Freshman running backs step up in Oregon backfield

The Thunder's C.J. Verdell (#25) brings the ball into the end zone for a touchdown. The Thunder defeated the Lightning 59-24 in the Spring Game on Saturday at Autzen Stadium. Photo by August Frank

EUGENE, Ore. - The Oregon Ducks are still trying out a committee of guys in the backfield.

The team has six athletes with a mix of talent, but the Ducks want a Top 3 by the time they take the field against Stanford.

Two guys who have stepped up in the early weeks are freshmen Travis Dye and CJ Verdell.

Both found the end zone against Portland State, with Verdell going over 100 yards on the ground.

"That's my dude, that's my roommate, that's my little prodigy," Verdell said of Dye. "He's coming man, I already know he's going to be great. He's doing great things. And he's going to continue to grow and get better."

The bro-mance is mutual.

"That's pitbull right there man, he's a big guy," Dye said of Verdell. "I look up to him a little bit and his play and I try and incorporate his play into mine of course and yeah, that's my homie."

The duo appear near the top of the six-back rotation.

Tunning backs coach Jim Mastro said it's going to be hard to take playing time away from anyone because all the backs are playing so well.

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