Oregon Ducks: Cameron Hunt

It might be a very different looking Oregon team that takes the field next fall … and not because of the uniform changes (though, those are sure to be something different). Instead, the guys wearing those uniforms might fill them out a bit differently.

[+] EnlargeOregon Ducks and Tennessee Volunteers
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty ImagesOregon is hoping the weight gained by player like Johnny Mundt will not affect the team's speed advantage.
Through this winter, several players went through some significant weight changes by making minor tweaks in the strength and conditioning program. But coach Mark Helfrich is hoping that the weight gains aren't just shown physically but in how the players take the field, as well.

“Hopefully a lot of that is confidence,” Helfrich said. “Just that edge of you feeling a little better about yourself, you’re moving a bit more, you’re physically bigger. It’s just you’re coming into the play with more confidence and that’s a big deal.”

Defensive lineman Sam Kamp put on the most weight of any player, packing on another 29 pounds and fellow lineman T.J. Daniel added 22. Not to be outdone, the offensive linemen packed on more than 100 pounds as a unit, with guard Doug Brenner leading the way with 26 pounds and Matt Pierson, Cameron Hunt and Elijah George all bulking up at least 20 pounds.

“I think we’ve kept our speed and athleticism,” center Hroniss Grasu said. “The added weight gain is just there to get us more physical and blowing the defensive line off the ball where we lacked that toward the end of the season.”

But it wasn’t just the big men making significant changes. Tight end John Mundt packed on 20 pounds and in the linebacker group, guys like Tyson Coleman, Joe Walker and Tyrell Robinson all put on at least 15 pounds.

Quarterback Marcus Mariota is up to 218 pounds and hopes to be at 220 for the start of the 2014 season, while both leading backs made some important changes -- Byron Marshall lost six pounds (down to 201 pounds) while Thomas Tyner added 14 pounds and is up to 215.

With all of the weight gain the main concern would be that the high-powered offense the Ducks feature might be lacking some of that Oregon speed, but the players have tried to keep up their speed with the added weight. Mundt said that one of the focuses was finding that sweet spot for each player at which he stayed as fast as possible but got as big as possible.

“We were all pushing each other in the weight room and in conditioning,” Mundt said. “We’ve all gotten better and stronger, so that’s a good thing. … I think we have more strength and size across the board, but we’re still moving fast.”

Added bulk is certainly going to benefit this team,and as long as each guy can still move the same, the only teams struggling with the weight gain with be opponents. In May, if a player doesn’t appear the same when he takes the field for the spring game, it’s not the uniform, it’s the guy in the uniform.

Five things to watch for Oregon

August, 30, 2013
8/30/13
12:00
PM ET

Five storylines to keep an eye on for Oregon’s game against Nicholls State.
  1. Coaching style: Few are expecting much resistance from the Colonels, a team that was in the state of Oregon last December and was blasted 77-3 by the Beavers. So if you are wondering how similar or different Mark Helfrich will be compared to Chip Kelly, this probably isn’t a good measuring-stick game. We know what Chip Kelly would do on fourth-and-3 from his own 35 – and it didn’t matter if it was Southern Middle Tennessee Tech School of Interior Design or Stanford. What kind of game manager will Helfrich be?
  2. LB spotlight: With the departures of Michael Clay, Kiko Alonso and Dion Jordan, the spotlight is on the linebackers to try to match the production of its predecessors. It’s not a young or inexperienced group by any means – just the opposite. Boseko Lokombo, Derrick Malone, Rodney Hardrick and Tony Washington have all been in the system and have experience and quality reps. While the linebackers might be a question mark on paper, chances are the group flourishes with more reps as a unit.
  3. Playing time? How long will we see the starters? In the nonconference schedule last season, the starters pretty much only played in the first half. Some argued that with more playing time and padded stats, quarterback Marcus Mariota could have been in Heisman contention. Mariota is no longer an unknown as he was before last season and coming off a quarterback competition with Bryan Bennett. But he’ll still probably play the first half, considering what the score will be 30 minutes into the game.
  4. What about DAT? Helfrich was noncommittal earlier this week when talking about the number of carries for De’Anthony Thomas, who might take on a bigger role in the rushing game this year with the departure of Kenjon Barner. However, he also said that Byron Marshall had a strong camp – and it’s more likely that he assumes Barner’s old role, which frees up Thomas to do what he does best. Don’t think of Thomas’ production in terms of carries -- think in terms of touches. Rushes, receptions, kick and/or punt returns. How many touches he gets is more vital than how many carries.
  5. Fresh faces: Right now, there are five true freshmen listed on the depth chart for this week’s game, and only one is a “starter.” Kicker Matt Wogan is listed to handle kickoffs and he has an “or” between his name and Alejandro Maldonado’s. But if the Ducks are up big early – which is expected – don’t be surprised to see running back Thomas Tyner get some carries and others such as right tackle Cameron Hunt or linebacker Tyrell Robinson could make appearances.
It has been an eventful week already for the Oregon Ducks, preceded by a solid performance in Saturday's spring game. The Ducks hosted several recruits on the weekend and made a strong impression on each of them. On Tuesday, the momentum kept up as the Ducks nabbed their third commitment for the Class of 2014.

The Oregon Ducks are preparing for the start of spring ball, but that hasn't stopped them from keeping tabs on some of their prime targets in the Class of 2014.

An in-state target has been picking up steam on the recruiting trail and could receive more interest from the Ducks in the near future. A couple of 2015 targets have the Ducks near the top of their list, and one of them plans to visit Eugene this summer for the Oregon Football Camp.

With one 2014 commitment so far, the Ducks are scouring the country looking for new talent to emerge. At the end of spring ball, expect the Ducks to issue a large number of offers to prospects on the West Coast.

Here are a couple of quick-hit updates:


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Five OL the Ducks' should offer 

March, 20, 2013
3/20/13
8:00
AM ET
Even though the Ducks signed five offensive linemen in the Class of 2013, they know that a program can never have enough big men up front. The Ducks landed two Under Armour All-Americans up front in Cameron Hunt (Corona, Calif./Centennial) and Evan Voeller (West Linn, Ore./West Linn) and added three intriguing-but-raw incoming linemen who will likely redshirt.

In the Ducks' fast-paced offensive system, a lot is required of the five up front. Not everyone fits the system and not everyone wants to play in it. Not that they are out of shape by any means, but two of the players on this list are most likely lacking offers because the fit isn't necessarily there. They are two of the top OL from the west coast in the past few years, so they are included based on that alone.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Michiah QuickTom Hauck for ESPN.comMichiah Quick is the latest top prospect from Fresno (Calif.) Central East, a school that has a connection to Oregon.

The Class of 2014 has a loaded group of wide receivers in the West, and the Oregon Ducks find themselves among the leaders for several of them.

The Ducks have issued few official offers in the region, and it will likely remain that way until the coaching staff hits the road for spring evaluations in May.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Oregon recruiting mailbag 

February, 15, 2013
2/15/13
9:00
AM ET
Questions about the Ducks' 2014 targets are starting to pour in.

Shaun A. (San Francisco): Who do you think will be the Ducks' first commit in the 2014 class? Are there any in-state kids worth an early offer that would accept and become the first commit in the class?

DuckNation: There are a couple worthy of an early offer and Mark Helfrich will likely continue the Ducks' recent trend of locking up the top in-state recruits. DE Connor Humphreys (Portland, Ore./Central Catholic) and OLB Joey Alfieri (Portland, Ore./Jesuit) will both have a lot of early interest and Oregon will likely have offers to both by the time the summer rolls around.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Ducks miss top targets in Class of 2013 

February, 11, 2013
2/11/13
10:00
AM ET
Every recruiting cycle leaves programs and their fans wondering what happened to certain recruits who seemed destined for their school. While none of them were absolute "locks" to sign with Oregon, the Ducks had a long list of realistic targets who signed elsewhere.

The Ducks had plenty of opportunities to make a huge statement on the recruiting trail with the 2013 class. The coaching change from Chip Kelly to Mark Helfrich had an effect on many recruits, but a difference in scheme preference also led to a couple potential Ducks looking elsewhere. A couple former Oregon commits flipped to sign elsewhere and a couple others were just given up on. Notre Dame eventually signed three of the Ducks' top targets in the Class of 2013.

Here are a few players who could have easily been Ducks had one or two things gone differently.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Helfrich taking the reins in recruiting 

February, 7, 2013
2/07/13
6:00
AM ET
Every program has one or two coaches they turn to when they need to close one of their top prospects. The Oregon Ducks have a number of assistants that have been relied upon greatly over the years. The staff has some new faces that will make an impact on the recruiting trail, but the new man at the top was very influential in gaining 19 new signees in the Class of 2013.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Ducks flip ESPN 300 OL Cameron Hunt 

February, 6, 2013
2/06/13
9:06
AM ET
The Oregon Ducks added their fourth ESPN 300 member and their fifth offensive lineman when former Cal commit Cameron Hunt (Corona, Calif./Centennial) confirmedthat he had flipped to the Ducks.

The No. 276 player in the ESPN 300 joins OL Evan Voeller (West Linn, Ore./West Linn) as the second Under Armour All-American in the Ducks' 2013 class. Hunt officially visited Michigan, Ohio State, Oregon and Cal after former Bears' head coach Jeff Tedford was fired and former Bears' OL coach Jim Mahalczik left for Arizona.

What is the impact of Hunt's decision?


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Oregon signing day surprises 

February, 6, 2013
2/06/13
5:00
AM ET
After losing long-time commit Dontre Wilson (DeSoto, Texas/DeSoto) to Ohio State on Monday, the Oregon Ducks enter signing day looking for a couple of surprises to go their way. Fortunately the Ducks have gotten the better end of the deal with signing day surprises in recent years.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Oregon recruiting; quick hitters 

February, 5, 2013
2/05/13
10:15
AM ET
DuckNation has the latest updates after an action packed Monday on the recruiting trail.

ATH Dontre Wilson (DeSoto, Texas/DeSoto), the No. 55 player in the ESPN 150, announced Monday night that he will be attending Ohio State next year after being committed to Oregon since late May. Losing such a dynamic weapon always hurts, but the Ducks should be just fine.

One reason for that ...


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Ducks flipping the script on Cal? 

February, 4, 2013
2/04/13
10:00
AM ET
Over the past decade, Oregon and California have gone back and forth, on and off the field. While the Ducks have dominated the Bears on the field of late, that hasn't stopped Cal from winning a number of high-profile recruiting battles.

The programs haven't gone head-to-head often in the Class of 2013, but the Ducks are looking to take make a big impact on their class by putting a dent in Sonny Dykes' first recruiting class at Cal.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Devon AllenMiller Safrit/ESPN.comDoes securing a pledge from Devon Allen mean Oregon expects to lose Darren Carrington?
The last DuckNation recruiting mailbag before national signing day has received a record number of submissions. With so much action recently surrounding the Oregon football program, there are a lot of topics to cover.

Warren S. (Henderson, Nev.): With the Ducks landing Devon Allen (Phoenix/Brophy Prep), do you think that has more to do with their feelings on what [Darren] Carrington (San Diego/Horizon) will do or how they feel about Allen?


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Recruiting battles loom for Helfrich, Ducks 

January, 31, 2013
1/31/13
5:22
AM ET
Mark Helfrich is off to a solid start in his first two weeks as head coach of the Oregon Ducks. Helfrich was able to retain the majority of his staff and to date has been able to gain three new commitments from 2013 recruits.

Under Helfrich, Oregon has added WR Devon Allen (Phoenix/Brophy Prep), OL Elijah George (Las Vegas/Arbor View), ATH Juwaan Williams (Tucker, Ga./Tucker) and QB Damion Hobbs (Cedar Hill, Texas/Cedar Hill), who flipped from Utah State to Oregon on Wednesday.

The Ducks are likely to take up to five more commits, depending on the decisions of ATH Dontre Wilson (DeSoto, Texas/DeSoto), Darren Carrington (San Diego/Horizon), WR Tyree Robinson (San Diego/Lincoln) and his twin brother, ATH Tyrell Robinson (San Diego/Lincoln).

There has been a lot of action over the past few days. New offers have been issued and last minute in-home visits are taking place daily.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Florida State Still No. 1 In AP Poll
Florida State's close win over Oklahoma State cost the Seminoles some first-place votes, but not enough to knock them from the No. 1 spot in the AP poll.
VIDEO PLAYLIST video

PAC-12 SCOREBOARD

Thursday, 9/4
Friday, 9/5
Saturday, 9/6