Oregon linebacker Troy Dye

Last year, Troy Dye was clearly the best defender on the field for Oregon. So far this spring season, his defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt has said that he wants Dye on the field as much as possible. So with all that under his belt, where does Dye fit in the grand scheme of things in Oregon Football?

At middle linebacker.

Troy Dye spoke on Friday about being moved to middle linebacker, generally regarded as the spot where the defensive quarterback plays.

At middle linebacker, Dye can utilize his speed, toughness and leadership abilities to encourage the other defenders to play as he does.

That was what was so sorely missed last season -- players who took command of the opportunity to make plays and inspire others to follow suit. As the season wore on in 2016, Dye was forced into the leadership role, even though he was a true freshman. This year, a more confident Dye has emerged as the clear leader of this group that must make major improvements over last season if Oregon is going to have any kind of success.

Frankly, Leavitt couldn't have found a better candidate to do the job.

In 2016 Dye led the team in total tackles (91) solo tackles (57) tackles for loss (13) and sacks (6.5). It really wasn't even close, so no wonder he was named a Freshman All-American by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), USA Today and ESPN.

"Chopping wood," is a phrase Dye uses to describe his work ethic, that is to continue to do what you do everyday on every play and with Dye, that is all out effort. 

A scrimmage will be held tomorrow and reporters will have a chance to see how much the Duck defense has improved, and if it does there's no doubt that Troy Dye will be a major reason for the improvement.


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