Oregon Football: Ducks Really Need Former 5-Star TE Recruit Colt Lyerla in Camp

Erin SorensenContributor IAugust 6, 2012

EUGENE, OR - NOVEMBER 26:  Colt Lyerla #32 of the Oregon Ducks celebrates a touchdown against the Oregon State Beavers during the 115th Civil War on November 26, 2011 at the Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Interesting news out of Eugene, Oregon, as head coach Chip Kelly confirms that 5-star TE recruit Colt Lyerla is currently not in camp, as reported by The Register-Guard's Rob Moseley.

Chip Kelly says Colt Lyerla is not with the team for the start of camp.

— Rob Moseley (@DuckFootball) August 6, 2012

Kelly wouldn't specify the nature of Lyerla's absense, whether academic or whatever. Said he's expected "shortly."

— Rob Moseley (@DuckFootball) August 6, 2012

Whatever is keeping Lyerla from camp is not good for the Ducks. As of now, Lyerla is only one of two players on Oregon's roster with experience at tight end. This position is one that is already shaky for the Ducks and with the loss of Lyerla at camp, it's even more troublesome.

Per Oregon's athletic site, Lyerla has had a successful career for how young it currently is. With 147 receiving yards and five total touchdowns, Lyerla has been a good addition to the Ducks offense.

His experience, while limited as noted, adds to the offense in an area that is needed. From his speed as a blocker to being a threat at the passing game, Lyerla is a major piece of the Oregon offense for 2012.

Hopefully his absence is nothing major. While unusual, there are still a number of reasons why the tight end may be absent. The positive side is that Kelly expects Lyerla back "shortly," which means there is some form of time frame in place. For the sake of the Ducks and getting their season off on a good start, hopefully Lyerla's return is much sooner rather than later.