Fisher went down with an injury, the man who stepped up to fill his void was No.62, current Duck OL Matt Pierson.
Pierson’s journey to playing for Oregon wasn’t the typical Cinderella story we hear in fairy tales or Disney movies. It was a story centered on motivation and the idea of never giving up on a dream. From high school to college, Pierson was able to completely transform his body into the lean, mean fighting machine it is today. Now, entering next season as a redshirt senior, Pierson certainly has the opportunity to not only serve as a leader for the offensive line, but also the chance to inspire others to pursue their aspirations.
I had the chance to speak with Pierson, on behalf of FishDuck.com, and discuss his observations from spring practices and his expectations for next year’s football squad.
Today, the coaching staff decided to have a scrimmage, which Pierson thought was beneficial for the new guys that came in just this spring. When asked about what specific position he played during the scrimmage and in spring practices in general, Pierson mentioned how “we have many guys switch in and out of positions to give them more familiarity with different spots on the line. We do this to see which role they perform best in live game situations.” Pierson also spoke about how he’s been taking some reps at center, but he’s been spending most of his time at the guard and tackle positions.
Next, Pierson was asked about his expectations going forward after these four weeks of spring practices. “It’s a common thing for the older guys to help the younger guys when it comes to the O-line. For me, it’s more of being a leader, and stepping up when the teams needs me,” said Pierson.
It seems evident that Pierson wants to fill that leadership gap that former Ducks such as Fisher and Hroniss Grasu had on last year’s team. If anything, he definitely fits the bill of a leader of the offensive line as shown by him coming onto the team as a walk-on and working hard to make his way to the top.
Pierson reflected on a new Duck who joined the team this spring, QB Travis Jonsen. Throughout spring practices, Pierson has noticed how Jonsen is “a quick learner who’s been making great progress everyday.” As the QB competition gets more interesting every day, players such as Pierson are working their tail off to earn a starting position next fall.
Top Photo by Gary Breedlove