Freshman defensive back Rodrick Pleasant (16) competes in football and track and field (Jevone Moore/L.A. Sentinel)

The bright lights of the last Pac-12 Championship game between the No. 5 Oregon Ducks vs the No. 3 Washington Huskies in Las Vegas was the one of many big stages that true freshman Rodrick Pleasant has been on.

Choosing to play for Oregon has been a great move that has allowed this dual sport athlete opportunities to showcase his talent on the football field now and track stadium in the Spring.

Warming up before the Pac-12 Championship you could see a calm collective amped up freshman comfortable with the magnitude of this game. The Ducks were looking to avenge their regular season defeat to the Huskies which came down to just a field goal. Ironically, this championship game was also decided by a field goal, resulting in their second defeat.

Pleasant played in six games for the Ducks this season (Jevone Moore/L.A. Sentinel)

Pleasant being a defensive back competing with All-Americans, he found his way on the field by playing special teams being a gunner on the punt team. On the fourth down, in comes the speedster Pleasant to fly down the field and stop any chance for the opposing team to have a big return.

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Some players have character and speed built in their DNA and Pleasant is one of them based on listening to his defensive coach at Serra High School Marvin Pollard, “Rod has God-given speed, that sets him apart.”

On the track, Pleasant broke the California state record in the 100 meters with a time of 10.14, taking home first-place at the CIF Southern Section Masters Meet. He also set a career-best time of 20.40 in the 200 meters on the same day to finish in first at the Masters Meet. At the end of his Senior year, he was named the USA Today High School Sports Awards Male Track & Field Athlete of the Year.

Pleasant broke the California State record in the 100m (Jevone Moore/L.A. Sentinel)

Now check back in the spring to see what he does at the historical Hayward Field.

Next, Pleasant and his Ducks teammates will be playing on New Years Day 2024 the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl vs Liberty University. One more chance to be in the bright lights on the gridiron. His current defensive back coach Demetrice “Coach Meat” Martin who has coached up plenty of college ball players to Pros will have a few more weeks to mold Pleasant before track season.

When asked what is one of Pleasant’s main assets, coach Pollard said, “Coachable”. He said coming in as high school transfer, he took on being a leader as underclassman while being coachable, setting the example. Now we see him following that same role in college finding a way off the field and making contributions.

You can follow Roderick Pleasant in real life on Instagram @never.pleasant