Incoming Ducks Show Their Stuff

Future Ducks Cody Kempt and Bo Thran put their skills on display Friday night in Oregon's Les Schwab Bowl at PGE Park, leaving High School football in the rear view mirror and setting their sights squarely on Eugene.

In what turned out to be a lopsided victory for the North, Kempt and California recruit Kevin Riley led their team to a 49-25 victory in front of 7,530 fans in Portland. The two quarterbacks amassed 337 yards through the air and tossed five scores between them.

Kempt finished the game completing 14 of his 27 pass attempts for 101 yards and two touchdowns, showing no signs of rust from nearly a half-year layoff. Kempt looked comfortable operating from the spread offense, showing his mobility and athleticism in the pocket as well as downfield. He amassed nearly 50 yards on the ground, using his escape ability to not only avoid the pass rush, but gain valuable yards as well.

"It's been six or seven months since I've played a game, but it's an amazing feeling to be able to play with the best players in the state of Oregon," Kempt said of the Les Schwab Bowl game.

Cody will be wasting no time heading to Eugene, and has a busy summer ahead of him. Although he will be heading down early Kempt will not be alone.

"Summer school starts June 25th and workouts on the 26th," said Kempt of what's ahead. "I'm rooming with Justin Roper this summer, so I can't wait and am excited to start a new chapter in my life."

While roomers persist that Kempt may be moved to another position at Oregon, he's confident that the quarterback position is where he and the coaches want him to be.

"As far as I know I'm going to be playing quarterback, " responded Kempt to the question of what position he'll be playing. "They haven't talked to me about anything else, so I'm going to be putting all of my effort and hard work into playing quarterback, and hopefully I'll be able to bring success to the University of Oregon at that position."

It's never an easy transition for players going from high school to the Division I level of college football, but Kempt is using a lifetime of preparation to help him.

"It's been my dream and my goal to play football at the Division I level since I was a kid," remarked Kempt. "I'm excited and can't wait to get started."

While Kempt will be taking snaps for the Ducks, Bo Thran will be one of the young men providing him protection. The offensive tackle from Barlow played much of the game at right tackle, using his size (6-5, 275) and athleticism to keep the South team's pass rush off of his future Duck quarterback. Thran enjoyed the opportunity to get back on the football field.

"It was great," observed Thran of the all-star game. "We had a great team and it was a lot of fun playing with the best players in Oregon."

He used the game as an opportunity to acquaint himself with the spread offense, something he had no experience with at Barlow.

"This game was good for me," Thran said. "We ran an offense a little bit more like Oregon, I learned a lot about pass protecting and starting from a two-point stance."

Unlike Kempt, Thran will be staying home most of the summer, waiting until August to move to Eugene, but knew that increased strength and size would be a must at the next level.

"I'll have to be bigger and stronger without question," admitted the new Duck lineman.

Bo indicated that red-shirting may be a possibility, but it would be up to the coaches to decide what position he will play when he gets into fall camp.

In the end, it was a great way to say goodbye to high school and hello to college football.

"I'm never going to forget this moment," said Kempt. "I made some great friends, it's a great way to go out, and I can't wait to be an Oregon Duck."

You can bet the Oregon Ducks can't wait to have them be a part of their program as well.

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