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2019 Oregon Ducks Spring Game Primer

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Hope springs eternal. The Ducks spring game is here!

Arizona State v Oregon

When is the Spring Game?

Saturday 4/20 at 5 PM EST / 2 PM PST

Where can we watch?

Pac-12 Network

Which recruits will be in attendance?

The list includes three five stars, 22 four stars, 11 three stars, and several 2021 recruits.

Are there any former Ducks legends in town?

Plenty, in fact. here’s a few faces that we might recognize.

Five offensive players to watch

1. Wide Receiver Mycah Pittman

- Pittman is a freshman early enrollee and consistently has been putting together great practices. He’s been with the second team for the most part. It’s no surprise that he’s been good due to his talent and bloodline has prepared him for this moment. His father and former NFL running back Michael and brother USC receiver Michael have done a solid job.

2. Quarterback Tyler Shough

- Anointed the role of second string quarterback behind incumbent Justin Herbert with several good practices. We’ll get to see him throw a pass at Autzen for the first time (non warm-up edition)! Beat out early enrollee Cale Millen as expected for the backup job quite handily according to reports.

3. Wide Receiver Juwan Johnson

- How quickly can he learn the playbook and gain chemistry with the QB after only practicing for the back half of the spring? He’s been rotating between the first and second teams throughout.

4. Running Back Cyrus Habibi-Likio

- Is he for real? He’s been practicing with the first team for a bit. Can he expand upon his goal line duties to become the 1B to CJ Verdell’s 1A?

5. Kickers

- Can any of them be consistent? The practice reports aren’t exactly glowing and direly concerning. Early enrollee Camden Lewis has the best shot at replacing Adam Stack’s well, lack of production.

Five defensive players to watch

1. Linebacker Isaac Slade-Matautia

- Apparently, he has seized the starting inside linebacker role next to Troy Dye, beating out Sampson Niu.

2. Defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux

- The former five star recruit has been practicing with the first team consistently. Can he build upon that experience and show out?

3. Safeties

- Brady Breeze is back to being a full time safety instead of rotating at linebacker. Nick Pickett has been starting beside him with Jevon Holland out due to injury. Which one will cement themselves next to Holland?

4. RS Sophomore EDGE D.J. Johnson

- Possibly the most talented edge rusher the Ducks have had since the days of Dion Jordan. He’s a type of edge rusher that the elite programs like Alabama and Clemson get. Reportedly had a great spring camp.

5. RS Freshman Verone McKinley

- After making the move to nickel / safety, McKinley has been impressive there according to reports. Can he step up into the Ugo Amadi role of big nickel?

Important questions

1. What will the defense look like under new DC Andy Avalos?

- There have been reports of the defense being transitioned to a 3-3-5 and/or 4-2-5. Based on the Ducks’ “limitations” at linebacker and strengths in the line and secondary, this is a wise move.

2. Can Tyler Shough settle down as the 2019 QB2 and give hope for the 2020 season?

- He has had an important spring of actually throwing the ball well enough and not being a hand-off expert to the point that he was named the backup. It’s imperative that he build on the success for the 2020 season when one of the most talented QBs in school history leaves for the NFL.

3. Is there a third corner out there capable of giving the starters a rest / play big time snaps?

- Reportedly, freshman Mykael Wright has been impressive throughout the spring as the third corner. As you know, the corner depth is a little lacking behind the starters, Graham and Lenoir.

4. Special teams?

- Will a kicker please step up and hit a field goal of significance? Also, who will be returning kicks and punts?

5. Is Marcus Arroyo the answer?

- He has a future first round pick and a Heisman contender at QB. Can he build the offense around Justin Herbert to make a Heisman run? After last season, the answer remains murky at best.

Spring Positional Previews

Quarterback

Running Back

Wide Receiver

Tight End

Offensive Line

Defensive Line

Linebacker

Defensive Back