The start of Spring practice means there will be a new depth chart for all positions. The Ducks’ five main receivers from last season will be returning, but things will be different. Charles Nelson will be a defensive back, so he won’t be counted on very often in the passing game.
But we shouldn’t be too alarmed, because the remaining four receivers accounted for 195 receptions and 23 touchdowns, which accounted for more than 50% of the team’s total in both categories. Each of those receivers have the potential to be atop the depth chart, and with the addition of some freshmen and an all-American coming off ACL surgery, so who knows what will happen?!
One thing is clear – you can expect Bryon Marshall to compete for that No. 1 slot receiver spot. Transitioning from running back to wide receiver last year, Marshall now returns for his second season at wide out, where he was the Ducks’ leading receiver from a year ago with 74 receptions and more than 1000 yards receiving, both of which were team highs.
Another returning receiver is Devon Allen, who is expecting to take one WR spot. Allen led the Ducks last season with 7 receiving touchdowns and looks to reutrn this season with a higher number in mind. Although he suffered a knee injury in the Rose Bowl against Florida State and won’t be given the clear to go 100% this spring, he will definitely be a huge threat to snag the top spot in the fall.
Two of the biggest receivers, Darren Carrington and Dwayne Stanford will return in the fall. Unexpectedly, Carrington was the receiver who made the difference to defeat Arizona in the PAC-12 Championship game and the defeat of Florida State in the Rose Bowl last season.
However, he also tested positive for marijuana before the National Title Game in Dallas, so until it’s disclosed what his suspension will be, he cannot be counted on just yet.
On the bright side, Stanford should be able to pick up the slack. He’s listed as the tallest receiver at 6’5 and is making strides in becoming a leader for the young receivers and how they are to carry themselves on and off the field.
Now, those receivers could take a back seat to Bralon Addison, if he is able to return to form after his knee injury from last spring. Before his injury, he was one of the most dynamic receivers and return men in the country. So if he returns and can still make his amazing catches, then all we need to do is sit back and enjoy the show.
Top Photo by Kevin Cline