With the dog days of summer slowly withering away, the Ducks took to the practice field Monday afternoon to start their final week of fall camp before launching in to game week preparation for their September 3 opponent, LSU. The Ducks ended the day with another overtime drill that saw the first-team defense stymie the first-team offense in a spirited competition that left Oregon head coach Chip Kelly satisfied as Monday came to a close.
"Our guys really respond and play with a lot of (enthusiasm) and it's a good way to end practice," said Kelly of ending the day with the overtime drill.
"Obviously we're out there for two hours," Kelly continued, "but I felt they did a nice job (competing)."
Entering the third week, Kelly also remarked that he's been very pleased with the way his class of true freshmen has held up thus far, suggesting that this particular group has been atypical in that respect.
"They've been really, really good," Kelly stated. "Usually when you script, you want everything with the 1's and the 2's and the 3's, you try to dummy it down a little bit on both sides of the ball so they can get lined up, but this group has done a really good job of handling what we're doing."
Coming as no surprise to anyone who has watched fall camp extensively this August, true freshman running back De'Anthony Thomas shined once again this afternoon, ripping off a number of long runs that showcased his great speed and intuition with the ball in his hands.
Thomas' newest counterpart on offense, Dior Mathis, continues to come along as the Ducks look to add depth to the wide receiver position as Josh Huff and Blake Cantu continue to be withheld from action. Monday was Mathis' third consecutive day at wide receiver after his move from cornerback.
"Dior's done a nice job picking (the offense) up," Kelly said. "At times, because he's such a competitor, he gets frustrated a little bit, but I told him if our offense was easy enough to pick up in three days, we'd probably get fired as coaches.
"He's catching the ball better, but now, I think he understands what he needs to do, but it's the details of it; how deep is that route? What's the footwork and some of those things...but the one thing I like about Dior is that he's a competitor and he's really willing, in terms of wanting to learn."
After practice, the Register-Guard's Rob Moseley reported Monday afternoon that junior cornerback Scott Grady has decided to leave the team. The report was later confirmed by the Oregon Athletic Department. Grady is the second roster casualty due to transfer in as many days after running back Lache Seastrunk announced his intent to transfer on Saturday...Sophomore wide receiver Josh Huff upgraded to shells today after spending the last week or so in a helmet and shorts. Huff's timetable for return is unknown...Sophomore defensive tackle Ricky Heimuli and redshirt freshman defensive end Tony Washington were in full pads today. Of the two however, Heimuli was the only one who participated fully in team drills, as Washington still seems to have some lingering effects from a sore knee.
Follow Chris Courtney on Twitter at eDuckCCourtney
Notes From Fall Camp - Day 13: Afternoon
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