The Oregon football team is back in practice after spring break. Oregon’s spring practices, postponed since March 18, started Tuesday morning, and the Ducks could be seen on the fields next to the Hatfield-Dowlin Complex.
“There was some really good energy at times today, but it also felt like we were a team that came back from two weeks where we weren’t really do as much active work, so it shows up,” coach Dan Lanning said. “A lot of mistakes to correct. Right now spring ball is not about the scheme. It’s about playing ball, playing fast, figuring out who can play, figuring out who our players are.”
Since the new semester has begun, the Ducks have welcomed numerous new players. Tysheem Johnson, a safety from Mississippi who transferred to Oregon, led the Rebels with 78 tackles as a sophomore, six more than any of Oregon’s defenders.
“(He’s) a guy that’s around the ball, makes a lot of plays,” Lanning said. “I don’t think we have to exclusively look at him as a nickel … we can use him at multiple positions. He’s a playmaker, plays with great effort, physical tackler, has a bunch of ability, so I think all those things are really appealing.”
On Tuesday(April 4, 2023), the team was joined by 2023 rookies Jerry Mixon (linebacker), Solomon Davis (defensive back), and Kodi DeCambra (safety).
The Ducks Get a New Quarterback
Matt Rush, a walk-on from Division III Washington University in St. Louis, is Lanning’s newest addition to the quarterback room. The Bears’ starting quarterback the last two years, the 6-foot, 181-pound senior, passed for 5,043 yards and 54 touchdowns with only ten interceptions.
To join a group that already has to return starter Bo Nix, returning No. 2 Ty Thompson, four-star freshman Austin Novosad, and second-year walk-on Marcus Sanders is quite an accomplishment.
“There’s times you find guys that are around, that are on campus that can help you,” Lanning said. “From a numbers standpoint, I felt like we had room for another guy to be out there that can help us, that’s had some experience as a player.”
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Transfer Burch is Remarkable
Oregon’s defensive line was one of the team’s weak points last year, but the arrival of Jordan Burch in the summer has given the Ducks hope that they can improve on last year’s performance.
The 6’6 “, 275-pound edge rusher was a unanimous five-star recruit in the class of 2020 after transferring from South Carolina. According to Lanning, he impressed everyone during his first few months in Eugene.
“You talk about changing a defense, and it starts with having guys with great size up front that have the ability to play and play at a high level,” Lanning said.
“Jordan’s done that. … We’re really excited about what he can do for our team. There’s a demeanor about him, and I think when you see him at practice, you see how he moves and ‘Ok, that’s what it’s suppose to look like.”
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