Davis puts himself in the mix
The student section was still swag surfing.
And former Oregon coach Willie Taggart also left behind some entertaining new players for the fans to enjoy during Saturday’s spring game at Autzen Stadium.
Wide receiver Daewood Davis and running back CJ Verdell, two talented members of Taggart’s 2017 recruiting class who redshirted last season, each scored two touchdowns during the offense’s 41-7 victory over the defense.
True freshman quarterback Tyler Shough’s first pass was hauled in for a 36-yard touchdown by Davis, who also caught Justin Herbert’s only touchdown pass of the afternoon.
“It feels great,” said Davis, whose end zone dance was approved by coach Mario Cristobal ahead of time. “I waited a whole offseason to show the world what I’ve got, and that’s what I did today.”
Davis finished with three receptions for 75 yards. On his second touchdown he broke safety Brady Breeze’s attempted tackle and tiptoed along the sideline.
Oregon is looking for depth at receiver behind projected starters Dillon Mitchell, Brenden Schooler and Johnny Johnson.
“How about Daewood Davis?” Cristobal said. “We always knew he had that track speed, and he showed it today.”
Verdell, who was the leading rusher with 44 yards on eight carries, scored on two five-yard touchdown runs.
Seniors Tony Brooks-James and Taj Griffin played sparingly so the coaches could get another look at the young running backs.
“CJ Verdell continues to show why he was such a highly recruited football player,” Cristobal said. “He gets downhill in a hurry and he’s got a low center of gravity and his vision is excellent.”
Another redshirt freshman running back, Cyrus Habibi-Likio, caught a 29-yard touchdown pass from Shough.
Oregon hosted a small army of recruits and their families on Saturday.
Three 2019 prospects from California — linebacker Mase Funa, athlete Jayvaun Wilson and athlete Cameron Williams — verbally committed to the Ducks.
Oregon’s class already included defensive tackle Keyon Ware-Hudson and cornerback Marques Caldwell.
Oregon reported no new injuries.
Center Jake Hanson, outside linebacker Justin Hollins, inside linebacker Sampson Niu, safety Nick Pickett and defensive lineman Drayton Carlberg were injured and did not participate.
Sophomore Jaylon Redd showed off his speed during a 56-yard kickoff return. … Adam Stack averaged 42 yards on two punts and Blake Maimone’s only punt was 47 yards. … The offense was called for four penalties and the defense for five during the 95-play scrimmage. … The honorary captains for the game were Marcus Mariota and DeForest Buckner.
“Guys are definitely taking practice a lot more serious, and you can tell in the spring game that guys were flying around and celebrating when plays were being made. And it’s not just, like, a front,” Breeze said. “People aren’t celebrating because they have to or something. It’s because we’re excited about where this defense is going. We were having fun out there. You can just tell.”