Andiel Brown seeks special teams jobs, scholarship
Cleveland High grad has chance to be key UO player
Andiel Brown will enter the University of Oregon's training camp in August as a legitimate contender at punt returner and kickoff returner.
'I'm very confident I'll be on the punt return team as the deep man,' the Cleveland High product says. 'I was (Justin) Phinisee's backup last year; this year, I'm the veteran of the group.'
That group includes Jackie Bates, Jeremiah Johnson and Patrick Chung.
With his buddy Terrell Jackson having recently left the UO program, Brown could also move up on kickoff return.
'I'm second or third (return man),' he says.
If he advances to first team on both, it is likely that Brown will get a scholarship, something the walk-on player has long wanted.
He wasn't happy to see fellow running back Jackson leave, though.
'There's a person you connect with on the team every year, and it was him,' Brown says. 'Everybody I connect with ends up leaving - Steven Moore my freshman year, Tim Day last year and now Terrell.'
In other Duck doings:
• Defensive end Darius Sanders, a partial qualifier when he entered Oregon in 2002, reports that he will complete his academic work this summer to attain another season of eligibility. Sanders says he needed to complete 36 units of work in the 2005-06 school year and be 80 percent advanced toward his degree after four years in school, per the NCAA rules for partial qualifiers, to get the extra year. A political science major, he'll be a senior on the team.
• The Moshofsky Center practice facility now sports FieldTurf, the same surface as in Autzen Stadium. Quarterback Dennis Dixon says the players like it, but the black rubber granules have not settled yet into the fake grass.
• Offensive tackle Geoff Schwartz acknowledges that the arrival of junior college transfers Fenuki Tupou and Patrick So'oalo will push him to remain in the starting lineup. But Schwartz has stepped up to the challenge, going on a nutritional and workout program to lose weight. Playing at 360 pounds last season, Schwartz has dropped 20 pounds - weighing in at 340 - and he wants to drop another five before training camp.
• The Ducks have eight verbal commitments, the latest being running back Charles Neal from Anaheim, Calif., according to scout.com. The Orange County Register reported that Neal had committed to Oregon.
• Portland's Myles Wade, a senior at Central Catholic, committed last week. He's a 6-3, 310-pound defensive lineman and a four-star prospect, according to scout.com.
• The Ducks also got commitments from four-star offensive linemen Charlie Carmichael of Sherman Oaks, Calif., and Carson York of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.
• An entire team can be constructed from just the players who had been on the team and left the Oregon Ducks in recent years - players who theoretically could still have eligibility. Here is the lineup of players:
Offense: QB - Johnny DuRocher (now at Washington); RB - Terrell Jackson and Jerome Johnson (kicked out for academic reasons); WR - Jordan Carey and Matt Bramow; TE - Levi Horn (had switched to offensive line); OL - Jermaine Randolph, Aaron Klovas, Mark Sunga (long snapper), Shawn Flanagan and Mat Webb (back injured derailed career); K - Luke Bellotti (could return in August)
Defense: DL - Brian Truelove (going to PSU?), Thor Pili and Devlin Bayne; LB - Rob Hamilton (both knees bad), Ryan Phipps, Tucker Callahan (going to Alabama?) and Ramond White; DB - Ryan Gilliam ('Bird' flew home), Sharrod Davis, Marques Binns and Marc Walker; P - David Dittman (2004 starting punter).