Oregon Ducks College Football Preview 2021: Top Players
Best Oregon Ducks Offensive Player
RB CJ Verdell, Jr.
Please allow for a whole lot of latitude with the top five Oregon offensive players.
Depending on whether or not he’s healthy and ready to go after missing time this spring, guard Malaesala Aumavae-Laulo is probably the best pro prospect from the offensive side. Travis Dye might be the team’s best running back, and go ahead and choose from at least three receivers to possibly be the star of the show.
Verdell, when he’s healthy and right, is the back who can take over a game – or at least be the slightly stronger runner in tandem with Dye.
He ran for over 1,000 yards with 18 touchdowns in his first two seasons and started out last year with two 100-yard games before getting banged up. He only carried the ball 27 times the rest of the way – and missed the USC and Iowa State games – but when everything is working, he’s a 100-yard rushing machine.
2. RB Travis Dye, Jr.
3. C Alex Forsyth, Jr.
4. OG Malaesala Aumavae-Laulo, Jr.
5. WR Johnny Johnson, Sr.
Best Oregon Ducks Defensive Player
DE/LB Kayvon Thibodeaux, Soph.
He’s been very, very good. Has he been No. 1-overall-recruit unstoppably dominant so far? Not quite, but the 6-5, 250-pounder is a top 15 overall draft pick whenever he’s ready to bolt, he made 77 tackles with 12 sacks and 23.5 tackles for loss in his first two seasons.
He’s just scratching the surface. This is the year to go from very, very good to Chase Young.
2. LB Noah Sewell, Fr.
3. CB Mykael Wright, Soph.
4. LB Isaac Slade-Matautia, Jr.
5. LB Mase Funa, Soph.
Top Incoming Oregon Ducks Transfer
QB Ty Thompson, Fr.
Since the transfers aren’t coming to Eugene – the Ducks are too loaded and too deep – let’s go with the biggest-deal recruit in the signing class.
Think about all of the superstar quarterbacks Oregon has had. Marcus Mariota, Dan Fouts, Joey Harrington, Akili Smith, Dennis Dixon, Justin Herbert, and it keeps going from there.
The recruiting rankings and services might be part hoo-ha, but the 6-4, 215-pound Thompson might be the highest-ranked quarterback recruit the program has ever had.
He fits. He’s got the passing accuracy, the arm, and the speed and quickness to be a threat in the open field. He might be too good to keep out of the mix.