Oregon Ducks: BJ Kelley

Ducks lose WR Blackmon to transfer

November, 19, 2012
11/19/12
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In Oregon's 2011 recruiting class, the most prized recruits were athletes De'Anthony Thomas and Colt Lyerla, but Under Armour All-American Devon Blackmon helped the Ducks land the best group recruits deemed "athletes" in the country. Blackmon was the No. 23 player -- and No. 2 ATH -- in the ESPN 150 for the Class of 2011. Nearing the end of his redshirt freshman season, the University of Oregon released a statement today confirming that the Ducks' wide receiver will transfer out of the program.

“He has been a solid contributor to this football program for the last two seasons and I wish him continued success whatever he decides to pursue,” Oregon head coach Chip Kelly said in a university press release.

Blackmon has received limited playing time in Eugene, only earning playing time in the Ducks' early-season blowout victories over Arkansas state and Tennessee Tech. In his two appearances, the 6-foot, 185-pounder failed to compile any stats.

The Ducks' recruiting Class of 2011 was highly regarded, due in large part to the strength of their four wide receiver signees. To date, the entire group of wide receivers has been mostly ineffective early in their careers. Blackmon joins fellow 2011 Under Armour All-American -- and ESPN 150 member -- Tacoi Sumler as the second member of the touted wide receiver group to transfer from the program. Sumler transferred to FCS Appalachian State in August. Blackmon has given no indication on where he might wind up. Coming out of high school in Fontana, Calif., Blackmon chose the Ducks over other finalists USC and UCLA.

The other two members of the wide receiver group in the Ducks' Class of 2011 were elite junior-college wide receiver Rahsaan Vaughn and four-star B.J. Kelley. Vaughn played a sizable role in 2011 and was expected to be a starter entering 2012. So far this season, Vaughn -- now a senior -- has seen limited playing time. Kelley joined Sumler and Blackmon as a redshirt in 2011. So far this season, the 6-foot-2, 190-pound Kelley has been on the field on special teams and during mop up duty as a wide receiver.

Notes on Oregon's preseason camp 

August, 17, 2012
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Nearly two weeks into Oregon fall camp, there is plenty of speculation as to who has the upper hand in the position battles and who has put themselves in position to see the field early on.

All eyes are on the ongoing quarterback battle between sophomore Bryan Bennett and redshirt freshman Marcus Mariota.

When it comes to discussing his team, Ducks head coach Chip Kelly plays everything close to the vest. There is no greater example of this than when it comes to who will be given the keys to his high-flying offense.
Receiver Tacoi Sumler, a member of the 2011 ESPN 150, has left the Oregon football program after just one season.

No reasons have been given in regard to the precipitating events in his decision. It is not unreasonable to assume, however, that playing time played a role.

Oregon offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich recently spoke about his young wide receiving corps and mentioned that Sumler was behind fellow redshirt freshmen B.J. Kelley and Devon Blackmon in terms of development.

With Josh Huff and Rahsaan Vaughn looking like two sure starters, the Ducks have one starting spot remaining. Kelley and Blackmon are joined in the battle for the third spot by Eric Dungy, Daryle Hawkins, Blake Stanton, Keanon Lowe and Will Murphy as returning players.

Add three freshman with Bralon Addison, Dwayne Stanford and Chance Allen, and it's a fairly crowded group.

At 5-foot-8, 177-pounds, Sumler was at a disadvantage in the Oregon offense, which relies heavily on downfield blocking by the wide receivers.

The No. 62 overall prospect in the 2011 ESPN 150 signed with Oregon out of Miami (Fla.), another major coup for the Ducks in their national recruiting efforts. Like Lache Seastrunk and others before him, Sumler left the program without ever stepping on the field in an Oregon uniform.

His departure thins the Ducks' receiving unit even more, as they also lost senior wide receiver Justin Hoffman to a medical retirement last month.
Bryan BennettJim Z. Rider/US PresswireBryan Bennett is battling for the quarterback spot with Marcus Mariota, who had an impressive spring.
Every season comes with roster questions no matter the program. The three-time defending league champion Ducks lost some key pieces after 2011 but there is an abundance of talent waiting in the wings.

Not all of the key position battles involve a departed star, however. There are key returners at every spot on the field. With fall camp kicking off today there are a few key spots up for grabs.

Not being named a starter in Chip Kelly's system is not a dream killer though. Especially on defense, where the Ducks rotate more players than any team in the country.

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