WIDE RECEIVER/TIGHT END
Who’s back: With only Hunter Kampmoyer gone from the group of primary contributors in 2020, the Oregon football team returns a wealth of skilled receivers and tight ends entering 2021. Jaylon Redd was the team’s leading receiver in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, with 25 receptions, followed by Johnny Johnson III with 19. Both Kampmoyer and Mycah Pittman missed time over the course of the season, and in their absences both DJ Johnson and Devon Williams had breakout performances. The combination of a shortened season and an offense that started fast but was less consistent late in the year meant that nobody put up particularly gaudy numbers. But the Ducks boasted talent aplenty.
Limited games meant limited opportunities for depth players, including the likes of Josh Delgado, Spencer Webb and Kris Hutson. All have the ability to contribute going forward, however, as do other returners including Isaah Crocker, Lance Wilhoite and Patrick Herbert. An X-factor is Cam McCormick, who has battled injuries most of his career. His absence played a part in Cooper Shults breaking into the two-deep for a period of last season. Mostly, though, Shults contributed to the developmental squad along with guys including Tevin Jeannis, Jack Vecchi, Korbin Williams and Spencer Curtis.
Who’s new: For all that experience, it was newcomer Troy Franklin who was the leading receiver in the Spring Game, with four catches for 93 yards. And the last-second touchdown reception that set up QB Robby Ashford’s “game-winning” two-point play was caught by another freshman early enrollee, Dont’e Thornton. Tight ends Terrance Ferguson and Moliki Matavao also enrolled for spring practice, and opened a lot of eyes. Those newcomers were joined this summer by classmate Isaiah Brevard, along with Von Reames, a former high school teammate of freshman safety Daymon David.
Projected depth chart
WR: Johnny Johnson III, Sr.; Devon Williams, So.; Troy Franklin, Fr.; Isaiah Brevard, Fr.; Tevin Jeannis, So.
WR: Jaylon Redd, Sr.; Josh Delgado, So.; Jack Vecchi, Jr.; Spencer Curtis, RFr.; Von Reames, Fr.
WR: Mycah Pittman, So.; Kris Hutson, Fr.; Isaah Crocker, So.; Don’t’e Thornton, Fr.; Lance Wilhoite, RFr.; Korbin Williams, So.
TE: DJ Johnson, Jr.; Spencer Webb, So.; Cam McCormick, Sr.; Patrick Herbert, RFr.; Terrance Ferguson, Fr.; Moliki Matavao, Fr.; Cooper Shults, Fr.; Tyler Nanney, RFr.
What to watch: Man, is that a lot of talent to sort through in August. Johnny Johnson, Redd and Pittman have the most experience at receiver, and DJ Johnson was a breakout performer at tight end last season. But nobody better get too comfortable given all the other talented athletes on hand. Williams has as high a ceiling as anyone, and Hutson is as competitive as they come – not to mention an explosive athlete. Webb and Crocker are looking to turn a corner in their careers, while the likes of Franklin and Ferguson are looking to build on impressive debuts in the spring. All in all, it’s going to be fascinating to see who wins reps for the opening game, and how much the ball ends up being spread around amongst all these pass catchers.