Dan Lanning certainly knows how to drum up some excitement for Oregon Football.
He did it during a halftime speech at an Oregon basketball game this season, and he's doing it again with spring football.
Four former Oregon Duck football players will be back in Eugene on April 23 to serve as honorary coaches, the program announced on Wednesday. Running backs DeAnthony Thomas and La'Michael James will be joined by former defensive linemen Haloti Ngata and Arik Armstead.
DeAnthony Thomas vs. Arkansas State 2012
"We couldn’t be more excited to welcome these four legends and so many other incredible alumni back to Autzen Stadium,” Lanning said in a university press release. “This program is built upon the foundation that all of our former Ducks have established, and we’re honored that they are returning to Eugene for this event. We need our fans to pack Autzen Stadium to welcome these guys back and create an awesome atmosphere for the Spring Game."
De’Anthony Thomas will serve as the offensive coordinator, while Haloti Ngata will have the role of defensive coordinator for the Yellow team. La’Michael James will be the offensive coordinator for the Green team, with Arik Armstead having defensive coordinator duties.
Haloti Ngata vs. Oklahoma 2004
The list of notable Oregon Football alumni won't end there, as Lanning also hinted at more former players in attendance.
The spring game will not only be the first look at Oregon Football under Dan Lanning for many fans, it's also the team's marquee recruiting event of the year. Much like we've seen with previous staffs, expect Lanning and his group to assemble an elite group of visitors for this event, something he's already done numerous times since being named head coach.
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The spring game is only one of many Oregon sporting events set for that April Saturday, appropriately tabbed "Duck Day", in addition to a soccer game vs. Seattle U scheduled for 11 a.m. and a 3 p.m. baseball game against Washington State at PK Park.
La'Michael James vs. Wisconsin 2012 Rose Bowl
Lanning called on Duck fans to attend the game, but also show support for other sports.
"This is going to be a tremendous day for Oregon Athletics and for our fans,” Lanning said. “We obviously want Autzen to be packed and rocking, but we also want to see our fans show out for all of the other terrific programs that are competing throughout the day. What a great opportunity to spend your day cheering on the Ducks and taking in some great events.”
The Oregon spring game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. kickoff on April 23 at Autzen Stadium. Gates open at 12:00 noon and attendance is free, but fans are encouraged to bring non-perishable food for donation to Food For Lane County.
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