Notes From Spring Practice: Day 10

Focus on instruction and development dominated the tenth day of spring practice for the Oregon football team, as they gear up for Wednesday's final scrimmage before the spring game May 1.

1. The quarterback battle remains tight as senior Nate Costa and redshirt sophomore Darron Thomas continue to compete for the number one spot on the depth chart. Thomas was once again the more consistent passer today -- continuing an impressive week-long stretch of practices that has effectively knotted up the race for the starting position. Thomas demonstrated improved touch and accuracy in short and intermediate throws in numerous drills today; executing well in 7-on-7 drills and red zone situations. A glimpse of the true ability of Thomas' arm was put on display when the Aldine, Tex. native fit two balls in to a tight window to junior tight end Brandon Williams during one particular 7-on-7 series.

Costa had another solid outing this morning, as well. While he didn't particularly wow anyone throwing the ball, his running today showed that has effectively improved his speed and agility from last year. Costa bolted for a big run during 11-on-11's today that drew some raves from both coaches and players.

2. Wide receivers Lavasier Tuinei, D.J. Davis, and Justin Hoffman all had very encouraging days today. Though they failed to produce many big plays, they rarely bobbled any passes thrown their way. Hoffman, arguably the biggest surprise this spring, had the play of the day when he made a spectacular one-handed grab during one-on-one drills against the defensive backs.

Odds and Ends: True freshman cornerback Dior Mathis continued his strong play this spring with a nice interception during one-on-one drills...In what is becoming a daily ritual, third-string quarterback Daryle Hawkins broke off another long run during 11-on-11's this morning. His 50-yard scamper was the biggest play of all the 11-on-11 periods on Monday...Defensive line had quite possibly its best of day of the spring this morning. Behind senior defensive end Kenny Rowe and senior defensive tackle Brandon Bair, the Duck front seven was impressive as they stymied the vaunted Oregon rushing attack for much of the day.

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