Matthews and Mates Try to Master Everything

The Oregon Ducks are working hard in preparation for the 2008 season and the first game on Aug. 30th against Washington at Autzen Stadium. An area that has generated a lot of attention is the linebackers where the young LBs are pressing each other to get the best performance. Sophomore Casey Matthews is one of the brightest spots among the linebacker and he talked about how camp is going.

"Trying pick up the defense, try to master everything and be ready for Washington in three weeks," is how Casey Matthews responded to the question of how things are going.

Matthews could be one of the starters against the Huskies in the opening game and that should please many Duck fans that believe the talented player from Los Angeles has the makings of a big star. Last year Matthews played in 11 games and recorded 18 tackles (11 solo) including four tackles for loss and one sack.

Now that he is a veteran his confidence and comfort level are way up as the season approaches.

"Last year I just kind of went out there and played, I knew the defense slightly," admitted Matthews. "This year I feel I got to know the defense more and more. I just feel a lot more comfortable out there."

The linebacker corps is down one player, Kevin Garrett, who is sitting out at least the first game due to a suspension. That leaves senior Jerome Boyd as the dean of the linebacker corps, starting at the outside linebacker position. Sophomore Spencer Paysinger most likely will start at the inside linebacker spot in place of Garrett and the middle linebacker is a dogfight between Matthews and senior John Bacon. Bacon is fully recovered from an injury that cut his season short last year. Matthews took over for Bacon and started against Arizona before being sidelined himself with a shoulder injury.

For Matthews personally, one of the games that may have really stood out for him was on Oct. 27, 2007 when the Ducks knocked off USC, 24-17. Matthews' older brother Clay, Jr., is a linebacker for the Trojans, not to mention Casey's dad Clay and uncle Bruce are legendary in the annals of USC and NFL history. Did Casey ever mention the game to his family?

"I never said much," Casey Matthews revealed. "I just smiled and kept it to myself."

If actions speak louder than words, Casey Matthews won't be saying much this season as he and his linebacker brethren could prove to be the best batch ever seen at the University of Oregon.

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