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Oregon Football Practice Report April 23

by:Linden Hile04/23/24

The penultimate practice of Oregon spring football kicked off Tuesday morning with
good energy from all involved on a sunny morning in Eugene. Rap music played over the team’s
speakers as younger team staff ran water around to players during warmups. The customary
green and white groups got loose with some dynamic stretching in the portion of practice open to
the media from around 9:15 to 9:40.

Linemen donned ‘Guardian Caps’ over their helmets as has become standard for most
teams around the country while defensive backs fielded simulated tipped balls during warmups.
Dan Lanning made a point to call out any player who was spotted walking between drills,
driving home the importance and intensity of these last couple of practices leading up to April
27th’s Spring Game.

Gary Bryant, Tez Johnson, Jordan James, and early enrollee freshman Dillon Gresham were among the players seen fielding punts while Ra’Shaad Samples worked with a boxing glove on to punch out the ball from running backs during their individual drills.

Noah Whittington appeared to participate fully while sporting a brace on his left knee that we
typically see worn by offensive linemen as he recovers from his early-season knee injury.

Quarterbacks wore special red jerseys as they worked away from the team on short, easy
warmup passes to stationary team staff, the emphasis seeming to be more on footwork than the
throws themselves.

After a few minutes the team gathered up for a brief field goal drill which was missed. The kicker in question was hidden by a large group of players watching the drill.

The team then resumed individual and group work with an edge-setting drill closest to media.
This involved rotating quarterbacks and running backs taking snaps and alternating between
handoffs and dropbacks as edge players worked to get control of the line against a couple of
linemen for each rep. Defensive Coordinator Tosh Lupoi was heard asking rhetorically “How fast can I get that foot in the ground” while edge defenders worked to crash the rushing lane while also closing distance on the quarterback in case of play-action.

Growing pains are to be expected for early enrollee freshmen in spring ball and 5-star
EDGE Elijah Rushing had to be moved around by coaches a couple of times during drills to get
him in the right spot. Rushing likely feels like he’s drinking from a fire hose as he works into
Oregon’s practices in his first spring cycle. Tosh Lupoi said “it’s all mental” as players worked to
stay on top of the organization of this fast-moving drill.

This is really what spring ball is all about as the new era of college football has players coming and going between teams at an unprecedented rate.

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