Coming off of a redshirt season and a year of rehabbing his injured knee, sophomore wide receiver Dwayne Stanford now finds himself at the top of the depth chart when he and the No. 3 Ducks take the field Saturday evening against South Dakota.
With a full year to recover and another off season to train and get better acquainted with Oregon’s blur offense, Stanford finds himself as one of the key offensive threats for this 2014 season.
“I just wanted to be 100% confident in my knee,…that’s what I hurt last spring” explained Stanford when asked about his goals for the season.
“I really toned in,..got in with Coach Rad ( Strength & Conditioning Coach Jim Radcliffe ) and the training staff and really worked doing that. I just wanted to be 100% confident in coming back,..no brace, no nothing like that,…and I’ve been able to do that and I’m pretty excited about that. I feel like I’m even better than what I was before because I’ve learned so much more from that redshirt year.”
Standing at 6’5 and 200 lbs, Stanford has the size and speed to be one of the country’s marquee wide receivers and certainly one of the best on this Oregon squad. While the cloud of secrecy remains over all Oregon practice sessions, that hasn’t stopped the Duck coaching staff and fellow players from singing Stanford’s praises.
“Dwayne is really really consistent,…making a lot of catches,…got a big body. You guys, ( the media ) can turn this into a competition in between them…but we’re going to play a bunch of receivers because we run so much and play so much. If you’re one of those top guys on the outside, all three of those guys are going to play about equally” said offensive coordinator Scott Frost when asked to break down his corps of wide receivers.
Stanford is certainly embracing this next opportunity to make an impact.
Not just because of his health, but also for the opportunity to catch passes from quarterback Marcus Mariota who is likely to be in the Big Apple come December when the Heisman Trophy is presented.
“I think it’s great for us,…he can make throws that other quarterbacks can’t” said Stanford when asked about taking passes from his quarterback.
“He can put the ball into tight windows,..he can throw us open,..he can put it high up for us to go get it,..he can make throws that some quarterbacks just can’t. That’s real good for us and for me as a receiver.”
VIDEO: Watch the Dwayne Stanford press briefing by clicking on the video box above.