Oct 2, 2021; Stanford, California, USA;  Oregon Ducks tight end Spencer Webb (18) before the game against the Stanford Cardinal at Stanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon TE Spencer Webb dies after hitting head in fall

Oregon tight end Spencer Webb died Wednesday afternoon after falling and hitting his head. He was 22.

The accident occurred near Triangle Lake in Lane County, Ore. The Sacramento Bee reported Webb was cliff diving.

The Lane County Sheriff’s Office said that when paramedics arrived at the scene, they were unable to revive him. He had plummeted about 100 feet down a steep trail, authorities said.

Webb, who played high school football at Christian Brothers in Sacramento, was projected to start this fall as a redshirt junior.

“So full of life in every moment of the day,” first-year Oregon coach Dan Lanning posted to Twitter early Thursday. “Your smile and energy will be missed Spencer. I love you!”

With the Ducks, Webb appeared in 29 games. He caught 31 passes for 296 yards and four touchdowns.

–Field Level Media

Yellow Team defensive back Bennett Williams (15) dances to Shout during the Oregon Spring Game at Autzen Stadium on Saturday, April 23, 2022.

Pac-12 to explore expansion options to replace USC, UCLA

One day after the Southern California and UCLA announced their departures to the Big Ten, the Pac-12 vowed that it will “explore all expansion options” to keep the league thriving.

The Pac-12 Board of Directors met Friday morning to discuss the options after the stunning exits by USC and UCLA delivered a major blow to the conference.

“The 10 university presidents and chancellors remain committed to a shared mission of academics and athletic excellence on behalf of our student athletes,” the league said in a statement.

Also on Friday, reports circulated that Oregon and Washington conversed with the Big Ten and were told the conference was sticking at 16 members for now.

The two schools are on the backburner as the Big Ten makes another push at attracting Notre Dame, a football independent whose basketball programs along with other sports are members of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

If Oregon and Washington were to exit the Pac-12, that would rate as another huge blow. The other eight Pac-12 schools are Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, Colorado, Oregon State, Stanford, Utah and Washington State.

There also is speculation that the two Arizona schools, Colorado and Utah could become a target for the Big 12.

As for the Pac-12, a bevy of Mountain West schools will be lining up hoping for an invitation.

UNLV features the world class Allegiant Stadium and the city of Las Vegas has exploded as a sports force in recent years.

San Diego State could fill the sudden Southern California void in the conference. San Diego is one of the largest cities in the country and the school is opening a new football stadium this season — though, at 35,000 seats, it is small for power conference standards. The facility does have room for expansion.

Boise State has enjoyed football success and is in close proximity to Washington State. However, the school’s football stadium of 36,387 seats isn’t a big-time facility. The school built a football operations facility directly behind the north end zone, limiting expansion opportunities.

Fresno State is another California possibility, while Colorado State (located an hour north of Denver) could merit a look.

There also could be the possibility of some Big 12 members looking westward. At this point, there are numerous schools who want to make sure they don’t get left behind in the current frenzy that began last year when Big 12 powers Oklahoma and Texas announced their upcoming departures to the SEC.

–Field Level Media

Devon Allen talks to reporters during Oregon Football   s Pro Day Friday, April 1, 2022, at the Moshofsky Center in Eugene Ore.

Eagles WR Devon Allen runs third-fastest 110m hurdles time

NFL hopeful Devon Allen posted the third-fastest men’s 110-meter hurdles time ever on Sunday, winning in 12.84 seconds at the USATF NYC Grand Prix in New York.

Allen, who recently signed with the Philadelphia Eagles, easily defeated Olympic silver medalist Grant Holloway, who finished in 13.06 seconds.

Allen, 27, missed the world record by 0.04 seconds. The mark of 12.80 was set by American Aries Merritt in 2012, while Holloway narrowly missed matching it when he ran 12.81 on June 26, 2021.

Allen, a two-time Olympian, was gunning for the mark from the outset.

“I thought I could break the record today,” Allen said, according to NBC Sports Philadelphia. “Clean up a few things, and four hundredths of a second is four thousandths of a second per hurdle, which is so small. Going to have to wait for another race.”

Allen plans to compete in track through July before turning his attention to football. The Eagles signed him after he turned in an unofficial 4.35 seconds in the 40-yard dash at Oregon’s pro day earlier this year.

Allen played for the Ducks from 2014-16. He showed promise in 2014 when he caught 41 passes for 684 yards and seven touchdowns.

“When I’m doing so much — like football and track, trying to balance them both — I need to be really conscious of my recovery, my sleep, my diet, everything like that,” Allen told reporters.

“So it had me locked in a little bit more, and obviously it’s working out.”

Allen placed fifth in the 2016 Rio Olympics in 13.31 seconds and fourth last summer in Tokyo with a time of 13.14.

–Field Level Media

Dec 3, 2021; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Oregon Ducks mascot Puddles poses against the Utah Utes in the second half during the 2021 Pac-12 Championship Game at Allegiant Stadium.Utah defeated Oregon 38-10.  Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon lands 5-star OL Josh Conerly Jr.

Oregon picked up the commitment of five-star offensive lineman Josh Conerly Jr., the highest-ranked player in the Class of 2022 who had yet to choose a program.

Friday night’s commitment of Conerly, ranked by the 247Sports composite as the No. 15 player in the nation, represents a huge victory for the Ducks. They gained his services, but they also snatched him from Pac-12 rival Southern California, which had been considered a lock to sign him.

Oregon now has the No. 1 recruiting class in the conference and No. 16 in the nation, per 247Sports.

The 6-foot-5 Conerly played at Rainier Beach High School in Seattle. He chose Oregon from his final six list of schools, which also consisted of USC, Washington, Oklahoma, Miami and Michigan.

–Field Level Media

Devon Allen flexes for the cameras after earning a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team in the men's 110 hurdles.

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Eagles sign Olympic hurdler Devon Allen

The Philadelphia Eagles signed U.S. Olympic hurdler and former Oregon Ducks wide receiver Devon Allen on Friday.

Terms were not disclosed but ESPN reported it was a three-year deal.

The 27-year-old Allen has not played football since the 2016 season at Oregon.

A three-time U.S. national champion in the 110-meter hurdles, Allen finished fifth at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and fourth in the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo.

Allen participated in Oregon’s Pro Day last week and was clocked at 4.35 seconds in the 40-yard dash.

“It’s now or never because I don’t want to get too old,” he told reporters in Eugene, Ore. “I don’t want to turn 30, 31, and then try and get into the NFL.”

Allen caught 54 passes for 919 yards and eight touchdowns in three seasons with the Ducks (2014-16).

–Field Level Media

Jan 10, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; A general view of the end zone pylon before the 2022 CFP college football national championship game between Georgia and Alabama at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Top 2023 DL prospect Lebbeus Overton reclassifies to ’22

Five-star prospect Lebbeus Overton, the No. 1-ranked defensive lineman in the Class of 2023, is reclassifying to the 2022 class.

As a result, he will enroll in a college this spring.

Overton, who played at Milton High School in Milton, Ga., announced his decision Thursday morning and listed the five schools he is considering: Georgia, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, Oregon and Ohio State.

His parents said he is ready for college a year early.

“He’s a 4.0 kid, he has been taking AP classes and so he’s got quite a few college credits already and was already in position to graduate this spring,” Overton’s father, Milton, told ESPN. “I would say just the last month or two, he kind of evaluated things after football season. His coach left, there are very few seniors left on the team … he wants to play for a championship.”

The 247Sports composite lists Overton as the No. 3 player in the Class of 2023, trailing quarterbacks Arch Manning — nephew of Peyton and Eli –and Malachi Nelson. Manning is undecided; Nelson has committed to Southern California.

Four of the five schools on Overton’s list — Oregon excluded — finished among the top eight in recruiting classes at the conclusion of National Signing Day on Tuesday. Texas A&M had the top class with seven five-star prospects and 19 four-stars among its 29 commits.

–Field Level Media

Oregon RB Travis Dye acknowledges the crowd after scoring against Oregon State in the second half.

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Oregon RB Travis Dye to transfer to USC

Southern California keeps gaining strength under new head coach Lincoln Riley, with former Oregon running back Travis Dye announcing Friday that he committed to the Trojans.

Dye led Oregon with 1,271 rushing yards and 46 receptions last season, with 18 combined touchdowns.

A Los Angeles-area native who attended Norco High School, Dye rushed for 3,111 yards in 48 games for the Ducks with 21 touchdowns going back to 2018. He also had 83 receptions for 869 yards with eight TDs.

Dye is the second running back to transfer to USC from a Pac-12 program this week.

On Thursday, the Trojans received a commitment from Stanford running back Austin Jones. In 29 games with the Cardinal over three seasons, Jones rushed for 1,155 yards with 12 touchdowns and had another receiving TD on 68 catches.

–Field Level Media

Dec 29, 2021; San Antonio, Texas, USA; Oregon Ducks running back Travis Dye (26) runs off the field after scoring a touchdown during the second half of the 2021 Alamo Bowl against he Oklahoma Sooners at the Alamodome. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Oregon RB Travis Dye enters transfer portal

Oregon running back Travis Dye, the Pac-12’s leader in yards from scrimmage in 2021, entered the transfer portal, multiple outlets reported Friday.

Dye rushed for 1,271 yards and 16 touchdowns and averaged 6.0 yards per carry. He hauled in 46 catches for 402 yards and two touchdowns. Dye led Oregon in both rushing yards and receptions in 2021, the first player to do so for the Ducks since Sean Burwell in 1992.

In all, Dye had 1,673 yards from scrimmage, averaging 119.5 yards per game. While that mark was the best in the Pac-12, it ranked 13th nationally. Dye was named as an honorable mention on the All-Pac-12 football team in 2021.

Entering the transfer portal gives him the opportunity to talk to other programs but doesn’t commit him to a transfer.

If Dye chooses not to return to Oregon, he will leave the Ducks as one of just five players in the program’s history to rush for more than 3,000 yards in a career.

Oregon finished the season with a 10-4 mark, good for No. 22 in the final Associated Press Top 25 rankings.

–Field Level Media

Oregon's Verone McKinley III comes up with an interception at the goal line against Stony Brook during the second quarter.

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Oregon All-American S Verone McKinley III enters NFL draft

Oregon Ducks consensus All-American safety Verone McKinley III announced Sunday that he is entering the NFL draft.

McKinley tied for the national lead with six interceptions this season. He also had 77 tackles, six for loss. In four seasons, he had 11 interceptions in 38 games with Oregon.

“Once a Duck, always a Duck!” McKinley said in his announcement on Twitter. “I’m excited about the future and what lies ahead. So, after much thought, prayer, family discussion and preparation, I have decided to forego my remaining years of eligibility and pursue my lifelong dream by declaring myself eligible for the 2022 NFL Draft.”

McKinley, out of Hebron High in Carrollton, Texas, becomes the fourth Oregon player to announce that he’s leaving early for the NFL draft since coach Mario Cristobal left for Miami and a 10-year, $80-million contract on Dec. 6.

He joins defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux, cornerback Mykael Wright and wide receiver Devon Williams in leaving with college eligibility remaining. McKinley was the only one of the four to play with the Ducks in the Alamo Bowl, a 47-32 loss to Oklahoma.

McKinley was named a first-team All-American by five organizations and a second-team choice by two others. He was first-team All-Pac-12 and was a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, which was won by Cincinnati’s Coby Bryant.

–Field Level Media

Dec 29, 2021; San Antonio, Texas, USA; Oregon Ducks quarterback Anthony Brown (13) throws the ball against the Oklahoma Sooners in the first half of the 2021 Alamo Bowl at Alamodome. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

No. 16 Oklahoma runs over No. 14 Oregon in Alamo Bowl

Kennedy Brooks ran for 142 yards and three touchdowns, leading No. 16 Oklahoma to a 47-32 win over No. 14 Oregon in the Alamo Bowl on Wednesday at San Antonio.

It was a fitting sendoff for Sooners interim coach Bob Stoops, who returned to coach Oklahoma for the game after Lincoln Riley departed for the University of Southern California.

Stoops was greeted by a drawn-out chant of his last name by Sooners fans when he came out onto the field before the game. The chant occurred again in the second quarter when his son, Drake Stoops, hauled in a 6-yard touchdown pass to put Oklahoma up 16-3.

While the Sooners (11-2) looked headed toward a blowout win when they were up 30-3 at halftime, Oregon didn’t go away.

The Ducks, decimated by opt-outs, injuries, transfers and players missing for academic reasons, especially defensively, closed the gap somewhat with 22 third-quarter points.

Oregon (10-4) couldn’t keep the Sooners out of the end zone in the second half, though, until holding them to a field goal on a seven-minute drive that ended with less than nine minutes to go in the contest.

The Ducks finally forced an Oklahoma punt late in the fourth quarter, getting the ball back with 3:46 to play, down by 15. However, the Sooners’ defense came up with a stop, and Oklahoma ran out the clock to put the game away.

The Sooners struck first, on Brooks’ 16-yard touchdown run in the first quarter after Justin Broiles intercepted Oregon’s Anthony Brown.

Oklahoma put up 24 second-quarter points thanks to Stoops’ touchdown, a 55-yard touchdown pass from Caleb Williams to Marvin Mims and a 29-yard TD run by Brooks.

The Sooners outgained the Ducks 233-102 in the second quarter, holding Oregon to just 17 yards on the ground.

Brown threw for 306 yards and three touchdowns for the Ducks. He was intercepted once. Oregon’s Travis Dye added 153 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries.

Williams, Oklahoma’s freshman quarterback, completed 21 of 27 passes for 242 yards and three scores. Brooks averaged 10.1 yards on his 14 carries.

The Sooners outgained Oregon 560 yards to 497, including 318-191 on the ground.

–Field Level Media