There are few honors greater than being named a team captain.
A team captain is entrusted by the coaching staff to be the leader that the coaching staff can’t be; the leader outside of practice, the leader in the locker room, the leader who motivates and leads the team when needed.
As we get closer and closer to spring practices, you can expect the Oregon coaching staff to name team captains in the near future.
Predicting who will be Oregon’s team captains this season is a bit tricky, because to make the list doesn’t always mean you’re the best player on the team.
In 2010, Bryson Littlejohn, an extremely hard worker in practice, rarely saw the field in situations outside of special teams, yet he was still named a team captain.
Hart rarely let’s his mouth do the talking, instead letting his play on the field prove why he deserves to be a captain in 2013.
Hart will be a senior in 2013, as well as one of Oregon’s top defensive linemen.
Being an Oregonian, Hart as well has an undying loyalty to the Ducks as the hometown kid.
Huff is one of those guys that I’m going to put on this list because he’s the best senior offensive player on the Ducks’ roster.
There was a two-game stretch last season against USC and Cal where Huff came right out of the gates with three touchdowns in each game.
Having those kind of performances on the road, one against a marquee opponent and the other coming while the Ducks were struggling with injuries, shows me, and most likely the Oregon coaching staff that Huff is a guy they can rely on.
Unfortunately for Huff, he still has a DUI hanging over his head from last season. It’s not an offense on the level of Jeremiah Masoli, but the DUI definitely won’t help Huff’s chances at being named a captain.
Having to step into the shoes of an injured All-American is no easy task, yet somehow Patterson managed to do that in 2012, until an ACL injury against Cal ended his season prematurely.
Patterson should be fully recovered from his ACL injury by late July, meaning that he would miss most of spring practices.
Missing spring will hurt his chances of being named a team captain, but if Patterson can still show his leadership ability to the coaching staff, it could happen.
Mariota is the only underclassmen I’m putting on this list.
Not many redshirt freshmen have what it takes to unseat a veteran as the starting quarterback, and then lead their team to a one-loss season and a BCS bowl win.
Mariota did however.
All season long you could see the cool-headed Hawaiian show poise and leadership. That Oregon locker room in 2012 was Mariota’s.
It could officially be his in 2013.