With no current player on the Oregon roster wearing #79, we decided to go with a blast from the past with Mark Asper. Asper is the last player to don the #79 jersey for the Ducks not currently on the roster.
Before joining the Ducks, Asper was a three-year varsity letterman on the offensive and defensive line at Bonneville High School (Idaho Falls, Idaho). As a senior he earned first-team all-state honors as an offensive lineman and first-team all-High Country Conference for both lines. At 6’7″, he was also a nightmare to guard on the hardwood. Asper lead his team to the 2003 4A basketball state championship and with a win finished No. 1 in the state.
After high school graduation in 2004, Asper took two seasons off from football to pursue a religious mission trip.
In 2007, Asper redshirted his first season in Eugene and continued to develop his skill sets as an offensive lineman. Being two years removed from the game, an extra year of development seemed a no-brainer.
In 2008, Asper appeared in seven games and started at right tackle in the Ducks’ final game of the season, a 42-31 Holiday Bowl victory over Oklahoma State. But Asper did see time at every position on the line in spring drills besides center. He spent the bulk of the season at left tackle. The LT position is considered by many to be the most important position in football outside of quarterback as LTs are responsible for protecting a quarterback’s blindside.
In 2009, Asper started 12-13 games at right guard with his only missed start coming at home against USC on Halloween night. He finished the season with 54 pancake blocks, one shy of Jordan Holmes who led the team with 55 on the year.
In 2010, Asper started 11-13 games moving over to the right tackle position switching spots with C.E. Kaiser who moved over to guard. Asper showed his incredible strength by posting 1,137 total lbs in the combination clean, squat and bench press. He also was tied for the team-high in the squat at 500 lbs.
In 2011, Asper started 13 games at right tackle and one game at right guard. He earned all-Pac-12 honorable mention and was honored with the Ed Moshofsky Trophy as the team’s most outstanding offensive lineman. Asper also dominated in the classroom, earning all-Academic honors.
Following his career with the Ducks, Asper entered the 2012 NFL Draft and was selected in the 6th round (Pick 176) by the Buffalo Bills. He was let go by the Bills on August 31, 2012 but was picked up the very next day by the Minnesota Vikings. Asper is currently a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars entering his second season in the league.