Long-term Thinking: A Look at the 2011 Oregon Ducks

I know what you are thinking, let’s first get through this season  I agree, the tale of 2010 will be exciting, entertaining and set the tone for 2011.  As I wrote in June, the current Oregon squad is full of senior leadership and while not lacking in talent the experience gained by underclassmen this season will be essential.

This unit breakdown for the predicted 2011 roster will give Duck fans a good idea of who needs to step up in 2010, and where Chip Kelly and friends need to focus their recruiting for 2011.  Many current players on the depth chart will not be included in the 2011 program. Duck fans know from the 2010 off-season that superstars and role players can be suspended, ineligible, or dismissed from the team in a heartbeat.

If Oregon can finish 2010 strong, the momentum and confidence riding into the 2011 season in the new Pac-12, will give fans very high expectations for success.

2011 Position Breakdown

Quarterbacks: Darron Thomas, Daryle Hawkins, Bryan Bennett

Analysis: Currently the Ducks have 2011 verbal commitments from Jarrard Randall,Johnny Manziel, and Marcus Mariota.  Depending on the playing time of Thomas this upcoming season, the 2011 signal caller will be a returning starter in Thomas or fall practice will be a battle between Bennett, Thomas, and Hawkins.  With additional prospects on the radar, Chip Kelly could enter the 2011 campaign with five to seven quarterbacks on the roster.

2011 Unit Analysis: Strong

Running Backs: LaMichael James, Kenjon Barner, Lache Seastrunk, Dontae Williams, Jide Shinaba, Josh Huff

Analysis: Like many other 2010 recruits, a gifted athlete like Huff may never see the field at his recruited position.  If James records another spectacular season, he could opt to run to the NFL after 2010. Regardless of what James will do, the position will be a strength of the offense.

Barner is the best all-purpose player of the group, Seastrunk comes with high expectations, and Williams could be the smash mouth runner the group needs. Most likely Oregon will be very selective in recruiting only four and five star prospects during the 2011 season.

2011 Unit Analysis: Very Strong

Wide Receivers: Lavasier Tuinei, Justin Hoffman, Ben Butterfield, Will Murphy, Nick Cole, Blake Cantu, *Tyrece Gaines, *Diante Jackson

Analysis: This unit could be a very great concern heading into the 2011 season.  D.J. Davis, and Jeffrey Maehl will have departed, and the lone proven receiver will be Tuinei. If Gaines, and Jackson can return to Kelly’s good graces, the unit will take a big boost in terms of talent.

Butterfield, Hoffman, and Murphy have a year to become hidden gems and Cantu was a quality recruit from Texas.  Don’t be surprised to see Keanan Lowe, Eric Dungy, and other defensive players switch to the receiver position before the 2011 season. The understatement of this article is that Oregon needs to land quality and quantity at this position in 2011.

2011 Unit Analysis: Poor to Average

Tight Ends: David Paulson, Brandon Williams, Curtis White

Analysis: A five star recruit, no one is quite sure which side of the ball White will play. Kelly and Aliotti may see a bigger need for him to play defensive end in the coming years. In their second year together, Paulson and Williams will be one of the best tight end combinations in the nation.  Both Paulson and Williams will be seniors in 2011, so a major priority will be to bring in two or three tight end recruits.

2011 Unit Analysis: Strong

Offensive Line: Mark Asper, Carson York, Darrion Weems, Nick Cody, Ramsen Golsaphen, Everett Beynard, Jamaal Burrell, Karrington Armstrong, Ryan Clanton, Hronnis Grasu, Nick Rowland, Trevor Fox, Charlie Carmichael

Analysis: While the unit does lose Bo Thran, Jordan Holmes, and C.E. Kaiser they will return a ton of talent, size, and experience.  The 2011 seniors will include Weems, Asper, Clanton, and Carmichael.  Along with York and Cody, all of these players will see extensive time during the 2010 season.

Line coach Steve Greatwood is notorious for his ability to juggle players at the guard and tackle positions, as well as converting a lineman to the center position. 2011 verbal commit Andre Yruretagoyena will joining incoming Arizona native Rowland to provide a small, solid nucleus of underclassmen lineman.  The 2010 recruiting class only included Grasu, and Rowland so it is fair to say Greatwood will be adding a good number of offensive linemen to the 2011 class.

2011 Unit Analysis: Strong to Very Strong

Defensive Line: Dion Jordan, Terrell Turner, Wade Keliikipi, Taylor Hart, Ricky Heimuli, Chris DiVincenzo, Anthony Anderson, Isaac Remington, Tony Washington, Keaton Arden

Analysis: Defensive line coach Jerry Azzinaro will have plenty of worries heading into the 2011 season.  Gone will be starters Brandon Bair, Kenny Rowe, and Zac Clark. Jordan, Keliikipi, Turner, and Remington will see plenty of the field in 2010, but the Ducks will need Heimuli to mature into an defensive anchor very early into his collegiate career.

If both Jordan and Turner perform well in 2010, the two defensive end positions will be solidified for the following season. Azzinaro has already received a verbal from Arizona prep Sam Kamp, and like recent years a major focus will be on bringing more talent to the defensive line.

2011 Unit Analysis: Poor to Average

Linebackers: Josh Kaddu, Boseko Lokombo, Dewitt Stuckey, Brandon Hanna, Michael Clay, *Kiko Alonso, Isaac Dixon

Analysis: With the departures of Casey Matthews, Spencer Paysinger and Bryson Littlejohn, the 2011 linebacking corp will be talented yet unproven.  Just how much action Lokombo, Kaddu, and Stuckey receive will be largely determined by how well Littlejohn plays.

Alonso has been suspended for the 2010 season, and his return to the team remains in question. I would look for Nick Aliotti to focus heavily on adding three to five linebackers with the 2011 recruiting class.

2011 Unit Analysis: Average

Cornerbacks: Javes Lewis, Cliff Harris, Anthony Gildon, Terrence Mitchell, Dior Mathis, Scott Grady, Brian Jackson, Avery Patterson, William Wallace, Keanon Lowe, Troy Hill, James Scales

Analysis: Secondary coach John Neal with not be lacking bodies heading into the 2011 campaign.  He will have a total of eleven defensive backs (not counting potential recruits), and don’t be surprised to see a few move to a safety and wide receiver positions.  This group is full of talent, athleticism, and is very balanced in terms of classes. With the uncertainty of transfers, and future eligibility look for the Ducks to add two to three cornerbacks to the 2011 roster.

2011 Unit Analysis: Average to Strong

Safeties: John Boyett, Eric Dargan, Eddie Pleasant, Eric Dungy, Derrick Malone

Analysis: Expect the two safety positions to be a defensive strength in 2010.  Both Boyett and Pleasant are potential returning starters.  Malone and Dargan will have the benefit of learning for two seasons before stepping into the spotlight in 2012.  Coach Neal has already added Lake Oswego four star recruit Tyson Coleman, and look for him to pursue a few more safety prospects.

2011 Unit Analysis: Very Strong

Punter: Jackson Rice

Analysis: A 2011 junior, Rice was a very strong performer as a freshman in 2009.  It wouldn’t hurt for the team to add another punter in the 2011 recruiting class.

2011 Unit Analysis: Strong

Place Kicker: Rob Beard, Alejandro Maldonado

Analysis: In the coaches doghouse, Beard could be sharing kicking duties with the freshman Maldonado in 2010. If both return in 2011, the kicking game should prove very reliable.

2011 Unit Analysis: Average

* Ineligible for the 2010 seasons

2011 Oregon Football Schedule

Sept. 3 @ Kansas State

Sept. 10 vs. Nevada

Sept. 17 @ Utah

Sept. 24 vs. Washington State

Oct. 1 vs. Arizona State

Oct. 8 @ Arizona

Oct. 15 vs. Southern Cal

Oct. 22 @ Stanford

Oct. 29 @ Washington

Nov. 5 vs. California

Nov. 19 @ UCLA

Nov. 26 vs. Oregon State

Scheduling Notes: Recent rumors include Kansas State trying to take Oregon off their 2011 schedule, and the possibility of Oregon replacing the Wildcats with a big time game against a BCS opponent (LSU, etc.).

Utah will be joining the Pac-10 in 2011, and the addition of Colorado may change the conference schedule.  At this point the 2011 schedule is very favorable with home games against USC, Cal, Oregon State, and Arizona State.

~ by philip d. on July 8, 2010.

9 Responses to “Long-term Thinking: A Look at the 2011 Oregon Ducks”

  1. Likey that Hemuli will serve a 2 year mission, so that weakens the d-line all the more. But perhaps, Hemani Stevens will get back from his mission and take over???

  2. I believe Hamani Stevens will be back from his LDS mission for the 2011 season. Am I correct?

  3. What about Mana Grieg? Isn’t he still on the roster?

  4. nice article, GO DUCKS

  5. Hamani redshirted in 2008. Will (hopefully) return to Oregon in 2011 as R-FR with 4 years to play 4. Although it is not a given that he will return to Oregon after his mission.

    Some other things:

    Josh Huff, Keanon Lowe and Eric Dungy will all be playing wide receiver at Oregon, not defense. Without question.

    Curtis White will play tight end at Oregon. Offense is where he belongs and Kelly has already stated that he will not be playing on defense.

    Chris DiVincenzo and Keaton Arden are no longer with the football team.

    Derrick Malone is penciled in to play linebacker at Oregon not safety. Issac Dixon will grayshirt in 2010 and enroll in January.

    You forgot about Texas DB Marcus Davis who is slated to play safety for the Ducks in 2011.

  6. I would almost bet that Hawkins gets moved to wide receiver due to his speed and all the incoming QBs.

    Also, the Ducks may run more formations without all those receivers and use 2 thight ends, tazers, etc.

    Don’t be suprised to see some “athletes” get converted to WR as part time WRs – Seastrunk???

  7. This was fun. Many thanks. I understand why we struggle to get WR’s historically (hopefully they’re selling hard that we really will pass the ball more often in the future…), but I’m shocked at how weak we are at D-Line recruiting. Every PAC10, maybe even WAC team recruits DT’s better then Oregon. Are we running an odd system or something that’s based on containment rather than backfield pursuit?? Something is wrong that hopefully gets fixed this year. “Good chance you’d start” should finally get us some mileage with someone that’s going to show up and not take a mission!

    GO Ducks

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