Since arriving on the University of Oregon campus last year, Doug Brenner has learned and grown a lot. However, the redshirt freshman offensive lineman would be the first one to admit that he still has a lot of improving to do. Brenner, along with his sister Liz and the other Oregon offensive linemen, headed to offensive line coach Steve Greatwood’s house for brunch this past Sunday to partake in an annual tradition. Brenner walked away from the annual Easter egg hunt with a huge honor.
Congrats to Doug Brenner finder of the golden egg and winner of the chocolate bunny! pic.twitter.com/33XyOOyesu
— Steve Greatwood (@OregonOLine) April 20, 2014
After spring football practice on Monday, Brenner spoke with the Emerald about his Easter honor, his sibling rivalry and more.
So what’s behind you winning the chocolate bunny?
“Every Easter coach Greatwood has all the offensive linemen over to his house and we have brunch. It’s the tradition to have a lineman Easter egg hunt. He hides like a 150 eggs and there’s one golden egg and it’s tiny. It’s like an inch and I found it. So I got the big chocolate bunny. It’s a great honor.”
How long did it take for you to find the golden egg?
“It was probably a 10-15 minute Easter egg hunt. It was really fun. We all got pretty sweaty. It was intense. When it started, we all took off. He laid down the ground rules, said go, and we all just sprinted. He has a big yard so it was fun.”
Did you have a specific strategy?
“My focus was the golden egg. I didn’t worry too much about the other eggs. If I saw them, I’d pick them up, but my goal was the golden egg. It was actually in the middle of this big bush, it was tough.”
How has the spring been going for you?
“I have made huge improvements, but I have so much more improving to do. The spring has been so good because it’s so many reps for us younger guys and so much exposure to playing against the older guys on defense. It’s just been a great experience so far.”
What has changed about the offensive line this spring?
“It was our goal after the season to be bigger, stronger, faster and to have an overall better mentality about it. We have progressed a lot as an offensive line and we have a lot of young guys — we have six freshmen — and we’re just trying to get us ready to be the next offensive line to take over.”
What’s it like having your sister on campus too?
“Elizabeth and I are best friends. She’s only a year and a half older than me and we’re pretty much twins. She went to the Easter egg hunt with us yesterday.”
How’d she do in the Easter egg hunt?
“She did well. I think she found the most eggs. She found the most eggs, but I found the golden egg. So it worked out.”
Was there a sibling rivalry in the hunt?
“We’re really competitive people. I’m just really lucky to have my sister here at school with me.”
What do you look to accomplish in the spring game?
“I’m looking to just show the coaches that I’m ready to be an impact player this year and someone that can step up and be ready to go whenever they need me.”
Did you ever have a “welcome to college football” moment?
“I guess probably the first day of fall camp (last year). We get here and we don’t know the offense and (the coaches) just say, ‘Ok, go,’ and we’re like, ‘What?’ and they’re like, ‘Yeah, just go.’ I’d say all of fall camp was very eye-opening and a huge, huge learning curve. I’ve come a long way, but I’ve got a long way to go. I’m just trying to learn everything I can from Hroniss (Grasu). He’s such a good mentor.”
Is Hroniss your mentor?
“He’s the leader of the offensive line, especially for me as a younger center. He really works a lot with me.”
Did you do shotgun snaps in high school?
“I snapped maybe three shotgun snaps a game in high school. We were a very power-I team. I didn’t have much of a problem with it. I picked it up quick within the first or second day of fall camp. It’s just different. It’s weird not having a quarterback up under you. It’s different.”
Follow Joseph Hoyt on Twitter @jhoyt42