Spring Day 10: George avoids injury scare

EUGENE - Freshman offensive lineman Elijah George had himself a bit of a scare early in the second week of spring ball. But George, who tweaked his knee, will be OK and is making the most of it.

EUGENE - Freshman offensive lineman Elijah George had himself a bit of a scare early in the second week of spring ball. But George, who tweaked his knee, will be OK and is making the most of it.

George did not take part in Monday's scrimmage, but was dressed in pads and moving with ease. George said he "hates" watching his teammates scrimmage, but learned a lot from the watching he did last season as a redshirt.

"I was able to develop myself better. I took advantage of my redshirt year," he said.

The 6-foot-5 tackle admits he struggled initially with learning the nuances of being a collegiate lineman but it's all coming along now.

"When you go from high school to college it's totally different. I had to kind of relearn everything," he said.

"He's starting to understand that there's more than being just bigger and stronger than guys," his position coach Steve Greatwood said Monday. "Understanding his technique comes first."

Add that with the challenges of playing in a brand new offense and one that operates at Oregon's tempo and you have quite the learning curve.

"Decisions have to be made quickly. That's always the biggest challenge for any young guy. He's starting to understand that and how defenses are going to work," Greatwood said.

Greatwood calls George his most athletic player, and George echoes that his biggest asset is his speed and footwork.

"I love his feet," Greatwood said. "He's really good in space. That's probably his biggest attribute right now."

George is currently slated at tackle and is competing with Evan Voeller, Andre Yruretagoyena and Matt Pierson for reserve snaps.

Ducks scrimmage, Allen shines

Once again younger players received the bulk of the snaps in Monday's scrimmage, with roughly one-half of the starters playing on each side," Oregon coach Mark Helfrich said.

Helfrich said the defense "dominated early", but the offense bounced back and finished better. Helfrich highlighted defensive lineman Stetzon Bair, cornerback Dominique Harrison (who returned a pass from near the goal to the end zone) and wideout Devon Allen as standouts.

Allen has started to translate the speed on the track onto the football field, according to Helfrich.

"In football there's a few more moving parts, but just being able to cut it loose and play at his track speed is happening more and more and as a result of that he's starting to make more plays," he said.

Quarterback Marcus Mariota had "some reps" during the scrimmage, but said it was mostly younger guys.

Mariota also spoke highly of Allen, who he said "had some key catches".

"I'm starting to get into a rhythm. I'm starting to feel like I know what I'm doing and having fun out there," Allen said.

Outside of his receiving responsibilities, Allen has "been all over" on special teams, he said. He's returning both kicks and punts and working as a gunner.


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