If you haven’t heard by now, the Oregon Spring football game was canceled, and I’m sorry to break the news to you. Disappointing to say the least, because the Spring Game is a great fundraiser for local Eugene food banks, and gives Oregon fans their first look at a new roster. This year’s game was going to be one of the more exciting ones in recent memory, with a new starting quarterback, three five-star recruits and a junior class that committed to sticking around for their senior year.
There are always players and positions that fans are most eager to see and critique. This would have also been a good opportunity to get a glimpse of how Oregon’s new-look offense can compete against one of the best defenses in the country and vice versa.
Some roster spots on the team are more or less determined before the season starts, but there are a couple of players I would have been excited to see in this year’s spring game.
Tyler Shough, the potential replacement for Justin Herbert, was ready to show the Autzen faithful a look at the future during this year’s spring game. The redshirt sophomore has only appeared in a few games for the Ducks, so his potential and skill set is still largely yet to be seen.
He has participated in the spring game for the last two seasons and has had a strong performance. Some say the spring game is essentially a glorified practice, but this was an important opportunity for Shough to develop chemistry with his new receivers since he’s no longer on the second team. This also would have been an important opportunity for Shough to establish himself ahead of the incoming quarterbacks like Jay Bufferfield, Robby Ashford and Boston College graduate transfer Anthony Brown. Shough is the front runner for the starting job, but it would have been nice to see some quarterback competition in front of an Autzen crowd.
Now led by junior Jevon Holland, the Oregon secondary is for real. Last season, Holland’s energy and playmaking ability proved to the whole country that he is the best safety in the nation.
In that season, he had four interceptions, including a pick-six against Washington State. He also played a big role in special teams as a dangerous punt returner. In the opening game against Auburn, he had 131 yards on punt returns, including one that he almost took all the way back for a touchdown.
Holland provides a lot of excitement when he is near the football. It would have been exciting to see how he kicked off his junior year against Oregon’s number-one offense, because he has not yet reached his ceiling.
Noah Sewell had Oregon fans losing sleep when his commitment decision was up in the air. Utah put up a good fight to land the five-star linebacker, but the Ducks once again came out victorious over the Utes.
In the last two recruiting cycles, Oregon has gotten a slew of highly touted recruits on the defensive side of the ball, but adding a second Sewell to the team was very exciting. Sewell is also the second five-star recruit that Oregon has secured in as many years.
Sewell enrolled early at Oregon to be able to play spring ball with the team. The first glimpse Duck fans got to see of him was on the Polynesian Bowl, where he left with a banged-up knee but also showed some fine playmaking ability. To watch Sewell in an Oregon uniform for the first time would have been an exciting treat for everyone.
We will have to wait until at least August to see these guys take the field again. It’s unfortunate for many reasons, but Oregon fans shouldn’t be worried that the coaching staff isn’t working hard to put the best team on the field. With back-to-back home games against North Dakota State and Ohio State to start the year, there’s no doubt Autzen Stadium will be rocking.
It will be well worth the wait.
Cameron JohanssonTop photo from Twitter
Bob Rodes, the FishDuck.com Volunteer editor for this article, is an IT analyst, software developer and amateur classical pianist in Manchester, Tennessee.
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