Starting with pro style offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig, on to Gary Crowton, and finally to now head coach Chip Kelly [Unlink]
, former Oregon Duck standout wide receiver Cameron Colvin knows what it's like to catch balls for all three coaches. Colvin played from 2004-2007, when the 3 were rotated in as offensive coordinators on then Head Coach Mike Bellotti's coaching staff. Colvin, and the Ducks went from a pro-style attack (Ludwig), to a open spread(Crowton), and finally to a very unique, high tempo motion spread offense that Oregon runs to this day under head coach and former offensive coordinator Chip Kelly. " When I was watching the ducks play in high school, I remember them always airing it out, and running pro sets, which appealed to me, cause alot of focus in that system was on the starting receivers. I would notice guys like Sammie (Parker) were catching more than 50 balls a year!" I wanted that. Under Crowton, I would be catching 20-30 balls a year,and under coach Kelly, I caught that amount in 3-4 games." Colvin said when asked why he chose Oregon over many big name schools on national signing day in 2004. Up until that day, Colvin was unsure where he was going to attend school. He verbally committed to Michigan and USC, but when time came to fax in the solid commitment, Colvin was a Duck. " I already had 7 or 8 friends who were going to school in Eugene, I knew Demetrius (Williams) was doing great, learning the system, and I knew we would be stacked if I signed. We had Brian Paysinger, Garren Strong, Marcus Maxwell, Demetrius Williams [Unlink]
, Willie Glasper, Kwame Agyeman, James Finley; and Jaison Williams particularly was brought in with me together. I never got to see Autzen on a recruiting visit, but I heard it was legit after Terrence (Kelly) came home and told me how great it was, and in the end, they just had the most family oriented environment and comfortable place for me to be going to college. I wasn't actually sure where I was going, but coach Pellum (Don), coach Neal (Jon) and Coach Bellotti all came to my house to visit on recruting trips and made me feel at home. We were so talented and deep already ,and what sealed the deal was that running back Terrell Jackson called me on the eve of National Signing Day, and was sayin, come on bro, you got to come up here, see what we got going on up here, were loaded. Terrell Jackson was the best back in Los Angeles, and he got weeded out on the Ducks depth chart, cause we were so loaded with talent.It was even better that a big number of my teammates came from California, and I had played with or against them growing up through High School." Jackson later transferred to UTEP due to lack of carries and playing time in Eugene. The difference and transition, going from Ludwig to Crowton was difficult at times for the offense. Most of the personel on the field were recrutited to play in Ludwig's pro-style offense. Naturally, guys like Brady Leaf and fullback/tight end Malachi Lewis became an afterthought as the offense continuted to transition and evolve to a more run friendly spread attack. Under Crowton, the team didn't feel worse about themselves, or feel in decline, but deep down, individually, the team knew they didn't have their guy. To the offense, it seemed like Crowton, at times, was a substitute teacher on the field. He had the respect of his players but not the confidence and killer instinct. According to former ducks linebacker (2004-2007) Kwame Agyeman, and Colvin, the culture, confidence level and talent level compeltely changed with the arrival of Chip Kelly. " On the very first day, coach Kelly called me in his office, I was thinking, damn, what did I do now? But instead of it being like that, he was straight up with me. He said "Cameron, I know you have had some issues and problems in the past, but I want you to know your my guy, and I expect you to be a huge part of this team and this offense. " I appreciated that about him, he was hard nosed, straight forward, and knew x's and o's like nobody's business. And at the same time he was definetley a player's coach who got us all to be as one, a family." Kelly and his staff have been bringing in record setting recruiting classes year after year and competition has never been more stiff on the practice field. Kelly is the type of coach who will not keep play makers on the sideline or out of the playbook, he finds a way not only to get every playmaker on the field, also he finds ways to get all of them their touches to impact each and every game. Once coach Kelly arrived, it was all business, practices were crazy, going up against Kwame, Nick Reed [Unlink]
, JD Nelson, Jerome Boyd [Unlink]
, the d-boys-TJ Ward, Walter Thurmond III, Jairus Byrd [Unlink]
and Patrick Chung [Unlink]
every day was no joke, no matter what our record was, those teams were loaded and we had alot of ballers, lots of great players all over the field." Colvin commented with excitment in his voice, when reminiscing his glory years on the college gridiron. That call of fate from Mike Bellotti and the University of Oregon was to contact a FCS school ,New Hampshire, and offer offensive coordinator Chip Kelly, a fairly unheard of genius of a offensive coach, from the East coast, the same job title at the University of Oregon. Which Kelly gladly accepted. Nobody knew at the time, but the hiring of Kelly in 2009 would change Oregon football forever. Players, ex-players,fans and alumni, for once, became in unison on the decision when Kelly was hired as head coach, becoming Bellotti's successor. Kelly has recruited better, and has had more immediate success than any previous head coach in Oregon football history. In his 3 seasons as "The Man", Kelly has gone 34-6 overall, 25-2 in the Pac-12,with only one loss at home (last season to USC) and has added 3 consecutive conference championships to his golden resume. In 3 seasons, he has taken the Ducks to 3 consecutive BCS games, including 2 Rose Bowls and the BCS National Championship. He is a player's coach, who has the ultimate respect of his players who would play in a flame pit if he asked them to, and that's more important to young, impressionable men than flashy uniforms or nice locker rooms with xbox 360's built into each stall.