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2009 Oregon Ducks Preview: Receivers

Charleston Duck@@charlestonduckContributor IJuly 15, 2009

CORVALLIS, OR - NOVEMBER 29:  Ed Dickson #83 of the Oregon Ducks runs for a touchdown against Brandon Hughes #36 of the Oregon State Beavers at Reser Stadium on November 29, 2008 in Corvalis, Oregon.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

Entering fall camp, Oregon coaches have a good idea of who will start at three of the four receiver positions. The fourth starter for the Boise State game may not be known until Sept. 3.

The Ducks return starters at the two inside positions. Senior Ed Dickson has started every game at tight—end the last two years and is a potential All—American. Junior slot receiver Jeff Maehl also started every game last season, and is one of the Pac—10 conference's most underrated players. 

Jamere Holland's strong performance during the spring makes him a lock to start at one of the outside positions.

Dickson (6'5", 245) is a play—maker who often gets overlooked by the national media. As well as being a good receiver (36 rec. for 473 yards and 4 td's in 2008), he is also a solid blocker—both at the line of scrimmage and down—field. 

He will be backed up by Malachi Lewis (6'4", 220), who like Dickson was a four—star prospect out of high school, Lewis has played well when he is on the field.

Jeff Maehl (6'1", 175) has made an almost seamless adjustment to the slot position. Moved from free safety late in the 2007 season, when Brian Paysinger and Cam Colvin were lost to injury and Derek Jones was suspended. He promptly grasped the starting reins and has improved every aspect of his game. 

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Maehl is Oregon's leading returning receiver with 39 receptions for 421 yards in 2007, often providing the receiving option of the read-option attack. He will be backed up by red—shirt freshman Dion Jordan (6'7", 215) a 2008 four—star prospect from Chandler, AZ.

Jamere Holland (6'1", 185) is a former U.S. Army All—American who signed with USC after high school. He transferred after his freshman season to Oregon, and worked hard last season to improve his work and study habits. He is the fastest player on the team (10.36s 100 meters in HS) and was the best receiver on the field during spring. 

Several candidates are battling for the final starting position. The favorite is DJ Davis, a 6'1" 205 pound junior from Denver, he actually moved ahead of Jaison Williams last season on the depth chart, before being sidelined for the season with a knee injury.

Another strong possibility is Tyrece Gaines, who enrolled in June and has been working out with the team this summer. Gaines (6'2", 205) was a JC All—American last season at Butler CC, choosing Oregon over Oklahoma on signing day. He is big, fast and loves to block—making him the posterboy for what Chip Kelly wants out of his receivers.

There are two other players that can't be ruled out of the competition for the final starting spot, Rory Cavaille and Garrett Embry. 

Cavaille a 6'3", 207 pound senior is a former walk—on who just does everything the coaches ask of him. He is also regarded as the best blocking receiver in the bunch—a huge plus in Oregon's spread attack. Embry (6'1", 200), a sophomore from Atlanta, like Cavaille, has also made his name on special teams. 

The most highly anticipated recruit for this season is Diante Jackson. Jackson is a 6'2", 200 pound stud from Walnut Creek, CA, finally choosing the Ducks over Colorado and ASU after a strong tug—of—war recruiting battle.

Other receivers that are on campus, and who will battle for playing time include: Blake Cantu (6'0", 191, Fr.), Lavasier Tuinei (6'5", 200, So.) and Nick Cole (6'3", 185, Fr.). 

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