The Oregon Ducks and Their Outstanding Running Backs

Parker ForteContributor IJanuary 28, 2010

The University of Oregon rarely has to undergo a season without an outstanding running back, and this season will not be any different.

Don’t pretend that you haven’t heard of Jeremiah Johnson, running back for the Houston Texans, or Jonathan Stewart, running back for the Carolina Panthers. Two outstanding running backs that have come out of Oregon in the last two years.

After last season, Oregon is losing two senior running backs, LaGarrette Blount and Andre Crenshaw. Although Blount is the only noticeable NFL candidate of the two, Oregon still has a high-profile running back entering the draft for the third year in a row.

But for the next few years, Oregon most likely will not have a high-profile running back enter the NFL draft. But, the Ducks will be losing a lot of receiving talent and two excellent quarterbacks, Jeremiah Masoli and Nate Costa, which have a great chance of being successful in the NFL. Although, the Ducks will still have a great running back corp, even without a high-profile senior next season.

Oregon has two stud running backs that will be sophomores in the 2010-2011 season, LaMichael James and Kenjon Barner. LaMichael currently holds the record for most rushing yards in a single season by a freshman in the Pac-10.

He had to put the Oregon rushing game on his back after the “punch heard around the world,” and he did quite well. But Kenjon Barner helped James out tremendously being his back up and a play-making kick returner last season. I am assuming both James and Barner will stay for their senior season, after they graduate, then Oregon’s high-profile running backs will return to the NFL.

LaMichael James and Kenjon Barner are not the only running power the Ducks have. Assuming the following recruits do not de-commit from Oregon, the Ducks are well stacked for the next few years. five-star running back, Lache Seastrunk, is the newest addition to Oregon’s outstanding recruiting class. Seastrunk has a sure future ahead in the Oregon program. He will greatly fit in with the Ducks' style of play and execute it to his fullest.

Dontae Williams,'s four-star running back, is a solid verbal commit for the Ducks. He will make a prime backup for Lache in the future. Hopefully Williams will redshirt next season, allowing the Ducks to get him used to the system. He has a future at Oregon; we will just have to let it play out.

The final running back Oregon has received a verbal from in the offseason is's four-star athlete Keanon Lowe out of Jesuit High School in Oregon. Lowe has the ability to do great things on the field on both sides of the ball. But, he was recruited as a wide receiver, but most likely he will also play some half back for the Ducks. Lowe is a prime subject to become a redshirt freshman.

Just because the Ducks will be lacking high-profile running backs heading to the next level, do not think that Oregon does not have any good running backs. Oregon has speedy, young, talented running backs and will dominate the rushing game.

We are not quite sure on how things will work out. Will Lowe and Williams become redshirt freshmen? We will have to let it play out and see what happens.

There is no doubt that next season will be full of excitement and surprises. It shall be a great college football season.

Good luck to all.