Notes from Fall Camp: Day 3

It was another beautiful August afternoon in the Willamette Valley Sunday providing the perfect backdrop for a rather non-descript practice session that was focused heavily on recognition and instruction.

1. While most of today's practice was considerably instruction-based, there were some notable highlights from this afternoon. Sunday was probably wide receiver Jamere Holland's best overall day, as he was seen dominating his competition during 11-on-11's and one-on-one drills with the defensive backs. During the first 11-on-11 drill of the day, Holland made a graceful leaping catch over a defender for the touchdown. Later, Holland sprinted past his defender and caught a long touchdown pass from quarterback Nate Costa during one-on-ones. As each day passes, it certainly appears as if Holland is emerging in to the kind of go-to receiver the Oregon coaches expected he could be when he transferred from USC. He's an unbelievable athlete who is becoming much more well-rounded as a receiver -- showing proficiency in the short and intermediate passing game -- which has successfully aided Holland thus far in shedding his label as simply a deep threat.

2. The energy the defensive line possessed during the spring has carried over in to the fall, with players such as Simi Toeaina and Blake Ferras appearing rejuvenated and playing as if they have finally been unshackled. Oregon head coach, Chip Kelly, has taken notice as well and was quick to praise those players Sunday. "I've been impressed with Simi," said Kelly, "He's come back renewed and in great shape. He's trimmed down -- I don't know exactly what he was -- but he was right at 300 and he's moving really well. He's got great get off. Blake Ferras is in the best shape of his life. He's lean. He's just such a strong person at the point of attack [and] that really lends some things to us...I think Azz is one of the best d-line coaches in the country, but in any aspect, it's not all coaching, it's the players."

3. Projected starting corners, Walter Thurmond and Willie Glasper, have both been very impressive thus far during the fall. Thurmond's exploits have been well documented to this point, but Glasper has begun to emerge as a very steady complement on the other side. He seems to be fully recovered from a pelvic injury that kept him out during the spring and has demonstrated great aggressiveness and awareness when given his opportunities to perform.

Odds and Ends: Outside of Holland, senior wide receiver Rory Cavaille has been the most steady of the receivers through three days of camp. His hands and toughness are his biggest assets and his consistent play will likely enable him to be a legitimate difference maker on offense this upcoming season. Diante Jackson (knee), Remene Alston (foot), Tyrece Gaines (foot), Wade Keliikipi (hamstring, shoulder), Javes Lewis (ankle), Jeff Maehl (knee), and Na'Derris Ward (shoulder) were all limited in practice today. Their status remains day-to-day.


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