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Oregon Ducks Football: Best Special Teams Players of All Time

Alex ShoemakerAnalyst IIAugust 14, 2011

Oregon Ducks Football: Best Special Teams Players of All Time

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    This is the final chapter ranking Oregon's best at each position.

    Because this list includes return men as well as kickers and punters, this list will be the longest so far.

    Note: Rankings are based off of statistical performance with the Ducks, as well as leadership ability and performance in professional football. Feel free to comment below if you agree or disagree with any of these choice.

    For quarterbacks: click here

    For running backs: click here

    For receivers: click here

    For offensive linemen: click here

    For defensive linemen: click here

    For linebackers: click here

    For defensive backs: click here

Honorable Mentions

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    Len Isberg: His average of 42.8 yards per punt is second all-time. He, however, only played one season (1940) with the Ducks.

    Nathan Villegas: Oregon’s career leader in field goal percentage (.825) on 33-40 career attempts.

    Chris Oldham: Oldham is fourth all-time in career kickoff return yardage and average yards per return in school history.

    Kurtis Doerr: Doerr only played two seasons, but he has the fifth highest career punting average in Ducks history.

    Paul Martinez: Martinez is fifth all-time in career field goals and sixth in field goal percentage.

15. Kenjon Barner

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    As a freshman, Barner set the school record in kick return yardage in a single season.

    He also was the team’s starting punt returner for the 2010 season, but a freak injury against Washington State sidelined him for several games and took him off of special teams duties.

    With a healthy two years ahead, Barner could easily make it into the top-10 or even top-5.

    Barner is one hell of a returner.

14. Tommy Thompson

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    Thompson is third all-time in career field goals and ninth in field goal percentage.

    Thompson is one of Oregon’s finest kickers off all time, and he may one day be enshrined in Oregon’s HOF.

    Enjoy the old footage.

13. Cliff Hicks

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    Cliff Hicks is arguably the best punt returner in Ducks history.

    In three seasons with Oregon, Hicks has the third highest average per punt return (14.7).

    With only playing three seasons with the Ducks, it’s hard to put him higher than 15.

12. Terry Obee

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    Obee was a great receiver for the Ducks but an even better returner.

    Playing all four seasons with the Ducks, Obee ranks second all-time in career punt return yardage with 1,182 yards.

    Here's Obee showing his versatility.

11. Pat Johnson

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    Another great receiver, Johnson was electric with the football in his hands.

    Johnson is fifth all-time in career kickoff return average (27.4) and eleventh in total kickoff return yardage (1,095).

    Enjoy the highlights.

10. Mel Renfro

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    If you’ve followed the other Oregon positions, you’ll notice Mel Renfro’s name a lot.

    Whether it be at offense, defense, or in the return game, Renfro was a do-it-all football player.

    Easily a hall of fame caliber player.

    At any position really.

9. Steve Brown

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    Not a lot of fans remember Steve Brown.

    He just so happens to be the leader in kickoff return yardage with 1,868 yards over four seasons with the Ducks.

    His average of 23.9 yards per return isn’t good enough to get him into the top-10 in that category, or else he would be in the top-5 in all-time Oregon special team players.

8. Cliff Harris

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    Yes, “the” Cliff Harris.

    While Harris’ off-the-field issues have clouded his image, there’s no mistaking the kind of returner he is.

    After winning the “Punt Returner of the Year” award as a sophomore, good junior and senior seasons will likely place Harris among Oregon’s elite.

7. Gregg McCallum

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    McCallum is second in all-time career field goals, fifth all-time in field goal percentage and third all-time in scoring.

    McCallum is arguably Oregon’s second or third best kicker of all time.

6. Jonathon Stewart

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    For those of you who don’t remember or weren’t there to witness the magic, 5-star recruit Jonathon Stewart’s first play as a Duck was a kickoff return for a touchdown in front 59,000-plus screaming fans at Autzen Stadium.

    Stewart is one of Oregon’s best recruits ever, and probably the best kick returner ever.

    Stewart is now a running back and return man for the Carolina Panthers.

5. Woodley Lewis

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    Lewis holds the record for longest kickoff return (102) and was absolutely exciting to behold.

    It just so happens that Lewis also holds another Ducks record, the longest punt return (92) that same season.

    In 16 punt returns for his career, Lewis is first all-time in average yards per punt return (34.1) for a career.

4. Keenan Howry

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    Howry is known as one of Oregon’s most dangerous receiving threats, but he’s also known for one very “special” special teams play.

    In the 2001 Civil War, the Ducks were in a tough battle with rival Oregon State for the conference title when Howry essentially sealed a Ducks victory with a much-needed touchdown.

3. Mike Preacher

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    When statistically you’re the best punter in Oregon history, you’re going to be very high on this list.

    In three seasons with the Ducks, Preacher is the career leader in punt yardage at 42.9 yards per punt.

2. Josh Bidwell

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    A lot of what gets Bidwell a spot so high on this list is his performance in the NFL.

    He’s been one of the top punters in the entire league for what seems like forever, and he stays close to his college roots.

    Bidwell comes back to Eugene often and is still very much a part of the community.

1. Jared Siegel

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    Anyone who considers his or herself a Ducks fan should know that Siegel was going to be No. 1.

    Take this into consideration. All four years with the Ducks, Siegel was the teams scoring leader. Siegel holds numerous single-season records as well as Oregon’s career scoring leader, field goals made and attempted as well as sixth all-time in field goal percentage.

    Siegel is the best special teams player in Oregon history.

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