March 18, 2011

Senior OL to hold the edges

The 2010 Oregon Ducks made their 12-0 run towards the national championship game behind a veteran offensive line. Two of the players who started on that unit were juniors, and now as seniors will be called upon to provide leadership and more starts for the 2011 edition.

Mark Asper and Darrion Weems were not part of the same Oregon recruiting class. Asper originally signed his letter- of-intent with the class of 2004, but did not arrive in Eugene until after he completed his two-year religious mission obligation. Weems was a member of the class of 2007 and both players redshirted in 2007.

The 6-foot-7, 320 pound Asper has a great frame for playing tackle, and that's where he started six games in 2010. His other five starts were at guard. Offensive line coach Steve Greatwood would like to see him anchor one of the edges.

"Right now my druthers is to leave Mark at tackle knowing that he can play inside at guard if we happen to have some real sort of depth issues there or whatever," said Greatwood. "It is nice to have a guy you have confidence in at either position. We can fit the pieces of the puzzle in around him but he'll go into spring at the right tackle."

Asper is no stranger to starting for the Ducks. In addition to eleven in 2010, the Idaho Falls native had twelve as a sophomore. Greatwood thinks he has been improving all the while.

"I thought he made some real strides last year in his technique and his overall style of play. I like where he's headed this year, I like his work ethic. He's keeping his weight down looks really athletic right now. I'm pleased with where he is going at this point."

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