Oregon Ducks Football: HalfBack Depth Chart After Lache Seastrunk's Departure

Alex ShoemakerAnalyst IIAugust 24, 2011

Oregon Ducks Football: HalfBack Depth Chart After Lache Seastrunk's Departure

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    News already has come out that Lache Seastrunk has put in the paperwork to enroll at the University of Baylor.

    Seastrunk left for a multitude of reasons, but it has to be in large part due to his placement on the depth chart.

    Seastrunk did not end up third behind Oregon's dynamic tandem. He was also not fourth. Seastrunk dropped all the way to fifth.

    Here’s how Oregon shakes out at the running back position.

7. Kenny Bassett

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    After redshirting in 2010, Bassett comes into this season last on the depth chart chart.

    Bassett is one of the strongest running backs on the Oregon roster—he can bench 295 pounds—and can use his next few seasons riding the bench to learn from a stable of great running backs.

    If Bassett keeps with the Ducks and decides not to transfer he could be used as a power back later in his career.

    In all reality, he has very little chance of seeing the field this year.

6. Anthony Blake

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    Ducks fans got their first good look at Blake in the 2011 Spring Game.

    Blake led all players in total carries and he stuck out as one of the better players that day.

    Blake is in an interesting position where he can easily climb a spot or two on the depth chart.

    Spots four through six are up for grabs and each guy is pretty interchangeable.

5. Tra Carson

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    Hailing from Texarkana, Tex., the home of LaMichael James, Tra Carson is one of the bigger running backs on the Ducks’ roster.

    It’s pretty well known that the Ducks have speed all over the place, but Carson gives them a bruising back they may need on third-and-short or goal-line situations.

    Carson might not get a lot of playing time in 2011 (in fact I predict he will redshirt) so he will be a guy to watch in the future.

4. Ayele Forde

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    Forde didn’t have nearly the hype coming into college as former Duck Lache Seastrunk, but it was Forde who was higher on the depth chart before Seastrunk’s transfer.

    Forde led the green team in rushing during the 2011 Spring Game with 14 carries for 46 yards.

    Forde has a unique combination of speed (3.04 seconds in the fly 30) and power (295 pounds on the bench press).

    Forde probably won’t move up on the depth chart, but I don’t see him having a huge chance of dropping either.

3. De’Anthony Thomas

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    De’Anthony (The Black Mamba) Thomas is the highest rated recruit since Jonathan Stewart signed with the Ducks in 2005.

    It was assumed that Thomas was going to sign with USC, he was committed for multiple months, and it came as one of the biggest moves on 2011 signing day.

    Thomas has been absolutely electric in practices and I expect him to forgo a redshirt season and get on the playing field immediately.

    Thomas can play a multitude of positions from cornerback to receiver to running back. Wherever he sticks, he’ll be a dangerous weapon.

2. Kenjon Barner

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    I honestly believe that Barner would be a top-five running back in the nation if he started on another team.

    Besides maybe Chris Polk of Washington, Kenjon Barner is the second or third-best running back in the Pac-12.

    The Ducks are able to rotate players in because of their depth, much like USC of the past decade.

    Expect Barner to continue to see the field at a multitude of positions. Running back, punt and kickoff return, slot receiver and even Chip Kelly’s unique “tazer” position.

    Barner will have his best year yet in 2011 splitting carries with the next guy on this list.

1. LaMichael James

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    James was a unanimous All-American last year and came close to being Oregon’s first ever Heisman Trophy winner.

    Many expect James to continue his success in 2011 and again compete for the Heisman along with possibly finishing the job and winning the trophy.

    I, however, don’t see James winning the award or even being a finalist for one big reason. The Ducks are too loaded at running back.

    The Ducks go three, maybe four guys deep and will rotate fresh bodies in.

    Oregon will again use the “running back by committee” approach and this will be the strongest backfield in the nation.