Notes From Spring Practice: Day 4

After a high energy practice on Saturday, things were a bit slower this morning, as the Ducks seemed to place an added emphasis on instruction and technique.

1. Nate Costa and Darron Thomas continue to duel for the position of starting quarterback come the season opener vs. New Mexico on September 4. As has been stated before, the competition between the two players has been neck and neck, however Costa seems to bring steady, consistent play and command to the position every day in practice. Costa was sharp once again today, putting the ball in the right spot for receivers with regularity. One thing to keep an eye on with regard to Costa is his somewhat sidearm delivery. Already this spring he has shown a propensity for having his passes deflected at the line of scrimmage and it'll be interesting to see how much that becomes an issue as Oregon head coach Chip Kelly and the coaching staff get closer to a decision.

Thomas, overall, had a fairly average performance today. No glaring mistakes, but seemed more erratic and appeared to have difficulty working himself in to a rhythm. Thomas' short to intermediate passing game isn't as efficient as Costa's, however Thomas' deep ball is arguably the best of all the quarterback on the spring roster. He had a handful of throws today that gave a glimpse of the downfield game that could be possible with him at the helm.

2. Redshirt freshman wide receiver Diante Jackson had his best outing thus far of the spring. After being a bit banged up early last week, Jackson played very well today, highlighting his effort this morning by making a couple of impressive catches near the sideline that drew some "ooohs" and "ahhhs" from those in attendance. Consistency, however, is something that Jackson must continue to seek.

"Diante flashes just like most freshman do," said Kelly after practice,

"He's gonna make some great catches, but then he's gonna bust some plays mentally. He just has to be consistent. I've told Diante that it's a dependability thing. Can we count on you all the time? You can't just be a 1 and 10 play guy. He really has some special talent, but can he continue to be consistent and that's the thing we need to get from him."

3. Junior college transfer tight end, Brandon Williams, had a very good all-around day today. Every practice he seems to be a player that has rapidly improved from one day to the next. Today he caught virtually everything thrown his way, flashing very good strength and athleticism in battling for the football. Williams makes a strong case every day to be the second tight end deployed in Oregon's double tight end formations.

Odds and Ends: LaMichael James had another strong practice today, breaking off two big runs of note in 11-on-11's...Jeremiah Masoli was seen taking a few reps at both quarterback and receiver today during one-on-one drills between the receivers and defensive backs.

Official Oregon injury report:

Blake Cantu (WR) - Shoulder Charlie Carmichael (OL) - Knee Nick Cole (WR) - Hamstring Talmadge Jackson (DB) - Shoulder Marvin Johnson (DB) - Ankle Josh Kaddu (LB) - Foot Javes Lewis (DB) - Achilles Malachi Lewis (TE) - Hamstring Dewitt Stuckey (LB) - Hamstring Lavasier Tuinei (WR) - Ankle William Wallace (DB) - Hamstring Carson York (OL) - Shoulder

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