Ducks seek missing Army All-American

A player that is high on the wish list of the Oregon Ducks is a linebacker that had been selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl at the Alamobowl in San Antonio on Saturday. Mark Johnson, 6-3, 227, 4.55, Los Angeles (Calif.) Susan Miller Dorsey HS, won't be in the game that is the Official Selection Partner because of a hand injury. However, Johnson is a player that could see early time for the Ducks.

Next season, the Ducks are as complete a team that has ever step onto a fall practice field in Eugene. Every position will boast experienced players either returning to a starting spot or have had significant playing time in the 2005 season. However, the linebacker position is one that was thought to be thin at the start of the 2005 season, and while a number of talented athletes saw action, the loss of Anthony Trucks will be felt. Trucks, a graduating senior and Ryan Phipps (transferred to Idaho State) will be gone from the 2006 roster and Johnson is a player that has the physical size and speed to challenge for immediate playing time.

Playing for a powerhouse team that finished 10-3 for the season. Unfortunately no defensive statistics are available for Johnson's senior year, but the year before at Culver City HS, he had 138 tackles, five sacks and an interceptions and recorded double-digit tackles in all 11 games, including 22 against Point Loma. One statistic available for Johnson's senior year is that he was his team's third leading receiver with three catches for 63 yards.

The Ducks have been successful recruiting players from Dorsey. Last year Oregon picked up the services of Jeremiah Johnson, the sensational freshman running back. The two Johnsons are not related but Oregon would love nothing more to add Mark to the roster next fall. Mark Johnson has a reported bench press of 300 pounds and squats 500 pounds. He also has a vertical leap of 37 inches.

Mark Johnson will visit Ohio State this upcoming weekend and close out his visit schedule with a trip to Eugene next weekend (Jan. 13-15).

The U.S. Army All-American Bowl will be played on Saturday, Jan. 7th, with kickoff scheduled for noon (Central Time) and the game will be carried live on NBC.

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