Oregon football’s final full spring practice on Wednesday was split up into two parts: offense vs. defense and split team — where the newly selected spring game teams had a preliminary competition before the real contest on Saturday.
With so many newcomers receiving key spots on both spring game teams, it will be the coaching staff’s first chance to see their new players perform under pressure.
“The big thing (I’m looking for) is that all those kids show up here Saturday morning, the way they would for a real game,” defensive coordinator Don Pellum said. “I want to see them come out with all that emotion and passion and leave it all out on the field.”
Offensive coordinator Scott Frost said he plans to keep things simple for those new faces.
“We have a lot of young guys playing in the spring game, so we won’t do anything fancy,” Frost said. “But it’s going to be really competitive, so I’m excited to watch those guys in a competitive situation.”
Despite the fact that many starting positions are still up in the air, Pellum added that he wasn’t looking for a particular matchup in the game.
“Will guys get off blocks and tackle? That’s really what’s intriguing to me,” Pellum said. “Who’s going to be that guy that had a pretty good spring, then all the sudden, shows up on Saturday? That’s what I’m excited to see.”
The spring game also marks the last time the coaching staff will have contact with the team until fall practices start in August. Until then, the players must set aside time to practice on their own. Pellum said that while the coaching staff wants the team to take it upon themselves to continue practicing, they are confident that the team will have a productive summer, citing increased maturity from some of the team’s rising leaders.
“Are we where we need to be? No way,” Pellum said. “But there are some signs that if we continue over the summer … we could be in a pretty good place.”
– Head coach Mark Helfrich and Pellum both mentioned linebacker Torrodney Prevot as a standout this spring.
“(Prevot) has been fabulous this spring,” Pellum said. “He is a very smart player, he has a very good understanding of the game. Because he understands a little more, you can actually see him take off and play. He’s extremely fast and sudden, and it’s showing up more and more. We’re really excited with his progress.”
– On the other side of the ball, Taylor Alie has made his case for the backup quarterback job.
“(Alie) doesn’t get rattled,” Frost said. “He just goes through his reads and does everything he’s supposed to do. He’s really efficient, but he can make throws and make plays too. I’m really impressed with Taylor, I’m really glad we have him.”
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