Highly touted freshman Prevot makes early impact for Ducks

Oregon didn't wait long to get Torrodney Prevot on the field.

After the Ducks scored a touchdown on their opening drive against Nicholls, Prevot was on the kickoff team and made a tackle during his first collegiate play. After Oregon's second touchdown, Prevot was again in on the tackle.

By the end of Oregon's 66-3 victory over the Colonels, the 6-foot-3, 213-pound true freshman linebacker was fourth on the Ducks with five tackles, including a sack. He also forced a fumble.

"He's going to be really good," Oregon coach Mark Helfrich said. "He did some good things, some really natural things. Whether it is how he can bend or avoid blocks or play with his hands, he will do nothing but improve getting into our system and getting total confidence in what he is doing. I am very much looking forward to seeing him down the road."

Prevot was a late addition to Oregon's recruiting class in the offseason. He originally committed to USC and then was thought to be leaning toward Texas A&M before picking the Ducks in February. He was hoping to avoid a redshirt year and got the good news before the opening game.

"Nothing was set in stone, so I came out here trying to work as hard as I could," he said. "I lifted weights with the older guys to try and learn the defense more. Everything factored in and then Coach Helfrich told me that I wasn't redshirting, I would play the first game."

That was what Prevot wanted to hear, but even he was surprised how much he played against Nicholls.

"I didn't figure that I'd play that much, but it was cool to get out there and get the tempo of NCAA football," he said. "I had a lot of fun playing with my teammates, and getting to learn everything was cool."

Helfrich said Prevot earned his playing time in fall camp.

"He practiced really well in the fall," Helfrich said. "He has some natural pass-rushing skills whether it is getting rid of hands or guys have a knack to be able to sink their hips and bend and avoid that you really can't teach. But then he's got a motor, so it is just confidence and playing time at this point."

Prevot had three tackles on defense in the second half, including a sack of Nicholls quarterback Kalen Henderson that forced a fumble recovered by the Ducks.

"It was amazing, just being out there in my first game for Oregon," Prevot said. "We practiced so long, it just came natural to me and felt like high school all over again."

Prevot, who was selected for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl out of Alief Taylor High School in Houston and was ranked as a four-star recruit by Rivals.com, said playing on special teams was nothing new.

"My sophomore and junior years of high school, they used me a lot on special teams, but they wouldn't let me do it as a senior because they didn't want me to get hurt," he said. "It came back to me like I was a junior in high school again, so that was cool."

Not everything felt the same as high school.

"I can't lie, it was a little different," Prevot said. "It was an eye-opening experience and now I know what to do more. I know where to play, where to put my hands. ... I learned that so the next game will be better."

It may be busier too because Prevot said he is also working with the punt return and kick return teams, although he did not play there on Saturday.

"I love playing special teams, it is one of our biggest deals here," Prevot said. "As fast as I can get on special teams and make an impact then I can get on defense and make an even bigger impact."

Prevot said he can help the Ducks in many ways.

"The coaches want me to learn the defense and make as big of an impact as I can," he said. "I'm a good pass rusher so obviously that is a big thing with them. They want me to pass rush a lot and drop into coverage, just learn different things."


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