Now that the Ducks are five practices into their spring camp, offensive coordinator Matt Lubick has had a decent body of work to analyze how his players are going to fit into Oregon's 2016 squad. A large point of interest coming into this spring is who going to fill in at center for the departing Matt Hegarty. Doug Brenner had an opportunity to show his chops in the Alamo Bowl when Hegarty went down with an injury and Oregon fans know the rest of that narrative; a memory they have buried in the recesses of their minds and into a state of repression. Now, with the horrors of the Alamo Bowl safely in the past, fans look to the future at the center position, which Lubick sees as very bright.
"I really like a lot of our young offensive linemen," Lubick said today after practice, "Jake [Hansen], out of all those guys, Jake has been a step ahead." Lubick praised his aggressiveness and singled him out as someone that has been impressing him through the first third of the spring camp. "It's such a challenging and hard thing to do as a freshman and he's taking advantage of every rep," Lubick continued. With great leaders such as Hegarty and Hroniss Grassu preceding him at the position, the bar is set exceptionally high for the redshirt freshman center but Lubick doesn't think Hansen will be lacking in that regard either, "It's huge, he makes a ton of calls... and our center here has always been a leader on and off the field and him competing and trying to win that position has made our football team better."
Another redshirt freshman making some noise this spring has been Travis Jonsen. Jonsen spent his offseason working on a new throwing motion with a personal quarterbacks coach (Steve Clarkson) and rehabbing a turf toe injury. "he's done a ton of stuff on his own, throwing with guys and building route chemistry... he's way better than he's ever been," Lubick said of Jonsen. When asked if Jonsen had a legitimate shot at being the Ducks starting quarterback in 2016 Lubick said, "Sure. He is yeah... a ton of improvement, a better presence, a command of the offense, and taking charge." In regards to his work on his throwing motion, Lubick is satisfied and said it looks a lot better and "more accurate than he's ever been."
A quick injury update for camp--Canton Kaumatule was seen without crutches and walking under his own power after struggling to leave practice on his own last week. Also, receivers Dwayne Stanford and Alex Ofodile were confirmed today to not be participating for the entirety of spring ball.