March 9, 2010

Redshirt Review: Everett Benyard

Outside of major rebuilding years, redshirting as a true freshman offensive lineman at Oregon is almost a given. With so much to learn and their bodies just finishing their rapid growth, offensive line coach Steve Greatwood finds great value in giving his recruits an extra year to learn the system and college life.

The learning curve is different for all however with numerous factors involved, including some common to linemen.

"Some kids figure it out sooner than others with the work ethic," said Greatwood. "I think especially with my guys, some of them are just starting to grow into their bodies as well. They've been the big kids all their lives and haven't had to push themselves that hard to be successful. Or they've been coached down not to be aggressive because they're the big kid."

Bottom line is the extra year is beneficial to most if not all incoming players.

"For whatever their reasons, by-and-large they come in their freshman year and kind of feel their way," Greatwood said. "Same goes with first year as a junior college player. They start to figure out what it's going to take from work-ethic to demeanor on the football field, what kind of attitude they have to take out there. It's not a 'whoops excuse me' kind of thing anymore, it's 'hit or be hit.'"

One of four players successfully completing their redshirt campaigns is Cathedral Catholic (San Diego) athlete Everett Benyard. The 6-foot-7, 300+ pound offensive tackle brought work-ethic with him from San Diego.

"Everett Benyard has a tremendous amount of determination," assessed Greatwood. "He won't back down from anything. He is very competitive and tough and I like that. Because of his size, he has to keep it in check and actually lose some weight."

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