The Oregon secondary should be much improved this season and Malik Lovette is one of the reasons why.

Last season, Oregon's secondary had moments that will go down in Duck history as something definately to forget. Oregon gave up 306.54 yards per game passing and 35 touchdowns. Defensive backs coach John Neal said part of the reason for that was using players that weren't quite ready to play. This season that same group is a year older and even though Malik Lovette sat last year out as a redshirt, the versitile player is ready to take the field.

Lovette is a player that Neal calls a "future elite player." That's not the kind of praise Neal hands out haphazardly. Those are the kind of words he used to describe former Duck greats Ifo Ekpre-OlomuPatrick Chung or Walter Thurmond

"He's intelligent, fast and talented," Neal said of Lovette. "We (the Oregon coaching staff) made a good decision when we switched him (to defense)."

Coming to Oregon in 2014, Lovette was considered the premiere running back out of California, who could also play receiver and obviously defensive back.

With all the woes the Ducks suffered last season, there is little doubt that this year's edition will need both the experience the group gained from last year plus a sensational talent that is what Lovette brings to the table.

He is now up to 200 pounds, standing 5-11, and standing next to him you see a guy that is going to be able to deliver some punishment on the field. 

That's sort of hard to believe when you talk to him. He is articulate and knows what he want to say. That should translate well on the field.

He is all in about playing defense and it is no wonder the rumors that had been swirling around about him being something very special should prove to be true.

For now the public hasn't had much of chance to see him perform but when the season rolls around, based on Neal's description of Lovette, there's no reason to think Lovette won't be out there adding to the depth of secondary that should be much improved over last year.

Fans should be bolstered by Neal's words for Lovette, becasue the old coach doesn't say that very often and when he uses that kind of description you sense a lot of enthusiasm and excitement in his voice.

The Ducks are finishing up the first week of practice on Saturday and will start Week 2 on Monday.

The first game of the season is scheduled for a start time of 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 3, at Autzen Stadium against Cal-Davis. The game will be carried on the Pac-12 Networks. 


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