As everyone knows, the 2010 off-season for Duck fans has been full of turmoil, hope, and public scrutiny. Who cares? The season is less then two months away, full of talent, experience, and entertainment.
The core of this team has been determined, but questions still surround the quarterback, receiving, defensive line, and secondary units entering the season. Here's a look at 10 players primed to step into the spotlight, become steady role players, or provide contributions larger than their statistics.
A four star recruit out of Colorado in 2007, the Duck career of Davis has been plagued with injuries, and position competition. At 6'1", 205 pounds, look for him to become the consistent second target of Darron Thomas and Nathan Costa.
Davis has become a great possession receiver with trustworthy hands, and enough speed to separate himself from defensive backs and linebackers. In three years at Oregon, he has caught 31 passes for 353 yards, three touchdowns, and an average of 11.4 yards per carry.
A natural choice given that Costa has been waiting for this opportunity since arriving in Eugene. More than a feel good story, the 6'1", 210 pound quarterback provides leadership through his perseverance, determination, and extensive knowledge of the Oregon offense.
The amount of playing time Costa receives in 2010 is still in question, but it is safe to say he will play a big role in the progression and mentality of Darron Thomas, and the rest of the explosive Duck offense. Costa was unspectacular yet efficient in a key victory at UCLA during the 2009 season.
Many Oregon fans believe junior college transfer Brandon Williams is the next big Oregon tight end. Behind Ed Dickson, Paulson was a very reliable second target in 2009.
The Washington native is primed for a big year, and will look continue the Oregon tradition at the tight end position. In 2009, he caught 12 passes for 185 yards, and a 15.2 yard reception average.
A highly recruited prep cornerback from Oaks Christian (CA), it is time for Gildon to show the Pac-10 his talent. The 6'1", 178 pound Gildon appeared in eight games in 2009, including extensive time against UCLA and Ohio State.
Oregon is loaded at cornerback and the junior will be fighting against Cliff Harris, Dior Mathis, and Troy Hill among others for the starting spot opposite Talmadge Jackson III. If Gildon can't separate himself this year, it may never happen.
A prep linebacker, Turner spent his first season in Eugene on the scout team. At 6'3", 265 pounds, he provides more bulk at the end position then reserve Dion Jordan. In 2009, he recorded 21 tackles and three sacks.
The amount of production from the defensive end position opposite Kenny Rowe will be essential in keeping opponents in check and freeing up the outside linebackers.
With an abundance of talent stock piled at tight end, Jordan was moved to defensive end during spring practices. The 6'7", 230 pound Arizona native has the hands, speed, and agility to cause extreme damage opposite Kenny Rowe.
Rowe turned in a great year in 2009, which should open an opportunity for Jordan, and Terrell Turner to have great seasons.
After a seamless transition to safety from outside linebacker, the 5'11", 208 pound Pleasant will be counted on to replace the fearless T.J. Ward. The California native was no stranger to the field in 2009, as he recorded 54 tackles and 4.5 sacks.
With John Boyett, Talmadge Jackson III, Anthony Gildon, Cliff Harris, and Pleasant, this secondary could prove to be one of the best in the conference. Pleasant and Jackson will be counted on for leadership in the development of this group.
As stated before, look for Harris and Anthony Gildon to battle it out for the teams second cornerback position. Depending on the success of Barner, the 5'11" athlete is a viable option in returning kicks and punts for the Ducks.
As a true freshman, the highly recruited California prep played bigger then his size in games against UCLA and Washington. Playing in only seven games in 2009, he still managed to lead the team in passes broken up.
At 5'11" and 220 pounds, the physique of Clay reminds many Duck fans of former linebacker Kevin Mitchell. A 2009 three-star prep from San Jose, he was one of the very few true freshman to see playing time last season. The undersized athlete provided a great presence throughout the season including the Rose Bowl against Ohio State.
In 2010, he will see limited time behind a veteran linebacking corp, but the significance of his play as the teams long snapper can't be understated. As Duck fans know, strong special teams plays can make or break your season in a single moment.
Not considered an unknown, Barner did spend the majority of the 2009 season in the shadow of LaMichael James. As a freshman, he racked up 1,553 all-purpose yards, ranking him ninth in school history.
Once again in 2010, Barner will be handling the punt and kick return duties as well as providing a spark in the backfield with James, and Lache Seastrunk.