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Oregon OC Will Stein details the luxuries and the challenges of having so much depth at WR

It may seem ironic, but sometimes it isn’t easy in college football to have a roster as complete as the Oregon Ducks do ahead of the 2024 season.

The Ducks are coming off a season in which they boasted a top-10 offense and a top-10 defense in points and points allowed per game — something only two other FBS teams did. Somehow, on paper, they’ve improved.

Although Oregon is losing Troy Franklin this offseason, the Ducks’ WR room looks like one of their most talented and deepest position groups, with elite talent at the top and bottom of the depth chart. For the 2024 season, Oregon is returning Tez Johnson, Traeshon Holden, and Gary Bryant Jr., and they’ve added Texas A&M transfer Evan Stewart and a trio of freshmen in Jeremiah McClellan, Ryan Pellum, and Dillon Gresham as well. Be sure not to sleep on Jurrion Dickey and Kyler Kasper, either.

After practice on Tuesday, Oregon offensive coordinator Will Stein spoke about the luxury of having so many talented wide receivers on a team.

“It’s huge,” Stein said. “I mean whenever you can roll six or seven deep at wideout, you know you’ve got a really good room. We still want to keep our play count up, and earlier in the year especially with the weather and the heat, we want to roll a lot of guys in there.”

It’s tough to say at this point in the process who Oregon’s top receivers will be, but Johnson, Stewart, and Holden are the early favorites to lead the WR room. With the quality receivers Oregon has in addition to those three, though, Stein may have a tough time balancing everyone’s usage.

“It’ll be fun, but it’s going to be stressful too,” Stein said about the challenge of getting everyone involved. “There’s a lot of players on our team. It’s a wonderful problem to have. It comes back to game planning and when you’re in that setting, personnel-specific plays are, I think, huge. We’ll see when we get there.”

In addition to the wide receivers, Stein will have the challenge of working the ball to Oregon’s talented tight ends. Terrance Ferguson is coming back for his final season this fall, and last season he showed he is one of the best TEs in college football. Earlier this spring, Stein even said that he “needs to get him (Ferguson) the ball more.” Patrick Herbert and Kenyon Sadiq are two other TEs who could be big producers for the Ducks in the fall.

Like Stein said, having a variety of weapons at your disposal is a great problem to have. It should lead to a more diverse offensive strategy, making things more difficult for opposing defenses by throwing different concepts at them. It should also help the Ducks’ players manage their load, hopefully mitigating injuries.

“Shoot, we’ve got a lot of really good players. It’s about getting those kids the ball and getting their confidence up early,” Stein said.

Story originally appeared on Ducks Wire