Oregon is in its third week of fall camp 2016 and things appear to be jelling. Senior Cameron Hunt along with junior Tyrell Crosby are the old veterans, center Jake Hanson is one of the three new kids that redshirted last season.
According to Hunt, the starting offensive line is going to look like Crosby, Hanson, Calvin Throckmorton, Shane Lemieux and of course Hunt. The line is coming together as a cohesive unit. Hunt describes Throckmorton and Hanson as a pair of very skilled football players able to use technique to gain advantage while Lemieux, standing at 6-6 and weighing around 320 as a "mauler."
A mauler? That's something the Ducks haven't had since Kyle Long (now with the Chicago Bears) or Jake Fisher now with the Bengals was pushing opponents around as the Ducks made their way toward the national championship games.
Oregon will need that kind of player and attitude and perhaps that's why when Hunt spoke to eDuck he felt enforcer was a good way to describe this group.
Oregon's success over the last few years has been predicated on offensive lines that were quick, agile and strong. Opening holes in the line for the likes of LaMichael James, Kenjon Barner and now Royce Freeman have made it essential for a group of tough guys on the field.
That's what the Oregon likes to think of itself as -- tough guys and for sure to have success in the Pac-12 Conference the Ducks are going to need all the toughness they can get.
Last year the Ducks averaged 43 points and 538.2 yards per game, tops in the conference. Oregon's rushing attack was No. 1 averaging 279.9 ypg and this year the same four horsemen, make that Ducksmen, will again be in the backfield, including Kani Benoit, Tony Brooks-James, Taj Griffin and Freeman.
While Dakota Prukop and all those Oregon wide receivers and tight ends will make life miserable for opposing defensive coordinators, it will all start with a group of tough guys on the offensive line.
The Enforcers, that has a nice ring to it.
Oregon’s first game is Sept. 3, 2016 at Autzen Stadium against Cal-Davis with a kickoff scheduled for 2 p.m. (Pacific).