Oregon Ducks: Keenan Howry

After a second straight offensive masterpiece in the LA Coliseum, the Oregon Ducks have now won four of the past six meetings with USC. Since Oregon's modern era of football began in 1994, the Ducks have won nine of the 15 meetings with the Trojans. In that same time period, USC has beaten the Ducks for numerous recruits. With all of USC's success on the recruiting trail and its ideal location, how have the Ducks been able to have the edge on the field?

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AP Photo/Wade PayneLaMichael James was a two-star recruit, but starred at Oregon.
Oregon's success can be attributed to coaching, player development and finding the right players who buy in to the system. In spite of all the flash and recent success, the Ducks still have to fight harder for recruits than nearly every program out there. Having unlimited recruits within a couple of hours drive of your campus gives programs like USC a built-in advantage that can't be understated.

Each year, USC could essentially pick a recruiting class full of elite prospects who grew up dreaming of playing for the traditional powerhouse. On the other hand, the Ducks usually have two or three local recruits to choose from.

Ducks WR coach making an impact 

October, 18, 2012
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OregonSteve Dykes/Getty ImagesB.J. Kelley (No. 23) is one of several promising wide receiver prospects that Scott Frost has brought to Eugene since joining the Ducks in 2009.
Like everything else with Oregon football, the role of the wide receiver in unique in the Ducks' scheme. The Ducks expect their receivers to block as much, if not more, than running routes and making plays in the passing game.

The receiver position has been cyclical over the past decade, with smaller receivers like Keenan Howry and Samie Parker to begin the decade and bigger receivers such as Jaison Williams and Cameron Colvin at the end of the Mike Bellotti era.

With Chip Kelly about to take over the program, the Ducks fired former wide receivers' coach Robin Pflugrad and went in search of a young, up-and-coming coach to take over the responsibilities of teaching the team-first mentality that Kelly demands from his players.

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Two decades ago high school coaches would roll their eyes when Oregon recruiters stopped by their school. But in the 1990s, after some upward mobility, Oregon began to gain some traction within top high school programs.

Since the turn of the century Oregon has been slowly ramping up its status as an elite program.

With the stability of the coaching staff, the elite facilities and the recent success of the Oregon program, high school coaches far and wide have taken notice of the Ducks. Whether it is the development of their players as students or football players, many coaches now consider Oregon a premier destination for their players.

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Keenan HowryAP Photo/Don RyanKeenan Howry was a big-play wide receiver during his career at Oregon. He's now a coach at Los Alamitos (Calif.) High School, where Ducks' offensive line commit Alex Redmond attends.
When looking at the Oregon record book, one will find wide receivers like Sammie Parker, Tony Hartley, Demetrius Williams, Damon Griffin, Cristin McLemore and Jeff Maehl mentioned as players that had bigger individual games and seasons than former Duck Keenan Howry.

Where one will find Howry towards the top is on the all-time Oregon list of career receptions and career receiving yardage. Howry was never the biggest or fastest receiver on the Ducks roster but he was certainly the most reliable. If there were a list for important plays in the clutch, Howry would almost certainly be at the top.

Whether it was his game-winning touchdown in the corner of the end zone of the 1999 Sun Bowl against Minnesota to the 69-yard, fourth-quarter punt return against Oregon State in 2001, Howry had a knack for coming up big when the Ducks needed it most.

We recently caught up with the Duck legend while visiting Los Alamitos High School to catch up with Oregon commit Alex Redmond.

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