Tuesday, May 16, 2017

May 16, 2017
This week at Duck Sports Authority we are doing a wide receiver focus. One of the things we did was name a top three all-time at the position for Oregon. While many want to go with the stand-by receivers that we all know, I dug a little deeper.

In particular, I still don't think Bob Newland gets enough credit for his tremendous season in 1970. In an era where ground and pound was all anyone did - with variations of different running styles, to catch 67 passes for over 1100 yards is incomprehensible. It is in the same vein as Dan Marino passing for 5000 yards 15 years before anyone else. It was simply one of the best receiving seasons any Duck has ever had. In fact, he is still second on the all-time list for receiving yards in a season.

I think the others pretty much stand on their own in modern Duck history with Samie Parker and Keenan Howry among the best.

There was much skepticism when Michael Johnson was named the wide receiver coach. mostly that was left over criticism from Michigan having agreed to hire him in an off-field position as if it were some form of 'quid-pro quo' to get the commitment from his son - an elite QB prospect from the class of 2019.

One look at his early body of work, however, shows just why the former UCLA and San Francisco assistant coach was hired; he has exceptional recruiting ties to the state of California and is a tremendous technician on the field. Expect some big things from him moving forward.


Much has been made about the coaches and their concept of ‘mOvement18’ on twitter. Their energy and enthusiasm is a breath of air that is reminiscent of the days when Oregon was fighting for recognition as a school that was more than just great facilities. They are rightly given ample credit for their efforts and their travel logs. But I think that there are some kudos missing which should be mentioned. Though the coaches are the ones on planes creating relationships, there are some unseen folks who are making all of this twitter activity possible.

The social media and graphics departments at most universities have become a major part of their recruiting efforts. The maps created which show the current location of a coach before he makes a tweet comes from somewhere; as savvy as this staff is with social media, you can be pretty sure that they are not also their own graphic designers. Those graphics are a very critical component of what Taggart and the rest of the staff are attempting to accomplish, so, a big ‘Shout’ should go to those responsible for taking the vision of the staff and making it a reality.


Tomorrow in the premium side, some whispers about some wide receiver prospects.  One tidbot I am not shy about sharing, the further we get away from the Spring Game, the less likely that Jaylen Waddle commits to Oregon publicly. With the glow of the visit having faded, it is now wide open again and everything I have heard has him leaning toward some schools in the south.

Can the Ducks get back into the mix? Absolutely. But right now, there are some targets that the Ducks will push harder for knowing that Waddle is more than likely to choose someone in the south. Don't fret too much, because those players are just as good; and in some cases better.

Okay, Tuesday is in the books. I will have an update tomorrow about my decision to 'cut the cord' (So far, so good!)


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