Photos: The Oregon Ducks hold spring football practice 3/9

Oregon Ducks wide receiver Brenden Schooler (86) runs a route during practice. The Oregon Ducks hold practice during their spring season at the Hatfield-Dowlin Complex practice fields in Eugene, Ore. on Friday, March 9, 2018. (Adam Eberhardt/Emerald)

Oregon wide receivers coach Jovon Bouknight spoke with the media for the first time as a Duck after Friday's spring practice. Bouknight joined Oregon this offseason after 10 seasons at Utah State. 

So, why does he feel like head coach Mario Cristobal chose him? 

"I take a lot pride in my craft," Bouknight said. "Technique has always been one of the things I hark on and one of the things that's a solid point of my core. He knew that I was a technician, but I'm passionate too.

"That's the biggest thing I can give back to my players," he added.

Bouknight played at Wyoming and was a Biletnikoff Award finalist in 2005. He is 20th all-time in NCAA career receiving yards and receptions, but he has a distinct challenge ahead of him. 

The Ducks lost Dillon Mitchell, the program record holder for yards in a season. Mitchell was the clear No. 1 option last season while other receivers struggled to produce. 

"I knew we needed development in this group," he said. "That was the first thing that [Cristobal] mentioned within the interview process. It's going to be a process. We've got to start from the beginning."

The lack of production was in large part because of the frequency of dropped passes.

"We can harp on them; we can beat kids up, but at some point you've got to instill confidence," he said. "I'm going to keep coaching them on the small, minute details, but you've got to install confidence. If a kid doesn't have confidence, he doesn't have a chance."

Oregon will add three 4-star freshman wide receivers and Penn State grad-transfer Juwan Johnson this season, so there is a possibility guys who have been around longer will get buried on the depth chart. For some, it may be now or never.

"Day one, when I got into the room was talking about competition," Bouknight said. "We've got to compete. ... Guys have got to challenge each other and guys have got to push each other. So, when those guys walk in, they're going to be thrown in too. But it's about competing. Who can I count on on Saturdays?"

Sports Editor


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