JUCO transfer Malik Young practices for the first time as a Duck
Oregon needed depth at the defensive line heading into fall camp, and they added an extra body today.
Malik Young, a recent transfer from Eastern Arizona College, participated in his first practice as a Duck on Thursday.
“He’s a good defensive lineman,” head coach Willie Taggart said. “He’s a kid that has size, plays with leverage. Really athletic to be the size that he is. The d-line is an area that needed some depth. I think it worked out perfectly for us.”
The 6-foot-2, 301 pound redshirt-senior from Marrieta, Georgia, initially singed with Missouri but couldn’t play for them due to Southeastern Conference rules regarding age and progress towards a degree. Young is ranked as the seventh-best JUCO defensive tackle in the class of 2017, according to 247sports.com.
Taggart didn’t specify any timetable or goal for when Young will be ready to play.
“He’s got to get himself ready and learn the system,” Taggart said. “If he can come out and get himself in shape and learn the defense, and make plays, we’ll get him on the football field. Pretty simple.”
The Ducks need depth due to the transfer of high school All-American Rutger Reitmaier, and with Rex Manu’s season absence due to injury.
Clemson transfer Scott Pagano is expected to make to make in impact this season, but he is still recovering from offseason foot surgery. Taggart was coy when asked about when Pagano will return.
“Scott might wake up tomorrow ready to roll,” Taggart said.
The Ducks held a scrimmage in Autzen Stadium on Tuesday, and Taggart spoke to the media for the first time about it.
“It was less penalties than the first one, so I was looking for that,” Taggart said. “Still had too many…Wasn’t really impressed with our energy when we started off, but I was more impressed with how we finished the scrimmage. Both sides of the ball made plays. I was more impressed with some of the plays the twos made than our ones.”
Sophomore linebacker Troy Dye is expected to be the leader on defense this season. As gameday approaches, the Ducks’ defense hopes to out on a show.
“This defense is going to be a great defense,” Dye said. “I think we’re going to surprise a lot of people who doubt us. I think coach Leavitt has done a great job of trying to tell us to keep quiet about it.”
We’ll see if the defense will be ready some September 2, against Southern Utah. Reagardless, Dye is ready to play.
Follow Jack Butler on Twitter @Butler917