Preseason camp preview: Special teams
Release Date: 08/02/2013
Projected depth chart
P: Dylan Ausherman, Jr.; Alejandro Maldonado, Sr.
K: Matt Wogan, Fr.; Alejandro Maldonado, Sr.
LS: Drew Howell, Sr.; Tyler Johnstone, So.
HLD: Dustin Haines, Sr.; Jake Rodrigues, RFr./Jeff Lockie, RFr.
KOR: De’Anthony Thomas, Jr.; Keanon Lowe, Jr.
PR: Bralon Addison, So.; De’Anthony Thomas, Jr.
KNOWN QUANTITIES: It's a season of major change for the Ducks in the kicking game. Gone are Jackson Rice, the punter for the last four years and also the holder on placekicks (or the quarterback when the Ducks shifted out to go for two); kicker Rob Beard, who attempted 24 field goals over the last four years; and Jeff Palmer, the short snapper since 2009. With apologies to punt snapper Drew Howell, the top remaining name on special teams is that of returner De'Anthony Thomas, though some sketchy decisions in the punt game last year led to Bralon Addison's emergence in that facet. And of course there's embattled placekicker Alejandro Maldonado, quietly one of the team's most frequent participants in community service projects, an academic all-conference honoree who has three field goals in the Ducks' two BCS wins, but who might forever be defined by misses against USC in 2011 and Stanford in 2012 that contributed to Oregon's only Pac-12 losses in the last three years, denying the Ducks national championship shots.
NEW FACES: Fresh off a redshirt season is punter Dylan Ausherman, a junior college transfer who averaged 41.2 yards per punt in the spring game. And freshman Matt Wogan is on hand to challenge Maldonado for playing time. Howell figures to handle short snaps as well as punts this fall, and reserve quarterback Dustin Haines seems the most likely candidate to hold for placekicks based on the spring.
TO BE DETERMINED: Coaches were very clear in the spring that the placekicking job wouldn't be determined until fall camp, a solid indication they believe Wogan should be ready to at least compete for the job, if not win it.
ESPN's Pac-12 blog says: "We'll see" about Oregon's placekicking situation.