Senior right tackle will likely fill in for injured center Jake Hanson in UO's Pac-12 opener
NFL scouts aren’t flocking to Oregon practices just to see if Justin Herbert can make all the throws.
They’re also taking note of Calvin Throckmorton, who can seemingly make all of the blocks from all of the offensive line positions.
“Throck is a high-level player,” coach Mario Cristobal noted after Wednesday’s practice. “There's a reason there's a ton of NFL scouts in there every single day. He's one of the big reasons they are here. He does it all.
“If you watch Throck over the years, and how he is graded out at center, guard and tackle, it’s almost identical at each position.”
The 6-foot-5, 309-pound senior was the only FBS offensive lineman to start at four different positions in 2018 — right tackle, right guard, center and left tackle.
It appears Throckmorton will have to move from right tackle to center for the 16th-ranked Ducks’ Pac-12 opener against Stanford on Saturday at Stanford Stadium (4 p.m., ESPN).
Four-year starting center Jake Hanson did not practice Wednesday. Cristobal said he is still being evaluated for an undisclosed injury suffered during Oregon’s 35-3 win over Montana.
If Hanson is unavailable, Throckmorton will be snapping the ball to Herbert, with senior Brady Aiello starting at right tackle.
“I’ve got to be prepared to play whatever I need to come Saturday," Throckmorton said. “I’m going in with every expectation that I’m going to play center, but also preparing as much as I can to play right tackle.
"I have all the confidence in the world going into this game."
Throckmorton started at center last season at Utah while Hanson was serving a first-half suspension for a targeting call the previous week against UCLA.
Cristobal believes Throckmorton, who was graded out as the Pac-12’s top offensive lineman last season by Pro Football Focus, can play tackle, guard or center at the next level.
“Just had a conversation with a couple of general managers in there about that,” Cristobal said. “In all the years I've had a chance to be an offensive line coach and as a head coach, I have not seen a guy that handles all three positions like he does. He's a very special player.”
Sheldon High walk-on Ryan Walk is listed as Hanson’s backup. Alex Forsyth and Dawson Jaramillo have also received reps at center in practice.
“So we work in essence probably five guys snapping the football, should we have some type of emergency,” Cristobal said. “You always got to have them ready. Right? Because if that does happen, and you don't have a guy ready, it's really it's hard to function.”
Wide receiver Juwan Johnson (calf) and reserve running back Cyrus Habibi-Likio (back spasms) are “day-to-day.”
Cristobal announced Monday that tight end Cam McCormick will sit out the entire season to heal. Wide receivers Mycah Pittman (shoulder) and Brenden Schooler (foot), who haven’t played due to fall camp injuries, could return for the Oct. 5 home game against California.
“It’s tough losing a guy, especially such a great guy like Cam,” Herbert said. “Fortunately we’ve got guys waiting, guys that make plays, and guys who know what they’re doing.”
The three defensive starters that were either held out of (defensive tackle Austin Faoliu, outside linebacker Bryson Young) or injured during the nonconference finale (cornerback Thomas Graham), are practicing and expected to play at Stanford.
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