In 2013, the Oregon Ducks' high-octane spread offense will welcome star recruit Thomas Tyner into the fold. Despite the departure of Heisman hopeful Kenjon Barner, the Ducks will be fine, because Tyner will step in and make an instant impact at the collegiate level.
Whether Chip Kelly bolts for the NFL or not, Oregon should be fine in the backfield thanks to the Aloha High School (Beaverton, Ore.) standout. At 6'0" and 207 pounds, Tyner's thick frame can absorb punishment and he is only going to get stronger in college.
But what's most impressive about Tyner's physical characteristics is the fact that he posted a 4.30 time in the 40-yard dash. That is the sort of speed that Kelly loves to have in his up-tempo and run-heavy offense.
This combination of size and speed has Tyner ranked as a 4-star recruit on 247Sports.com, but he is beginning to garner the distinguished label of a 5-star player by several other outlets, including Scout.com.
As Bleacher Report's own scouting report indicates, there is some worry about the level of competition in Oregon, which isn't known as a powerhouse production line of top-tier college football talent.
One particularly ridiculous game from Tyner's career, though, would seem to dispel any of those concerns. It occurred in September, when he ran for 644 yards and 10 touchdowns on 38 carries in an 84-63 victory (h/t ESPN).
That was one game, mind you.
It's not that Tyner is going to do something like that in Eugene, but it is indicative of the massive potential he possesses.
Tyner finished his senior season with 3,415 rushing yards and a whopping 45 touchdowns.
Will Oregon contend for a national title in 2013?
I remember watching Ted Ginn Jr. at Ohio State, and when he ran, it was as if he were on a moving airport walkway; defenders lagged behind him on the turf. That's what it looks like when Tyner's game tape is on. Granted, that's what a lot of big-time recruits look like in high school, but this was a particularly jaw-dropping speed on display.
Byron Marshall will be a sophomore and has shown flashes of promise this season, running for 445 yards and four touchdowns on 5.2 yards per carry.
However, Tyner is too explosive not to see the field immediately, and he should emerge as the featured back once he gets the offense down. That should happen either prior to or early on in the 2013 campaign.
Combine that with the likely improvement of dual-threat QB Marcus Mariota, who will only be a sophomore, and the Ducks' offensive personnel should allow the unit to continue soaring regardless of the circumstances next season.
There is too much speed at too fast of a pace for defenses to keep up, and Mariota and Tyner are the prototypes who can take this Oregon offense to unforeseen heights the second they're on the field together.