Duck 2012 Preview: Receivers

Many people believe Oregon uses the pass to take pressure off the running game, but looking as the statistics show that while the Ducks scored 42 touchdowns last year by running the ball, they also scored 39 TDs through the air. This year, defenses will have to keep track of a lot of talented receivers.

In 2011, Lavasier Tuinei came on strong at the end of the season and led Oregon receives with 48 receptions, 599 yards and 10 touchdowns including three in the Rose Bowl against Wisconsin.

De'Anthony Thomas, operated as both a wide out and running back, recording 47 receptions, 605 yards and nine TDs last year. David Paulson was the third leading receiver with 39 receptions for 438 yards and six scores while Josh Huff contributed 31 catches for 430 yards and two scores.

The dynamic duo of LaMichael James and Kenjon Barner had 17 catches apiece while James had slightly more yardage at 210 yards to Barner's 184, but two less TDs, James for one and Barner had three.

Tuinei, Paulson and James are gone now and last spring a receiver that saw action in 2011 had a good day at the annual spring game. Daryle Hawkins the converted quarterback, was the leading receiver in the spring with with four passes for 55 yards including a 35-yard touchdown reception. Hawkins looked more sure handed in the spring using his athletic ability that he had demonstrated earlier in his career. In 2011 Hawkins had five catches for 102 yards and a touchdown including a long of 51-yard catch and score.

For many junior college transfers, it takes a year to learn a system and in 2011 that appeared to be the case for Rahsaan Vaughn. In 2011, Vaughn had 14 catches in 2011 for 184 yards and a long of 48 yards.

The heir apparent for the Paulson's starting job is Colt Lyerla. The former 5-star athlete demonstrated his prowess in 2011 with seven catches for 147 yards and incredibly five of those grabs resulted in touchdowns.

Seniors Justin Hoffman and Will Murphy made significant contributions in 2011. Hoffman started six games and had 10 catches for 133 yards. Murphy appeared in 10 games and had three receptions for 37 yards and both were known as good down field blockers.

Eric Dungy had two catches for 34 yards and a touchdown in the five games he played in 2011.

Keanan Lowe, the former US Army All-American Bowl player appeared in eight games last year, primarily on special teams.

This fall there are a bevy of red-shirt freshmen and true freshmen awaiting an opportunity to catch the football in 2012. Among this group of players yet to see the field are four that played in either the US Army All-America Game or the Under Armor All-Star game.

Redshirt freshman Devon Blackmon was a star at the Under Armor game following his senior year of high school as was his fellow redshirt freshman Tacoi Sumlar. True Freshmen Bralon Addison and Dwayne Stafford were in the US Army All-America Game last January. Both are currently enrolled at the University of Oregon for summer session.

Rumors persist that redshirt B.J. Kelley could be a major contributor in 2012.

Freshman tight Evan Baylis enrolled in school for spring term and now has the benefit of having a spring workout under his belt.

Freshman tight end Pharaoh Brown enrolled in June for summer term One other player that was a tight end last year, Christian French is rumored to be moving to the defense this year and walk-ons Brian Teague and Dallen Voeller may also be available come September.

One other interesting statistic; in the run-happy Oregon offense, the Ducks had 11 different players have receptions of at least 22 yards or more and seven of those players had reception players longer than 40 yards.

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