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2014 spring practice review: Special teams
Release Date: 05/31/2014
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by Rob Moseley

A look back at Oregon's month of spring practices that culminated in the spring game on May 3.


Where things stood: Special teams coordinator Tom Osborne was tasked with replacing his punter, long snapper, holder, kickoff return man and — following Bralon Addison's injury — punt returner coming off the 2013 season. Sophomore Matt Wogan was projected as the full-time placekicker after winning the job late last fall and then making 3-of-4 kicks in the Alamo Bowl.

What happened in April: Wogan looked very good in the two scrimmages — honest — but was short on an attempt in the spring game, a disheartening development. He was fairly consistent as a punter over the course of the month, good news given Dylan Ausherman's departure from the team. Among the returners, the curveball was the addition of basketball player Johnathan Loyd to the roster. He's a tough, elusive runner who showed sure hands receiving kicks in the spring, giving rise to the notion he could replace Addison on punts if needed. With the departure of Josh Huff and De'Anthony Thomas, there remain a number of potential kick returners to pair with Keanon Lowe; Thomas Tyner could be the guy, but so too could Loyd, Devon Allen, Dior Mathis, Troy Hill, B.J. Kelley and several others.

Who to watch in August: Handling both punts and placekicks has the potential to take its toll on Wogan's leg — even given Oregon's typically explosive offense — so that juggling act will be worth watching early in the 2014 season. With the departure of Dustin Haines, fellow walk-on QB Taylor Alie is in the mix to hold placekicks, his biggest potential role under fire. The newcomer will be Tanner Carew, who has the chance to be a four-year starter at long snapper, like his predecessor, Drew Howell.


PK: Matt Wogan, So.; Eric Solis, Sr.; Hayden Crook, So.
P: Matt Wogan, So.; Ian Wheeler, RFr.
LS: Tanner Carew, Fr.; Connor Johnson, RFr.
HLD: Taylor Alie, RFr.; Jeff Lockie, So.
KOR: Keanon Lowe, Sr.; Thomas Tyner, So.
PR: Johnathan Loyd, Sr.; Darren Carrington, RFr.

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