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Tonight, 75 Oregon players will look across the field and see a very familiar face on the sideline. A player who for a long time wore the green and yellow with his teammates, will now be trying to avoid them on the field.
Though Oregon is on the road tonight, it will be somewhat of a homecoming for ASU receiver Aaron Pflugrad.
The former Oregon receiver, who started four games in his career at Oregon, transferred in ASU in 2008. After sitting out the 2009 season, Pflugrad has rejoined the PAC-10 as a Sun Devil.
Pflugrad’s father, Robin, left Oregon that same year for a head-coaching job at Montana. After finishing the 2008 school year at Oregon, and dominating the Ducks’ spring game with over 150 yards and two touchdowns, Aaron decided to leave the school.
Aaron had ten catches in his time at Oregon, and has already racked up fifteen for ASU this season.
In 2008, Pflugrad suffered an ankle injury and lost his starting role to Oregon’s current leading receiver Jeff Meahl.
Although Pflugrad would not say this was the reason for his transfer request, one wonders whether the sophomore receiver fell out of favor with the coaching staff after his dad left.
Pflugrad, who still stays in touch with many players, told me earlier this week that he looks forward to seeing old friends but is really just concentrating on beating the Ducks. The receiver, who got to see Oregon’s defense first hand in practice each day, has surely provided Coach Erickson with some insight into Ducks’ strategy.
Watch the receiver closely today to see if he torches his former team.