By Rob Moseley
Venue: Outdoor practice fields
Format: Full pads
Oregon’s practice schedule features all sorts of daily routines. There’s the stretch period with “Joker & the Thief” blaring to start the morning. Several periods of individual drills follow. There are some 7-on-7 and special teams in the middle of practice, and then team periods as the workout wears on.
Lately, there’s another feature that seems to have become part of the routine. In his post-practice remarks to the team, during which Mark Helfrich offers a review of what he liked from practice and what needs more attention, the name of sophomore outside linebacker Torrodney Prevot has come up over and over again this spring. Today was no exception, as Helfrich cited Prevot’s effort in special teams drills.
In his group interview with reporters a few minutes later, Helfrich again brought up Prevot’s name, when asked to list some consistent standouts over the course of this spring (Helfrich also mentioned Marcus Mariota, Taylor Alie, Hamani Stevens and Oshay Dunmore). At other times this month, Helfrich has mentioned Prevot’s efforts to coach up teammates on the sidelines.
Prevot said today those mentions by Helfrich are proof that he’s been successful in raising his game since playing as a freshman last fall.
“My mindset has totally changed,” Prevot said. “I’m more focused on the field, more confident out there.”
A former U.S. Army All-American, Prevot played in 12 games last season, making 14 tackles and getting in on three sacks. He’s a gifted pass-rusher, and he’s working to expand his skill set; improved open-field tackling is a focus for the defense as a whole this spring, and Prevot has bought into that personally.
He said his main motivation this offseason has been Oregon’s two losses last fall, and some of the mental mistakes and penalties that doomed the Ducks at times.
“It just wasn’t enough for us,” Prevot said. “I’m just trying to battle and help us get as far as we can.”
Defensively, Prevot has played consistently with the second group this month, typically paired with fellow spring standout Dunmore. They’re a pair of gifted athletes, the future of the outside linebacker spot for Oregon given that each is a sophomore.
Today, Prevot stood out for taking every rep during a punting drill. It’s typical for a guy to take a couple and then go to the sideline for a few snaps, but Prevot kept himself on the field throughout the drill.
Would Prevot agree that he might not have put forth the same effort last fall?
“I can’t really say that,” he said. “But a lot has changed.”
Highlights: The Ducks ran the same end-of-game scenario today as they did Friday, but this time using the rosters for Saturday’s spring game going head-to-head. “Mariasu” was up first trying to run out the clock with the lead, and used first-down runs by Kenny Bassett and Mariota to move the chains and run out most of the clock. Arik Armstead had a really impressive sequence for “Twifo,” making three straight tackles on short runs to give his side the ball, but Jake Rodrigues and the Twifo offense weren’t able to do much and Mariota took a knee to “win” the drill. …
With the roles reversed and Twifo trying to protect a lead, Kani Benoit ran for a first down to extend the drive with Alie at quarterback. But Johnny Ragin III and DeForest Buckner had tackles, Twifo punted and Mariasu had time for a few snaps to come from behind. Jeff Lockie moved the chains with a pass to Devon Allen, but a hail mary attempt was incomplete, making the team with the lead 2-for-2 in the scenario.
Other observations: During the tempo drill to start the day, down toward the red zone, Dominique Harrison picked off Mariota with the ones, and Bassett found the end zone with the twos. … There was good back-and-forth between the offense and defense over the course of the morning. The defense got the best of an early 11-on-11 drill thanks to run stops by Juwaan Williams, Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Armstead, Derrick Malone, T.J. Daniel, Alex Balducci and Tony Washington. …
The offense showed better in 7-on, with a nice completion by Mariota to Bassett, Lockie completing balls to Koa Ka'ai and Allen, and Johnathan Loyd catching passes from Alie and Damion Hobbs. … A later 11-on-11 period focusing on second-and-long was pretty even. Mariota ran for a couple of first downs, and Rodrigues moved the chains a couple times with a run and a pass to Chance Allen. But the defense also got tackles for loss from Buckner, Washington, Rahim Cassell and Rodney Hardrick.