Amongst the many storylines currently transpiring for this Oregon Ducks football team is the position switch for lineman Jackson Powers-Johnson.
Powers-Johnson joined the Ducks as a well-regarded offensive line recruit, and he spent time at both guard positions in a backup role in 2021. However, Powers-Johnson ended up moving across the ball to the defensive side of things in the Alamo Bowl against Oklahoma, thanks in part to injuries and opt-outs which limited Oregon’s available bodies up front.
When new coach Dan Lanning arrived on the scene, he made it clear that Powers-Johnson was going to begin the spring season working out on defense, but said that is subject to change.
Oregon football storylines to follow: Who is changing or adding positions?
The latest is more of the same, with Lanning telling reporters on Tuesday that they are still evaluating where best to utilize Powers-Johnson this fall.
“Jackson has been an absolute trooper,” Lanning said. “He works his tail off every single day and I think if I asked Jackson to go out there and play quarterback tomorrow, he would do his best to go out there and play quarterback. He loves the Ducks. He works really hard for us. We’ll continue to evaluate where he helps us the most.”
The Ducks recently lost Jonathan Denis to the transfer portal, the second offensive lineman to depart the program since January, which could be playing into Lanning’s hesitancy to confirm a spot for Powers-Johnson at this time.
Regardless, the young man is willing to do whatever it takes to help this team win football games, and isn’t picky about which side of the ball he plays:
“I really don’t care. Whatever is best for the team,” Powers-Johnson said in response to which position he’d like to play. “I love both (offense and defense), I played both in high school. I just like hitting people and being violent. So, whatever gives me the opportunity, I’ll go.”
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