Height kills?

Arik Armstead

Kevin Cline

Arik Armstead

Consider Lebron James running a fast break or Usain Bolt blitzing past his competition in a 100-meter dash and one can create a correlation between height and speed.  Ducks football offers several examples.

Oregon will literally tower over competition this year.  The Ducks have as astounding 23 players 6’5″ or taller and Stetson Blair and Arik Armstead are both taller than 6’8″.  While Stanford is similarly tree-like (21 players above 6’5″), other teams around the Pac-12 pale in comparison.  USC only has 14 guys above 6’5″, while Oregon State has 13 and Washington has 10.

But does height translate to success?  Alabama doesn’t seem to think so as they only have 11 players above 6’5″.  The Crimson Tide being the blueprint for college football success have instead recruited and developed brute strength inside, and blazing speed on the perimeter.  In fact, the SEC in general is somewhat devoid of height.  Florida, Texas A&M, and LSU combine for about as many 6’5″ players as Oregon by itself.

Though height and speed often go hand and hand, some of the fastest football players in the world are short and are more agile than their taller counterparts (see Barry Sanders and De’Anthony Thomas.).  Still, height is extremely useful on the D-line for blocking the vision of the quarterback and deflecting passes.  Armstead and eventually Blair should be disruptive to passers with their unusual height.

Wide receiver is another area where the combination of height and speed can prove deadly.  Though the Ducks don’t have any ideal candidates that fulfill these two attributes, Rahsaan Vaughn is 6’2′ and ran about a 4.4 40 yard dash while Dwayne Stanford is 6’5′.

Hopefully the Ducks can measure up to their impressive measurables.

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