Oregon Ducks Football: Reviewing the 2011 Two-Deep Coming into the Spring Game
This Saturday, the Ducks will take the field in their annual spring game. For the second straight year, the Ducks will be honoring the troops and playing on ESPN2. For those who tune into the game, you will see many familiar faces but also some rising stars in the Oregon football program.
With the Ducks being split up into two squads, here is a closer look at the Oregon two deep at every position.
Overall the Ducks have great top end talent at this position, but should something happen to second-year starter Darron Thomas, this could get really interesting really fast for the Ducks.
This is the deepest position for the Ducks. The benefit to being deep at running back is due to Chip Kelly's offense. Most of the players on the three or even four deep will receive opportunities to step on the field and make plays.
Look for LaMichael James to make another Heisman trophy run.
Josh Huff, Lavasier Tuinei
Justin Hoffman, Keanon Lowe
While the Ducks may have lost a couple of great wideouts in D.J. Davis and Jeff Maehl, the tank is not empty on talent. The Ducks appear to have dodged a spring practice injury to Josh Huff, who appears to be making a speedy recovery.
The Ducks will look for Huff and Tuinei to step up their game and get some help from some of the incoming JUCO players.
Another position of extreme depth is tight end. While the Ducks may lack great depth at receiver, tight end could be a position that will help the passing game. Both David Paulson and Brandon Williams have the ability to stretch a defensive vertically, while also being tremendous blockers in the running game.
Nick Cody, Mark Asper, Ryan Clanton, Carson York, Darrion Weems
Everett Benyard, Ramsen Golpashin, Karrington Armstrong, Mana Greig, Jamaal Burrell
If the Ducks can find the right combination on the front five, this Ducks team will continue to be as explosive as ever. After losing three starters from last year, the Ducks will turn to players who were backups last year but also realize that some of these players did see game action last year.
Terrell Turner, Taylor Hart, Ricky Heimuli, Dion Jordan
Anthony Anderson, Isaac Remington, Wade Keliikipi, Brandon Hanna
One thing that everyone was been saying after each and every spring practice for the Ducks is the overall depth and speed is at a new level this year. The Ducks will need that to stay true on the defensive line as they replace Brandon Bair and Kenny Rowe.
Keep your eyes on Ricky Heimuli to step in and turn this defensive line into a strength.
Michael Clay, Kiko Alonso, Josh Kaddu
Blake Thompson, Dewitt Stuckey, Boseko Lokombo
Another benefit the Oregon defense will have from last year is the constant rotation in and out of players regardless of being defined as a starter or not. The Ducks will miss the leadership of Casey Matthews in the middle but will rely on the young talent they were able to rotate in throughout the 2010 season.
Cliff Harris, Anthony Gildon
Terrance Mitchell, Troy Hill
The secondary will be the true strength of this defense. Oregon may be home to the biggest dual threat corner in the nation with Cliff Harris. Harris will have the ability to shut half the field down and allow the Oregon secondary to rotate support over to the other side of the field.
John Boyett, Eddie Pleasant
Brian Jackson, Erick Dargan
To go along with the corners, Oregon returns both starters at the safety spots. Both John Boyett and Eddie Pleasant will continue to be ball hawks in the secondary and allow the team to develop Brian Jackson and Marcus Davis.
Rob Beard, Jackson Rice
Eric Solis, Alejandro Maldonado
The Ducks should remain strong in the kicking game as well. Both Rob Beard returns for placekicking duties and Jackson Rice will be back to take care of punting. Last year, the Ducks often had a advantage in special teams and that should extend into the 2011 season.