The spring season for Oregon was relatively un-newsworthy (with the exception of the Bralon Addison injury). And when it comes to spring football, un-newsworthy is typically a good thing. But that doesn’t mean there weren’t standouts.
This week we’re going to take a look at five standouts from spring practices.
No. 4: S Erick Dargan
He was suspended the final two games of the 2013 season which gave him a renewed appreciation for the sport and his final spring season of his career. And he attacked it as such.
The redshirt senior, who has studied behind high school teammate Avery Patterson for the past few years, made the most of his 15 practices and secured himself the starting free safety spot. Dargan’s spring-game performance was no showstopper (he made only one tackle), but through the spring the compliments kept rolling in. From defensive coordinator Don Pellum to cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, everyone seemed to have very good things to say about Dargan.
The most impressive compliment was from quarterback Marcus Mariota who said he didn’t want to throw against Dargan. For a player who threw just four picks (to 31 touchdowns) last season to say that about a defensive back means something. If Mariota doesn’t want to throw in Dargan’s direction, chances are the same will be true for Michigan State’s Connor Cook, Washington State’s Connor Halliday, UCLA’s Brett Hundley, Oregon State’s Sean Mannion and every other QB the Ducks face this fall.
Dargan worked his way into the secondary well, becoming the vocal leader it needs to help line up the defensive backs and make sure everyone gets the right call. He knew this would be his duty this spring and next fall so he committed the time and spent more time studying the defensive playbook during the offseason to make sure he was at his best.
However, the best part might be the competitive nature Dargan displayed and the energy he brought to the DBs. From the get-go, he announced that the defensive backs would go head-to-head to see who could get the most interceptions through the spring. The same will happen next fall. And if all goes to Dargan’s plans, he’ll continue to lead that competition.
Other spring standouts: