Spring practice for Oregon and Oregon State football opens today, with the Ducks preparing a new quarterback to defend their Rose Bowl title and the Beavers getting another month of practice for one of the youngest teams in the nation from last season.
In Eugene, sophomore Bryan Bennett and redshirt freshman Marcus Mariota will be start competing to replace would-have-been senior Darron Thomas who is hoping to be selected in this month’s NFL draft. Bennett started against Colorado and has played in six games total. True freshman Jake Rodrigues is also in camp.
For the Beavers, Oregon State freshmen and sophomores started 74 games in 2011, including quarterback Sean Mannion who enters spring as the starter. OSU will be searching for a featured running back after starting four different players at the position last season – with only one starting more than two weeks in a row.
Running Back Leaves Oregon Program
by Oregon Media Services
EUGENE, Ore. – University of Oregon football coach Chip Kelly confirmed that running back Tra Carson did not return to school for the start of the spring term classes Monday, and intends to transfer closer to home.
Speculation emerged that the Texarkana, Texas running back would not return to Oregon for a second year after he conveyed those sentiments through social media channels earlier this winter. However, he apparently had not completely dismissed the notion of a return to Oregon until shortly before the end of the winter term.
The 6-0, 227-pound Carson ran for 254 yards and one touchdown in 10 games as a true freshman in 2011, in addition to catching one pass for 6 yards.