Top Targets For Masoli

While quarterback Jeremiah Masoli and Lagarrette Blount will get most of the attention on the Duck offense this fall, Jamere Holland, Jeff Maehl and tight end Ed Dickson return to pace the Oregon receivers. There's a lot of talent in this group that is looking to spread opposing defenses.

Entering fall camp, Oregon coaches have a good idea of who will start at three of the four receiver positions. The fourth starter for the Boise State game may not be known until September 3.

The Ducks return starters at the two inside positions. Senior Ed Dickson has started every game at tight end the last two years and is a potential All-American.  Junior slot receiver Jeff Maehl also started every game last season and is one of the Pac-10 Conference's most underrated players. A HREF=//>Jamere Holland's strong performance during the spring makes him a lock to start at one of the outside positions.

Dickson (6'5", 245) is a playmaker who often gets overlooked by the national media. As well as being a good receiver (36 receptions for 473 yards and 4 touchdowns in 2008), he is also a solid blocker—both at the line of scrimmage and downfield. 

Dickson will be backed up by Malachi Lewis (6'4", 220), who like Dickson was a four star prospect out of high school.   Lewis has played well when he is on the field.

Jeff Maehl (6'1", 175) has made an almost seamless adjustment to the slot position. Maehl moved from free safety late in the 2007 season when Brian Paysinger and Cam Colvin were lost to injury and Derek Jones was suspended. He promptly grasped the starting reins and has improved every aspect of his game. 

Maehl is Oregon 's leading returning receiver with 39 receptions for 421 yards in 2007, often providing the receiving option of the read-option attack. He will be backed up by redshirt freshman Dion Jordan (6'7", 215) a 2008 four-star prospect from Chandler , Arizona

Jamere Holland (6'1", 185) is a former U.S. Army All-American who signed with USC after high school.  He transferred after his freshman season to Oregon and worked hard last season to improve his work and study habits. He is the fastest player on the team (10.36s 100 meters in high school) and was the best receiver on the field during spring. 

Several candidates are battling for the final starting position. The favorite is DJ Davis, a 6'1" 205 pound junior from Denver .  He actually moved ahead of Jaison Williams last season on the depth chart before being sidelined for the season with a knee injury.

Another strong possibility is Tyrece Gaines, who enrolled in June and has been working out with the team this summer. Gaines (6'2", 205) was a junior college All-American last season at Butler Community  College , choosing Oregon over Oklahoma on signing day.  He is big, fast and loves to block—making him the poster boy for what Chip Kelly wants out of his receivers.

There are two other players that can't be ruled out of the competition for the final starting spot, Rory Cavaille and Garrett Embry.   Cavaille, a 6'3", 207-pound senior, is a former walk-on who just does everything the coaches ask of him.  He is also regarded as the best blocking receiver in the bunch—a huge plus in Oregon 's spread attack. Cavaille will be out of the Boise State game due to an injury suffered last wekk.  Embry (6'1", 200), a sophomore from Atlanta , like Cavaille, has also made his name on special teams. 

The most highly anticipated recruit for this season is Diante Jackson.   Jackson is a 6'2", 200-pound stud from Walnut Creek , California , finally choosing the Ducks over Colorado and Arizona State after a strong tug-of-war recruiting battle.

Other receivers that are on campus, and who will battle for playing time include: Blake Cantu (6'0", 191, freshman.), Lavasier Tuinei (6'5", 200, sophomore.) and Nick Cole (6'3", 185, Fr.). 

Bronco Country Top Stories