Outside linebacker coach Cort Dennison talks first spring at Oregon, using youth to his advantage

Originally Posted on Emerald Media via UWIRE

Outside linebackers coach Cort Dennison spoke to the media Thursday. The coach is in his first season as a Duck after coaching at Louisville since 2014. His youth — he graduated from Washington in 2011 after playing football for four seasons — is an asset as the Ducks continue to build and recruit.

Dennison is familiar with some of the current coaches. He worked under Oregon secondary coach Keith Heyward at Louisville, and cornerbacks coach Donte Williams was a graduate assistant at Washington while Dennison was a player.

Here’s what Dennison said on Thursday:

Q: What do you think of [the outside linebackers] this spring?

A: We return a lot of experience. There’s a lot of leadership coming back this spring. … People like Justin (Hollins), La’Mar (Winston) have really stepped up in a leadership role. … Fotu Leiato and Bryson Young have really stepped up and provided a lot of position flexibility.

Q: What was that recruiting process like with coach (Mario) Cristobal bringing you out here?

A: I knew coach Cristobal a little bit from running into him at South Florida. I recruited South Florida when I was at my previous school. … I talked with coach Cristobal and we had a really good talk. We had the same vision, same direction we wanted to go in the future. I’m really happy to be here.

Q: What’s it like working with a guy like Jim Leavitt?

A: He’s awesome. I’m just continuing to be a sponge. He obviously has a great deal of experience and he’s won a lot of football game. The more I can be around a people like him, with the detail and knowledge he has, especially at the linebacker position, it’s great. … The more I know, the more I can can gain from him and it’ll help me in my career.

Q: Have you been mistaken for a player out there?

A: The guys all know I’m young, but I have fun. I run around with the guys. You know, I’ve got to use my youth to my advantage.

Q: Does that help in recruiting?

A: Yeah, I use it to my advantage. I’m probably one of the younger guys out there. A lot of people have experience on me. What I do with recruitment is that I relate to the players; I’ve been in their shoes. Ten years ago I was a high school recruit so I can really relate to these kids with social media and the new age of kids.

Q: Thinking back to when you were at Washington, obviously that was a time when Oregon was dominating. What was your perception of the Ducks?

A: The only school that I never beat was Oregon, and, you know, it was a championship-caliber team, won a lot of games, went to Rose Bowls. I had a lot of respect for this program, for what they did. Obviously, on and off the field they were doing things the right way. I always had a tremendous amount of respect for this program.

Follow Jack Butler on Twitter @Butler917

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