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Oregon’s receiving corps is very talented and very deep. The only thing they are lacking is experience.
During this spring camp, new head coach Dan Lanning was looking for someone in that group to step up in a leadership role on and off the field. According to several people in the know, that player turned out to be sophomore Dont’e Thornton.
The 6-foot-5, 200-pounder was the logical choice to be that guy to step up after making a leap in the Alamo Bowl last season. Thornton proved that wasn’t some fluke and showed how much he has improved with a stellar Spring Game.
Although he caught just three passes, Thornton led the team with 116 yards and two touchdowns, one for 39 yards, the other for 70 yards. He showed that he can be that deep threat Oregon has been lacking for quite some time.
There were a number of candidates for our Ducks Wire Player of the Game award on Saturday. Seven McGee also accumulated 116 yards receiving and a TD, while Chase Cota was able to finish up with an even 100 yards on some impressive catches. Over on the defensive side of the ball, DJ Johnson was an absolute monster, racking up 7 total tackles, 5 TFL, and 4 sacks, while Trikweze Bridges had a 42-yard pick-six to open the second half.
In the end, though, there was no player who quite impressed us as much as Thornton did. In a stacked WR room, it looks like he might have the ability to stand apart. Let’s hope this is the first of many DWPOG awards he sees.
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