The Oregon Ducks football team once again came so close to a BCS National Championship game again this past season and with head coach Chip Kelly spurning the NFL and sticking around, the team with the craziest/coolest uniforms in the country might again contend for a title in 2013.
The primary concern for Oregon going forward is depth. Running back Kenjon Barner is departing to the NFL, so that leaves De’Anthony Thomas and Byron Marshall as the only two scholarship players at that position on the roster. In the past few years of Oregon success, the Ducks have leaned heavily on superstar running backs like Barner and LaMichael James, but those players also had tremendous complements in each other and guys like Thomas.
The Ducks now have Thomas as the workhorse (so to speak) in the backfield and Marshall will have to step in and be the complement Oregon needs or the Ducks will need a new recruit to come in and set the woods on fire from Day 1.
Kelly is bringing in two such players who might fit the bill early. Thomas Tyner is expected to make a splash early, but there’s another player that’s a question mark right now: athlete Dontre Wilson.
Both Tyner and Wilson are top 150 recruits, but it remains to be seen exactly how they’re used with Thomas and Marshall as the lead backs. Things are changing in Eugene as the era dominated by James, Barner and a combination of the two is officially over. However, it at least appears that the Ducks are ready to move on without them.