Marty's Practice Update

The hot days of August find the Oregon Ducks deep into practice as the team prepares for their opening game with Mississippi State on Saturday, August 31, at newly expanded Autzen Stadium. One player hoping to see action during the first game is highly recruited defensive tackle Haloti Ngata. Ngata has been bothered by back problems and did not play in the scrimmage last Saturday night.

Several surprises have emerged from the practice sessions and the questions about the cornerback positions appear to be nearly answered. There are strong indications that sophomore Charles Favroth is the leader for the remaining cornerback position opposite junior Steven Moore.

Among the surprises is freshman running back Terrance Whitehead (24). Whitehead has shown power and speed during camp. Originally recruited as a defensive back out of Crenshaw High School in Los Angeles last season, Whitehead delayed his enrollment and sat out last season. Whitehead may share running duties at the number two spot with senior Allan Amundson. Amundson may be the fastest Duck player this year and has bulked up his body during the winter and spring.

Another player who has caught the attention of many people due to his performance in camp is freshman walk-on tight end Nate LiaBraaten. LiaBraaten graduated from Bend High School last June, and has looked very good in practice at Oregon this summer.

Junior college transfer and cornerback David Dixon (17) has been impressive so far and very likely will be an immediate contributor.

Sophomore Willie Walden has been suspended for the first three games. Walden may be gone more than the three games.

Redshirt freshman defensive end Roderkus Wright (97) is in a three-point stance awaiting contact in a drill.

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