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Ducks get to work early

Three freshmen QBs lead the way in workouts

The Oregon Ducks began summer workouts last week, with more than two-thirds of the 2006 recruiting class reporting for duty. Only seven players had not arrived.

An NCAA rule, enacted last year, allows incoming freshmen to take classes the summer before their first season. In Oregon's case, quarterbacks Cody Kempt, Justin Roper and Nathan Costa and others all reported, enrolled and began workouts.

Having new players arrive early is especially important at schools on the quarter system, like Oregon and Oregon State. The Ducks will play three games and have a bye week in September before UO students even start school.

In other Duck doings:

• Linebacker Brent Haberly has been running and cutting with his recovering right foot, although 'obviously I favor it and I'm tentative, but it's more of a mental thing.'

Haberly had offseason foot surgery, repairing a fractured fifth metatarsal bone and tightening ankle ligaments. He missed spring ball and workouts.

'I'm excited to be back with the guys,' he says. 'I started back early … but it feels fine, and I'm ready to go. I'll be close to 100 percent in a couple weeks.'

• Safety J.D. Nelson says his knee, after surgery, 'is perfect … I can do everything.' But he re-injured his bothersome left wrist in a workout knocking a ball down last week. 'By the time the season comes around it'll be fine,' he says.

• Several walk-ons will report to UO camp in August, including 6-5, 300-pound Landis Provancha of Sprague High in Salem.

• So, associate athletic director Jim Bartko, otherwise known as Phil Knight's right-hand man and UO's fundraiser liaison, takes the same job at California - and one media report suggests that Oregon is a house of cards and will collapse without him? Bartko was important and very good at what he does, but the train keeps rolling at Oregon, even with Knight and Athletic Director Bill Moos not always seeing eye-to-eye. Either Knight ponies up funds for the new basketball arena, or he doesn't.

• With four players exiting the program last week, including running back Terrell Jackson, the Ducks can almost assemble a full team just of guys who have left in the past two years - QB Johnny DuRocher, Jackson, receivers Jordan Carey and Matt Bramow, etc.