Notes From Spring Practice: Day 14

In what was a rather non-descript morning practice at the Moshofsky Center on Wednesday, the Ducks were in shells today during a light practice that was aimed at preserving the health of the players going in to Saturday's much anticipated spring game.

1. Receivers Jamere Holland, Aaron Pflugrad, and Rory Cavaille have been the most consistent wideouts all spring and today's practice was a microcosm of their play thus far. Holland's biggest play of the day came during 11-on-11 team drills, when he streaked past corner Walter Thurmond on a fly pattern and reeled in a beautiful spiral from quarterback Jeremiah Masoli. Pflugrad is solidifying himself as the most reliable possession receiver on the edge for the Ducks. He has a knack for getting open, settling in to open zones in the defense, and making the catch. He may very well be the most improved player for Oregon this season. Cavaille, finally, has shown that he is, without a doubt, worthy of seeing considerable playing time this upcoming season. He runs great routes and rarely drops passes, and has earned lofty praise from Oregon head coach, Chip Kelly, throughout the spring.

2. Walter Thurmond had another terrific practice today in what has been an absolutely outstanding spring for the senior cornerback from West Covina, California. Thurmond had two interceptions today during 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills and was in on a number of other passes thrown his direction. It's tough to argue that Thurmond hasn't been the Ducks' MVP this spring, and there should be no debate as to his placement on preseason All-Pac-10 and All-American teams this year.

3. Chris Harper was seen being deployed from a number of different positions this morning. Not only was Harper lining up at receiver, but he was also seen taking direct snaps from center in a "Wildcat" formation of sorts. It has become increasingly evident through the spring that Harper will play somewhat of a "slash" role within the Oregon offense and will not necessarily be relegated to one particular position. Lastly, wide receiver Lavasier Tuinei and cornerback/running back, Kenjon Barner, had nice performances in practice today. Tuinei has steadily improved each practice and today he may have had his best of the spring, hauling in two long receptions that went for big yards during 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 team drills. Barner, who has been temporarily moved to running back this spring, had a very productive Wednesday practice, showing great speed and acceleration on a number of plays, including one run in particular that went for a long touchdown run up the middle.


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