It wasn't hard to pick Aaron Pflugrad out on the practice field. Not because of size, after all this is a team full of receivers that are 6-2 and taller. Pflugrad stands 5-10 and weighs 175 pounds. Some may say that it wasn't because of blazing world class speed and there are other receivers who double up on Oregon's Pac-10 Track Championship squad. Although Pflugrad did clock a 10.8 in the 100 meters at a track meet at Willamette High in May 2006.
What makes Pflugrad stand out is that he just doesn't drop balls.
In fall camp it would have been natural to figure that an incoming freshman might be intimidated by the upperclassmen and would be rather raw. That's not the case with Pflugrad. When he runs it is as if there is no wasted motion and all of his energy is going in the same direction. His route running is very precise and even in traffic he concentrates on catching the ball and tucking it away before he starts heading up the field.
Obviously a pretty heady guy too.
When fall camp started, Pflugrad was the only freshman the Ducks even tried out returning punts. The freshman seems fearless when fielding the ball and will remind many of former Duck Keenan Howry.
Pflugrad graduated from Eugene's Sheldon High School, but he only spent one year there. He was the team's leading playmaker on a team that finished 11-1 where he finished the season with 59 catches for 869 yards and nine touchdowns.
Prior to Sheldon, Pflugrad spent three years at Pullman High School (Pullman, Wash.) where he had 38 receptions for 840 yards and 14 scores as a junior.
In his junior year he had 21 yards per catch average, with 28 receptions for 587 yards and nine touchdowns. In the state 2A title game, had 106 receiving yards and two touchdowns, including the game winner, as Pullman (14-0) captured their first state title.
The reason for moving from Pullman to Eugene was that Aaron's dad Robin took a job as an assistant coach on Bellotti's staff. That might be a clue as to where Aaron got some of his football moxie. On the practice field Aaron is as fluid and smooth as any Duck receiver and it's obviously just a matter of time before Duck fans will be seeing him in receiver sets. Likely Aaron Pflugrad's first playing time will be on special teams.
This Saturday may be the first time Pflugrad takes the field for the Ducks against Houston at Autzen Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.
Watch what Pflugrad had to say to eDuck Sports about the prospects of him playing early.
Aaron Pflugrad talks about playing
Impressive Pflugrad To See Playing Time
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