The Oregon Ducks are Chip Kelly-less for the first time since 2006 and some fans might be a bit worried about the type of team they will see this season under Mark Helfrich.
There’s one guy on this team that everyone knows for sure will be a big part of the offense and will be contributing in big ways. Running back De’Anthony Thomas has been one of the most electrifying college athletes since he burst onto the scene in 2011 with 1,200 yards of total offense and 16 touchdowns.
Helfrich has the lucky pleasure of running an offense built around one of the best young quarterbacks in the Pac-12 in Marcus Mariota and one of the best running backs in the nation in Thomas.
It’s hard to stop a guy with electrifying speed that is a stellar runner and an exceptional pass-catcher. Thomas had a yards per carry mark of over 10 in 2011 and over seven last season. Any guy that can get you a first down and more in just two carries needs to be on the field at all time. He could end up contending for the Heisman while leading the Ducks to a Rose Bowl or even a BCS title.
The junior running back should see a huge boost in most offensive categories in 2013 and it’s easy to see why. Oregon will be without running back Kenjon Barner, who got the bulk of the carries in 2012, and that leaves Thomas as the clear No. 1 option in the backfield.
Don’t be surprised if this kid breaks his career marks by twofold.