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State of Duck Position Groups...Continuing Series

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Erik Skopil is writing a series of articles regarding the Ducks various position groups. Those articles in that series will be posted here.  His first article is below.

 

 

The state of Oregon's QB room as the 2023 roster remains in flux

 

There isn't a lot to say here. Nix didn't return to Oregon for 2023 to sit on the pine, and no one can argue with a straight face that he should.

 

This does feel like a massive offseason and fall for Thompson though. A third full year of college should be enough for the borderline five-star recruit to exhibit some of the promise that made him one.

 

Austin Novosad is already enrolled and on campus for the start of the spring quarter. The jump start to the collegiate process allows him to take part in spring football where he'll compete with Thompson to be the team's No. 2 QB. 

 

247SPORTS.COM

The state of Oregon's QB room right now as the 2023 roster remains in flux

 

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The state of Oregon's RB room right now as the 2023 roster remains in flux

 

The Ducks are set to bring back one of the most explosive backfields in the nation in 2023 led by soon-to-be junior Bucky Irving.

Noah Whittington, a more than capable second runner this past season, will also be back to provide the backfield with even more firepower.

The team's short yardage and goal line runner, Jordan James, is also set to return.

 

The Ducks had to hold off numerous SEC programs to earn the signature of Mississippi native Dante Dowdell, and were able to flip Jayden Limar from Notre Dame on signing day. Keeping Dowdell in the fold was a major boon for Locklyn, and he arrives in Eugene as the school's highest-rated running back since Dollars signed in 2019.

 

Both Limar and Dowdell have already enrolled at Oregon, and according to an interview given by Limar at the Polynesian Bowl on Monday, will be roommates to start their careers. With both players on campus, the Ducks will have five scholarship running backs for spring football.

 

247SPORTS.COM

The state of Oregon's RB room right now as the 2023 roster remains in flux

 

 

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How Ducks' safety room looks with Evan Williams transfer, return of Jamal Hill, Steve Stephens IV

 

One of the bigger question marks on the Oregon Ducks’ roster going into the 2023 offseason was on the defense, particularly when it came to the secondary. On Tuesday afternoon, we got a much clearer look at what the safety position will look like going into the fall.

 

The Oregonian’s James Crepea reported just after noon yesterday that both Jamal Hill and Steve Stephens would be returning for another year in Eugene. This will be Hill’s fifth season with the Ducks, and Stephens’ sixth.

 

Here’s where the depth of the Ducks’ safety position currently stands...

 

DUCKSWIRE.USATODAY.COM

With Jamal Hill and Steve Stephens coming back in 2023, plus Evan Williams’ transfer, how does the depth at Oregon’s safety...

 

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The state of Oregon's TE room right now as the 2023 roster remains in flux

 

There's been more turnover at this position this offseason than there are players set to return. Terrance Ferguson and Patrick Herbert will be on the roster again in 2023, but Cam McCormick, Moliki Matavao and Terrell Tilmon have each hit the portal and landed at new schools.

 

Four-star Kenyon Sadiq emerged as one of the nation's fastest rising prospects this offseason, and the Ducks pounced and pulled a stunner when they landed his commitment unexpectedly in August. At 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, Sadiq is an explosive athlete, who has also excelled on the track.

 

The Ducks remain players for five-star athlete Nyckyoles Harbor, who could play wide receiver or tight end in college, and could also seek an addition through the portal too.

 

247SPORTS.COM

The state of Oregon's TE room right now as the 2023 roster remains in flux

 

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The state of Oregon's OL room right now as the 2023 roster remains in flux

 

The collection of linemen protecting Bo Nix in 2023 will look a lot different than the one

that allowed a school-record five sacks this past season.

 

See the attached article for all that is new with this group...

 

247SPORTS.COM

The state of Oregon's OL room right now as the 2023 roster remains in flux

 

 

 

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OL is probably the group that will have the most inconsistency the first half of the season while the new starters settle into their roles and develop chemistry.

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The state of Oregon's DL room right now as the 2023 roster remains in flux

 

Nearly every player who could've returned in 2023 has chosen do so. Starters Brandon Dorlus and Casey Rogers, key reserves Taki Taimani, Keyon Ware-Hudson, Treven Ma'ae and Mase Funa. Popo Aumavae has also received a waiver from the NCAA to return, providing the Ducks with even more experience up front.

 

The Ducks have a handful of other players back as well. Jake Shipley played sparingly as a sophomore, while Sua'va Poti and Maceal Afaese missed the entire season with injury. Freshmen Ben Roberts, Sir Mells, Anthony Jones and Emar'rion Winston return after redshirting in 2022.

 

The lone portal addition comes in the form of former five-star Jordan Burch of South Carolina. Add to this 10 new recruits from the class of 2023, five-star Matayo Uiagalelei, four-stars Johnny Bowens, A'Mauri Washington, Ashton Porter, Terrance Green and Blake Purchase, with three-star signees My'Keil Gardner, Teitum Tuioti, Tevita Pome'e and Jaedon Moore.

 

This is a loaded position group...

 

247SPORTS.COM

The state of Oregon's DL room right now as the 2023 roster remains in flux

 

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On 1/23/2023 at 1:30 PM, Pennsylvania Duck said:

This is a loaded position group...

Never, has it been this loaded.  I thank the coaches for creating depth never seen at Oregon before on the defensive line...

 

Taki by J3P.jpg

Mr. FishDuck

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The state of Oregon's LB room following the portal window's closing

 

Jeffrey Bassa will return after finishing second on the team in tackles (62) and fifth in defensive snaps (647). Keith Brown started beside Bassa in the Holiday Bowl and will be back to push for a full-time starting role. The only other returning players are redshirt freshmen Devon Jackson and Harrison Taggart.

 

Oregon has added two transfer portal linebackers and one prep linebacker so far this offseason. Iowa transfer Jestin Jacobs and Arizona State's Connor Soelle will be counted on to compete for starting spots. Jerry Mixon, a three-star linebacker from San Francisco, will join the team from the prep ranks.

 

The spring outlook could have both starting spots be open for business this spring...

 

247SPORTS.COM

The state of Oregon's LB room following the portal window's closing

 

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The state of Oregon's CB room following the portal window's closing

 

Christian Gonzalez acts as the only corner to leave the program since the season's conclusion. The other six scholarship corners all remain on the roster.

 

Trikweze Bridges started opposite of Gonzalez all season. Dontae Manning notably started the Holiday Bowl. Jahlil Florence pushed Manning for reps all season, and will look to do so again. Also back are Darren Barkins, Avante Dickerson and Jalil Tucker. None of those three played regularly with Barkins' 29 snaps tops among them.

 

Alabama transfer Khyree Jackson is the lone portal addition and will push for a starting spot right away.

 

The Ducks also signed four high school corners in December. Daylen Austin, a top 150 recruit, is the group's headliner after flipping from LSU. He is joined by fellow four-star Cole Martin, Demetrice Martin's son, along with three-star prospects Solomon Davis and Collin Gill. Davis and Gill both have the positional versatility to play other positions on defense. Austin, Davis and Gill have yet to enroll.

 

247SPORTS.COM

The state of Oregon's CB room following the portal window's closing

 

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The state of Oregon's safety room following the portal window's closing

 

The trio of Jamal Hill, Steve Stephens IV and Bryan Addison have each elected to use the NCAA's COVID-19 exemption to remain with the program in 2023.  Reserves JJ Greenfield (a walk-on), Daymon David and Khamari Terrell each played sparingly last season, and remain on the roster with spring approaching, while Trejon Williams is back after redshirting last season.

 

The Ducks have added two talented players from the transfer portal to shore up any holes in the secondary. Ole Miss transfer Tysheem Johnson committed on Wednesday, and appears to be a great fit to replace Williams at nickel, while Evan Williams, Williams' younger brother, has also joined the team after starring at Fresno State the past two seasons. Both players are expected to compete for starting spots this fall.

 

Oregon signed four-star safety prospects Tyler Turner and Kodi Decambra in December. Turner has already enrolled in class. While both players have intriguing upside, redshirt years could be in store for both with all the veteran experience on the roster.

 

247SPORTS.COM

The state of Oregon's safety room following the portal window's closing

 

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The state of Oregon's special teams following the portal window's closing

 

 Camden Lewis will have a new combination of players snapping and holding the ball for him in 2023. After a rocky start to his career, Lewis has emerged as one of the nation's most accurate kickers.

 

 Andrew Boyle, the second scholarship returner, handled kickoffs for most of 2022 and will be back to resume that responsibility if called upon. Also back are a pair of walk-on punters in Alex Bales and Ross James. Walk-on Luke Basso acted as Karsten Battles' backup long snapper a season ago, and could be in line to take over during his redshirt sophomore season in 2023.

 

Aussie punter Luke Dunne is the only scholarship addition, and will immediately enter the punting competition. The school also confirmed that place kicker Grant Meadors and long snapper Nick Duznasky will join the team in non-scholarship roles.

 

247SPORTS.COM

The state of Oregon's special teams following the portal window's closing

 

 

 

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Since this series of articles has reviewed all these position groups, I am including this article here.

 

Predicting Oregon's defensive two-deep for the 2023 season

 

The timeline for entering the transfer portal is over. Players can still land at a new program, but the programs themselves are shut down. Oregon's transfer portal additions are now clear cut, and their losses are even more straightforward.

 

With Spring football not beginning until sometime in March or April, it's time to take a crack at what the defensive two-deep will look like come September.  Let's see if you agree...

 

247SPORTS.COM

Predicting Oregon's defensive two-deep for the 2023 season

 

 

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