Oregon Football Notebook: Ducks adds former Hawaii safety Donovan Dalton

Houston wide receiver Peyton Sawyer (83) looks to run around Hawaii defensive back Donovan Dalton (29) in the third quarter of the New Mexico Bowl NCAA college football game in Frisco, Texas, on Dec. 24, 2020.

The Oregon Ducks have added a veteran presence in their secondary.

Former Hawaii Rainbow Warriors safety Donovan Dalton has joined the Ducks. He was seen practicing on Tuesday as he was wearing No. 30 and is listed on Oregon's updated spring roster.

Last season, Dalton played in three games, but he didn't record any stats. Last November, Dalton announced on Twitter that he was entering the transfer portal.

Dalton recorded 41 tackles, two tackles for loss, an interception and eight pass breakups in three seasons at Hawaii. He was coached by former Hawaii defensive backs coach Trent Figg, who is now part of the Ducks' recruiting staff.

"Obviously, a good relationship was there in the past of what kind of player he was and that piece was big," Oregon coach Dan Lanning said about adding Dalton.

When asked about it, Lanning declined to say if Dalton was on scholarship as he said, "it doesn't matter."

After Verone McKinley III declared for the NFL Draft, the Ducks needed to add a veteran safety. Having someone like Dalton even in a limited role makes a lot of sense for Oregon.

Ducks football 2022 spring preview:Who replaces McKinley and Wright in secondary?

Gonzalez transferred to Oregon for a new opportunity

Oregon's secondary also will be helped by another player who decided to transfer.

After two seasons at Colorado, cornerback Christian Gonzalez decided it was time for a change. So after his defensive backs coach, Demetrice Martin, left Colorado for Oregon, Gonzalez did the same thing.

"I thought it was my time to leave Colorado," Gonzalez said. "I went into the portal and took a couple of visits and thought it was an opportunity, so I took it."

In two seasons with the Buffaloes, Gonzalez recorded 78 tackles, five tackles for loss and 10 pass breakups. He was named an All-Pac-12 honorable mention last season after having 53 tackles, five tackles for loss and five pass breakups in 12 games.

With Mykael Wright entering the NFL Draft and cornerback DJ James transferring to Auburn, Gonzalez is someone the Ducks will rely on next season, especially with his experience.

Although it is only spring practice, Gonzalez has mostly been participating with the first-team defense along with Dontae Manning, who played in 10 games last season for Oregon. Both Gonzalez and Manning have the most experience on Oregon's roster and both players are into their third year out of high school.

Martin believes the addition of Gonzalez to Oregon's roster is huge for its defense.

"It's big-time," Martin said. "He's able to be a big brother to the rest of the guys on the squad. It's good cop, bad cop, he can be the good cop and I'm the bad cop.

"He's been with me for two years. He knows my moves, how I go, my moods, how I teach and he can incorporate that with the other guys."

Lanning says a lot to work to do in last two weeks of spring camp

Tuesday marked Oregon's sixth practice of the spring. The Ducks will have nine practices left before the spring game April 23 and wrapping up practices April 26.

With more than a quarter of the practices done, Lanning has some good and some areas where the Ducks need to improve. However, Lanning is excited about the way Oregon's players have worked and the team's potential.

"At this point, I'm excited that our guys are competing," Lanning said. They've come out here every day with a growth mindset looking for opportunities. to get better, but there's still so much room for growth.

"We're not ready for a game yet. We got a lot of work to do. But that being said, I think everyone embraces that coaches included."

Contact Register-Guard sportswriter Antwan Staley at and follow him on Twitter @antwanstaley.

This article originally appeared on Register-Guard: Oregon Ducks football adds former Hawaii safety Donovan Dalton