Oregon Football: Why Thomas Tyner Will Play a Big Role as a Freshman

Shannon HartleyContributor IIIDecember 10, 2012

Oregon Football: Why Thomas Tyner Will Play a Big Role as a Freshman

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    There is no doubt that the Oregon Ducks have enough offensive talent to field two offensively great teams. With the addition of Thomas Tyner, Oregon's talent only grows more explosive.

    The question with Tyner has to do with how the Ducks are going to use his talent to complement the rest of Oregon's explosive offense during the 2013-2014 season.

    With Kenjon Barner leaving for the NFL, Oregon has a void that needs to be filled at halfback.

    Tyner needs to step up in his freshman year and play a part in filling that void. 

    Here is how Tyner's role will impact the Oregon offense.

Helping with the Workload

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    It's going to be fun watching the Oregon backfield next year. With their workhorse Barner leaving, it is hard to know who will carry the load for the Ducks' rushing attack. 

    Many people are led to believe that De'Anthony Thomas will become the main contributor in the Oregon backfield, but that just isn't true. 

    Although Thomas is electrifying in the backfield, his build keeps him from carrying the ball consistently. Thomas and Oregon recruit Dontre Wilson will surely carry the ball throughout the season, but neither will be an every-down back.

    The two running backs who will be taking on the brunt of the tackles next season will be Thomas Tyner and sophomore Byron Marshall. 

    Earlier in the season I expect that Marshall will be the featured back due to his experience with the system, but as the season rolls on, expect Tyner to fill in for Marshall. 

    It will be important for Oregon to keep its backfield fresh with the mixture of small-bodied runners and young talent lining up in the backfield.

    Tyner will do his part and contribute greatly when he is called on.

Big-Play Potential

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    Each athlete that Oregon has carry the ball possesses the potential to break a big one and go for six.

    There is no doubt in my mind that Thomas Tyner will be the most potent athlete Oregon will put on the field next year. 

    Yes, even more potent than the "Black Mamba."

    Tyner possesses not only 4.30 speed, but also the size and strength to punish defenders who get in his way. I would say a mixture between LaMichael James and LeGarrette Blount suffices.

    Cool visual, right?

    Tyner is perfect for this offense and will have a heyday in his freshman season.

Keep the Oregon Rushing Attack Strong

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    Since Chip Kelly implemented his offense at Oregon, the Ducks have consistently been ranked among the best rushing teams in the nation. 

    If the Ducks want to keep their exceptional rushing game going, they need Tyner on the field.

    I don't think Marshall and Tyner will have a problem amassing a ridiculous amount of yards with the Oregon offense, but here is what I do think.

    With Tyner, Oregon could consistently come in as the nation's leading rushing offense throughout his career at Oregon.

Opening Up the Field for Others to Score

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    One thing I want to know is how opposing defenses plan on stopping the Oregon offense next year.

    With Tyner and Dontre Wilson coming in as freshmen, it makes Oregon's offense nearly unstoppable. Imagine trying to stop Marcus Mariota, two explosive players in De'Anthony and Wilson and then Tyner.

    Not fun from a defensive coordinator's point of view.

    One of Tyner's biggest roles will be drawing attention off De'Anthony and Wilson so Mariota can get them the ball in space where they can use their speed and elusiveness to reach the end zone.

    Chip Kelly has no problem letting freshmen play if they are willing to compete. Thomas Tyner is a competitor and will play a vital role for Oregon next season.