Oregon Spring Game 2022: Top Storylines and Prospects to WatchApril 22, 2022
Oregon Spring Game 2022: Top Storylines and Prospects to Watch
The first portion of the Oregon Ducks' offseason workouts are coming to a close with the 2022 spring game.
Oregon is now under the leadership of Dan Lanning following the departure of Mario Cristobal to Miami. The first-time head coach is aiming to return the Ducks—which celebrated Pac-12 championships in 2019 and 2020—back to the pinnacle of the conference.
But first, they need to settle on a quarterback.
That storyline is the main focus of the scrimmage, which is welcoming a crowd to Autzen Stadium for the first time in three years.
When: Saturday, April 23
Time: 4 p.m. ET
Where: Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon
Watch: Pac-12 Network
Live Stream: Pac-12 Now
Here Come the Quarterbacks
Gone is Anthony Brown, who totaled 3,647 yards and 27 touchdowns last season. Auburn transfer Bo Nix and 2021 top-40 prospect Ty Thompson are considered the lead contenders, though 2020 4-star Jay Butterfield is a solid part of the competition, too.
The spring game will not determine the starter, but there's no doubt the best performer will sway a bit of public opinion.
One notable connection is offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham held the role at Auburn in Nix's freshman year. While that familiarity is an undeniable plus in Nix's favor, Thompson and Butterfield have patiently waited for their chance. And it's time for them to prove who's the best option to lead Oregon's offense in 2022.
Injuries, Injuries, Injuries
Unfortunately for Oregon, the injury bug has been a key topic during the spring. Several players who should be key contributors—Popo Aumavae, Brandon Dorlus, Justin Flowe, Dontae Manning and Christian Gonzalez, among others—have been limited.
The disappointing view is that a few of them are definitely sidelined or unlikely to play in the scrimmage. The optimist, though, sees a chance to watch a sizable group of potential contributors.
And, hey, this might mean Oregon is getting all of its injuries out of the way before the fall arrives.
Prospects to Know
Jahlil Florence, DB
Shortly after Cristobal left for Miami, Jahlil Florence backed off his verbal commitment to Oregon. However, he returned to the haul and gave the Ducks a pair of 4-star cornerbacks. But as Jalil Tucker waits to arrive in the summer, Florence enrolled early.
Devon Jackson, LB
Linebacker was already a strength of the Oregon defense, and Devon Jackson only bolstered the unit. Ranked 140th nationally, he's the highest-rated prospect from the incoming class of freshmen. He is unlikely to hold a major role in 2022, but he's expected to become a key piece of the defense in future years.
Harrison Taggart, LB
Amid the Ducks' relatively small group of early enrollees, Harrison Taggart stands out because of his 4-star billing. He finished the 2022 cycle as the No. 347 overall player. Like Jackson, he has been working in a reserve role throughout the spring.