May 27, 2008

Post Spring: LeGarrette Blount

One of the best performances to come out of spring camp was that of junior college transfer LeGarrette Blount. Duck Sports Authority sat down with Oregon running backs coach Gary Campbell and talked about his analysis of Blount in the fifteen practices he worked with him.

DSA: What did LeGarrette Blount do right this spring?

GC: What he does right were the things I wanted him to do. What I wanted was a back who could break tackles and was a physical runner. Like we talked before about needing a guy in the fourth quarter who could seal the game, a guy who is going to be strong at the end, who's going to be tough to tackle. That kind a guy is going wear a defense down. Tackling a 230 guy who runs hard takes it out of you no matter where you tackle him because you're going to have to wrestle him down.

DSA: What did you see of him during the recruiting process that brought you to him?

GC: The thing I saw of him on tape is that he did run physical. I wasn't exactly sure how fast he was but I knew he had good enough speed that he could make some long runs. Maybe not 80-90 yard touchdown runs, but good 30-40 yard runs and he could be physical doing it.

DSA: You certainly did get the physical runner you wanted.

GC: He proved me to be right and I was so happy to see him break his first tackle and score in the scrimmage because it gave him confidence to continue to do that. That's what I had been telling him, this is what I want from you: I want you to break tackles. You have to be able to avoid tackles, but most of all you need to break tackles. So when he did that he was all smiles, he was very happy.

DSA: Of course he's not pure power. It was nice to see his vision in space once he got here. That was hard to pick up on the clips we had.

GC: Another thing I learned about him this spring is he moves in space well for a big man, almost as well as Jeremiah. He can make cuts, he can maneuver and dodge people in a tight space which is very commendable for a man his size.

DSA: How about catching the ball out of the backfield?

GC: He's also got good hands. He's not one of those pretty finger-tip catch guys, but he can catch the ball, he catches it in his hands and he doesn't hug the ball.

DSA: What does LeGarrette need to work on?

GC: He's a raw but OK blocker. I think he's going to be a good blocker because of his mass. He doesn't have as good of technique as Remene, but he can get away with it because he's got mass and strength and pounds to hold him down. I've watched him and he has very poor technique but he doesn't let the quarterback get sacked. That is something that I can correct so I don't worry about that. I can fix his technique.

DSA: LeGarrette sure turned out to be an excellent recruit, and you really entered the game late with him.

GC: Coach Neal and I were talking about that and he was saying 'you went down there and in three weeks got one of our best recruits'.

DSA: Well, there was some talk he was committed to Florida State.

GC: I read that stuff and I talked to him about it. He told me he was never committed to Florida State but there were things all over the internet saying he did. I knew when he called me from an official visit elsewhere that we had a good shot at him.

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