Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Could Colt Lyerla Become the Next Malachi Lewis?

Expectations can dog a player all through his football career.   Three celebrated examples in Oregon history:  Kevin Wilhite, Cameron Colvin, and Malachi Lewis.

Fans had huge expectations for each one of these players, and for a variety of reasons, injuries and bad timing among them, the accomplishments of each fell short of the hype.
Today Rob Moseley noted  Lyerla "looks too slow to be a TAZR" and seems to be having trouble with the playbook.

Now, the young man has had just five practices in an Oregon uniform, and he's in the middle of a huge adjustment, his first college football camp plus learning where his classes are.  As Chip Kelly quipped last week, just a few days ago he was in a lunch line at high school.

Lyerla will learn the playbook, but it is fair to remember that mastering it was part of what slowed Lache Seastrunk down last fall.  And high school recruiting 40 times are notoriously inaccurate.  The scouting services had the Hillsboro star at 4.5.  Electronically timed this summer, he'll probably come in at more like 4.7-4.8.  He's a good, solid athlete with a bright future, one of the most sought-after kids in the country, but he's eighteen years old.  We have to give him time.  Fans expected too much from Wilhite, Colvin and Lewis, and the burden of those expectations became a part of what defeated them as players.  They were good Ducks, but never the stars fans predicted they would be.

Lyerla has to find his way.  Bet that he will, but Oregon fans can't expect him to be Roboduck, Jonathan Stewart, Dante Rosario and Keenan Howry all rolled into one.  At least not in his first two weeks of practice.  If he keeps at it and puts together a good camp to go with a good summer, he'll be fine.

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