April 17, 2008

Blount smooth in transition

The offensive star of Oregon's first spring scrimmage was junior college transfer running back LeGarrette Blount. While at East Mississippi Community College, Blount amassed over 2300 yards on the ground in two seasons. In the Ducks' first spring scrimmage, he showed the Eugene crowd he was ready to play at this level.

Back in December of 2007, Blount committed to the Seminoles of Florida State. Within a week, he was rethinking his decision and added the Ducks to his final two choices. A week after that, his letter of intent was sitting in the "inbox" at the Casanova Center. The Rivals.com No. 12 junior college prospect in the nation feels like he's learning the Oregon system faster than he thought he would.

"I feel like I'm making progress. I'm moving a lot faster than I thought I was going to when I first got here. I thought it was going to be a struggle coming here from a junior college, because it's really like another high school to me. I feel like I'm making the adjustment, especially into the spread option offense I haven't been in since high school, so I'm feeling pretty good."

The transition from junior college to D-1 football can be difficult, and generally the difference for players is game speed. For LeGarrette, his transition is no exception.

"The game speed in a junior college was about a five, the game speed here is a ten. At my high school in Florida we played at about a five. We played pretty fast in Florida."

The goals for Blount are now lofty. He watched the Ducks in 2007 and saw what two quality backs could do in the same offense. His high regard for Jeremiah Johnson and Jonathan Stewart gives him visions of playing a role in tandem with Johnson similar to last year.

"I'm trying to get as many snaps as him by the time the season starts so we can split time back and forth kind of like he did with J. Stew (Jonathan Stewart)."

While only in Eugene a short time, Blount has excelled on the field. He has not developed on his own.

"Jeremiah (Johnson) has been like a mentor to me, him and Ed Dickson and Dennis Dixon. I spend a lot of time with them because I was basically living with them. They show me the ropes. They would tell me what I'm doing right and what I'm doing wrong or where I'm supposed to line up and everything like that."

Growing up in Florida and playing junior college in Mississippi, Blount isn't the typical Oregon recruit. While many want to stay close to their friends and family, Blount has thrived in his new surroundings, and doesn't regret his choice of schools for a second.

"I love it here. It's just like my home town, not too big, not too small. Everybody gets along and everybody loves football. I wouldn't take back my decision for anything in the world."

Duck Sports Authority congratulates LeGarrette on an exceptional early transition to the University of Oregon, and will continue to follow and report on his progress as a Duck.

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