Being a fan of the Oregon Ducks, I was absolutely thrilled to read Ted Miller’s article on ESPN about our new running back, LaGarrette Blount. I had been having concerns about how we were going to fill the shoes of the early-departed Jonathan Stewart, our stud junior tailback whose athleticism and strength are superhuman, and concerned that Jeremiah Johnson’s knee may still be feeling the ill-effects of an ACL tear that he suffered in the game against Washington State last season. Fortunately, Ted’s article eased both of those worries, and now I am looking forward to see if we can yet again possess the best backfield in the Pac-10.
Blount hails from Perry, Fla., and had initially committed to Auburn out of high-school but was unable to meet academic eligibility standards, and played at East Mississippi Community College. The buzz last season was that he was headed for Florida State, but after watching Oregon beat USC last season on national television and a recruiting trip from running back’s coach Gary Campbell, he decided to make a pilgrimage to the birthplace of Nike, the holy land of track and field, and the school that has consistently had the best running game in the Pac-10 for about a decade. Good choice, LaGarrette.
The scoop on this kid is that while the coaching staff thought he was solid, he showed up huge in the spring game and gained 68 yards on five carries, and is now drawing comparisons to eight-year NFL veteran Reuben Droughns, who was also an Oregon product, and was a big-time back during his college career.
Ted’s article also makes many references to Oregon’s vibrant array of uniform combinations. This is something that I’ve had an ever-evolving relationship with. When they first started pulling out some of the yellows, those nasty gold helmets that they tried once or twice, and the all-white storm trooper get-ups, I was a little unsure. I was so in love with the all-black and dark green “smooth criminal” look that they tend to strut for home games, and even with the “roboduck” look of the Joey Harrington/Onterrio Smith era, but eventually it all grew on me. Now, I think of it as such: whether you love it or you hate it or you just don’t know how to feel about it, you are talking about it, and therefore, talking about Ducks Football.
In the words of LaGarrette Blount, “those uniforms are tight,” but hopefully not tight enough to restrict him from blowing open Pac-10 defenses and establishing himself as the future (and likely the immediate present) of the Oregon backfield.
MOST LIKELY TO –
Go pro after his junior season – LaGarrette Blount
Be the lightning to Blount’s thunder – Jeremiah Johnson
Get a pay increase – Gary Campbell
Continue to draw outstanding recruits – University of Oregon
Knock off USC again – Ducks?
Get hurt again – Rudy Carpenter
Start a conversation about the Ducks – ::pointing thumbs at self:: THIIIIS GUUUY!