Trikweze Bridges and Dontae Manning take Oregon’s cornerback battle all the way down to the wire


Whereas just about the whole depth chart for the Oregon Geese is predicted to be nailed down later this week, head coach Mario Cristobal mentioned on Tuesday that there are a number of positions that may take somewhat bit extra time to find out the starter.

A kind of positions is unquestionably within the defensive secondary on the cornerback spot. With the lack of DJ James, who was indefinitely suspended after an alleged airsoft gun incident earlier than fall camp, a beginning spot on the boundary CB place opened up. All through the primary two weeks of camp, a few gamers have been in a heated competitors for the beginning spot, in second-year freshman Dontae Manning, and third-year freshman Trikweze Bridges.

The 2 gamers are extra totally different than they’re alike. Manning was a 5-star recruit out of Kansas Metropolis who stands 6-feet tall, 185 kilos. Bridges, in the meantime, is 6-foot-3 with a large 7-foot-2 inch wingspan.

Although totally different physique varieties, the duo has been formidable to date this summer time, placing the entire strain on the teaching workers to find out the highest man.

“Anytime you get competitors in camp, it’s going to be a back-and-forth deal,” mentioned Oregon’s cornerback’s coach Rod Probability. “I feel each of them are such totally different gamers. You’ve obtained one man who’s actually lengthy; has a protracted lever, a press protection man. And the opposite man is tightly wound and has a whole lot of twitch, a whole lot of explosiveness about him.”

Although Bridges was not as excessive profile coming into Eugene as a three-star recruit, he has certainly performed himself into competition for a beginning job in his second full season with the Geese. Throughout the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Bridges had two solo tackles whereas showing in all seven video games.

“Each of these guys are battling day-in and day-out, generally by the interval,” Probability mentioned. “Generally one man has a greater interval when the competitors is coming, and the following man picks it up the following interval.”

Manning is the participant with the entire gravitas at the beginning of his profession. Because the twelfth highest recruit in Oregon Geese soccer historical past, there’s a perception that he will probably be one of many mainstays of the protection throughout his time in Eugene.

Although he was on campus in 2020, a hamstring harm suffered proper earlier than fall camp finally held him out of motion. Now that he’s again wholesome with a full offseason below his belt, issues are on the right track for the freshman.

“In my thoughts, he’s a real freshman. He hasn’t had that full alternative to get the coaching and the grinding or the basics of what we’re doing,” Probability mentioned. “So it’s leaps and bounds from the place he was final yr simply because he’s getting these reps, however he’s an exceptional athlete and we’re simply making an attempt to proceed to hone in on his consistency and his course of.”

Whereas it’s two younger gamers with minimal expertise vying for that prime spot on the boundary, each guys have proven all through the summer time that they’re able to getting the job finished. With veterans round them in Mykael Wright and Verone McKinley, there ought to be little fear about Oregon’s secondary this coming season.

“They’ve finished a fantastic job, each making performs, each flying round,” McKinley mentioned after Wednesday’s apply. “It’s arduous to only choose one as a result of each of them are enjoying effectively so I do know they’ll each be within the rotation.”


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