EUGENE — Fall camp used to be synonymous with two-a-day practices.
Those days are over with the NCAA now prohibiting teams from holding multiple contact practices in a single day.
First-year Oregon coach Willie Taggart and most of his Pac-12 peers support the rule change aimed at reducing preseason concussions and injuries.
“I don’t think many people were doing two-a-days anyways, so it will just give us another way of teaching and developing our guys,” Taggart said. “I know there will be a lot of walk-throughs. But whatever it is to keep our guys safe and healthy, I’m all for it.”
The Ducks opened fall camp on Monday.
The NCAA allows for a single, three-hour practice each day. If players are given three continuous hours of recovery, they may return to the field for a non-contact walk-through without helmets and pads.
Oregon State already opened practice last week to begin preparing for its Aug. 26 opener at Colorado State.
“We’ll still have those taxing mental practices that are 18 days of mental reps, which is so very, very important,” Beavers coach Gary Andersen said at last week’s Pac-12 media days. “I think you get just as much out of that as you get out of the physicality of two-a-days.”
Ducks (almost) fully loaded
Taggart said Bruce Judson is the only member of Oregon’s 2017 recruiting class who had not officially joined the Ducks before Sunday night’s team meeting. The 5-foot-9, 203-pound “athlete” from Cocoa, Fla., is listed on the roster but finishing up some academic requirements before enrolling at UO.
Clemson graduate transfer Scott Pagano is still recovering from foot surgery in May.
“Now that he’s a Duck, we heal differently around here,” Taggart said. “So I expect Scott to be back really quick.”
Several veteran players who were limited or held out during spring practice are ready for fall camp, including safety Tyree Robinson, safety Brenden Schooler and outside linebacker Justin Hollins.
Running back Taj Griffin is expected to be completely healed from last year’s torn ACL before the Sept. 2 opener against Southern Utah. Taggart said the speedy junior and Tony Brooks-James could be used more in the passing game because of the lack of experience at wide receiver.