Oregon's annual spring game was a refreshing Saturday spectacle after last year's was axed due to early conclusion of spring football. A lot of players stood out, and I tried to whittle it to five. You can read that story here.
Now I want to dive a little deeper into players that impressed, but may not be entrenched starters. We all know of a bunch of names that stuck out. Freshmen wide receivers Troy Franklin and Dont'e Thornton stole the show on offense.
On defense we saw the emergence of Justin Flowe, along with proven studs Noah Sewell and Kayvon Thibodeaux.
But what are some other players generating some buzz?
Tight End Terrance Ferguson | Early enrollee freshman
The Ducks have a lot of talent at tight end, but not a lot of proven production to show for it. Spencer Webb and DJ Johnson both return and likely headline the group exiting spring ball.
It might be worth mentioning that I did not see Johnson at the spring scrimmage I attended in April, nor did I see him at the spring game. I'm not inferring anything, I just didn't see him, whether it was due to injury or something else.
As for Ferguson, he was all over the place in the spring game. He finished with 4 receptions for 60 yards, with a long of 34 yards. That 34-yard catch came on a throw from Jay Butterfield, one that was underthrown and required Ferguson to work back to the ball.
He was able to make a great catch and battled through a pass interference call on safety Daymon David. It was easily his top play of the day.
Ferguson will have to battle through a lot of returners, including Patrick Herbert, who looks ready for college ball after battling back from injury. His fellow freshman Moliki Matavao looked solid as well, but I've been praising Ferguson's athleticism and hands since the moment he committed.
After seeing him make the most of his opportunities Saturday, I think he was the top tight end of the day. He's got a shot to make a real impact this year, even if it's not right out of the gate.
Quarterback Robby Ashford | Redshirt freshman
Ashford looked great in limited action during the spring game. He showed off his outfielder's arm and was incredibly mobile, especially on his game-winning two-point conversion that saw him lay out for the pylon.
I can definitely understand why some people are calling him a raw prospect, at least mechanically. Throwing a baseball and a football are two different things, but man the potential sure is there.
I don't think I'd consider him a favorite to win the starting job, at least for the time being. But man did he give this staff something to think about moving forward.
Should Anthony Brown win the job like many think, it'll be very interesting to see how that affects the future of this quarterback room, one that is brimming with talent and potential.
Linebacker Treven Ma'ae | Redshirt freshman
Here's a name we haven't heard in a while.
Ma'ae came to Oregon as a 6'4", 240-pound recruit from national powerhouse Bishop Gorman. It's taken him a bit to find the field since his arrival in Eugene, but he's poised to make an impact in a relatively young defensive front.
In the spring game he totaled two tackles and a sack, but his performance spoke louder than what the stats show. He was all over the field, and more than once I had to check the roster as I was asking myself, 'Who's this #48?' Because he was making some plays.
He was a quick-twitch kind of player coming out of high school and it looks like he's ready to make the most of his opportunities this season.
Wide receiver Isaah Crocker | Sophomore
The 6-foot-2-inch sophomore wide receiver came to Oregon as part of the 2018 class. Rated a 4-star coming out of high school, Crocker has yet to make much noise in terms of on-field production.
Could that change soon?
His spring game performance could be hinting at such a prediction. Crocker hauled in 4 passes for 62 yards with a long of 30, a play that saw freshman Ty Thompson drop in a beautiful touch pass over safeties Daymon David and Marko Vidackovic. Crocker caught the ball and took the ball inside the five-yard line.
Some may have forgotten, but the Sacramento native received a late scholarship from Alabama in the latter end of his recruitment.
Will he live up to that interest shown from the defending national champions?
Only time will tell, but the Ducks could certainly use more weapons at receiver, given the pass-heavy offenses we've seen take over college football. He'll have to break into a rotation that already features Devon Williams, Mycah Pittman, Jaylon Redd (currently injured), and Johnny Johnson. Not to mention early-enrollee standouts Troy Franklin and Dont'e Thornton.
OL Dawson Jaramillo | Sophomore
Jaramillo saw ample time with the one's at right tackle this past Saturday, a spot normally held down by Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu, who is currently injured.
Nonetheless, Jaramillo made the most of his reps and backed up the praise he's been receiving from coaches and players throughout spring. He held his own against defensive starters Mase Funa and Kayvon Thibodeaux.
Don't forget Jaramillo is another all-American Mario Cristobal and Alex Mirabal have brought in to this offensive line room. You can never have enough depth along the offensive line and the 6'5", 303-pound sophomore certainly adds to what the staff is building.
Could we see him crack the rotation?
Cristobal rotated six starters in 2020 but has been known to like having as many as 10 offensive linemen he feels he can play with at any given time. Add in that Jaramillo has multiple years of experience in the Oregon system, so he is already well adjusted to the speed of the college game.
Cornerback Jaylin Davies | Early enrollee freshman
With Mykael Wright and DJ James not playing in the spring game, many of the younger cornerbacks had the opportunity to run with the one's, namely Dontae Manning and Jaylin Davies.
Davies looked solid for an early enrollee. He got burned a couple times by Troy Franklin, but also had some nice plays in coverage against Devon Williams, recovering after getting beat on a route to guide him out of bounds for a big third-down stop.
Getting him some reps against the ones early will only help accelerate his development at Oregon. As an Under Armour All-American at Mater Dei, Davies competed against some of the nation's best teams in Los Angeles' Trinity League, and could find some early playing time this season as Rod Chance looks to build more dependable depth.
Trikweze Bridges figures to be one player he'll be competing with heavily, but Davies looked strong for his first extended action as a Duck. He was also second on the team in total tackles with five.
Defensive tackle Keyon Ware-Hudson | Redshirt freshman
With Austin Faoliu and Jordon Scott off to the NFL, there is now a hole in the middle of the Oregon defense. Ware-Hudson is currently one of the top options to slide in at nose tackle for the Ducks, and he certainly has the size to do it.
At 6'3", 298 pounds, Tim DeRuyter is going to need him to eat up double teams to free up linebackers to fly in and make a play. Ware-Hudson rotated heavily with Popo Auamvae during the spring game, and the pair will look to form a strong wall along the interior of the defensive line with Brandon Dorlus.
The staff is clearly growing more confident in his abilities, as he appeared in every game last season and racked up 11 total tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, and a sack. He's another name from Mater Dei that could have a huge impact this season as part of a very young defensive line.
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