Welcome back my feathered friends!
With the heat rising to 116+ for almost all of last week in my city in the desert, I have been inside. Enjoying the nice cool breeze from my air conditioner, peering out the smallest crack of the blinds to watch the sweaty people go about their days, and tearing my hair out deciding who will be my top five breakout players for 2013. In case you missed my 6-10 list, you can read it here.
Some of you were right about a few names in the comment section on my other article, but one or two of my picks might surprise you. In my opinion, the following players will have the top breakout performances for the 2013 season.
5. Arik Armstead
While Armstead didn’t have the best season last year, he still ended with 26 total tackles and two tackles for loss. Keep in mind he was the number one offensive lineman coming out of high school. While he did play some D in high school, it was not enough to fully prepare him for how college would feel.
When I first watched him play, it seemed like he wasn’t aggressive enough; like he needed to be angrier. Over the course of the season I noticed him gaining a little intensity. Going after the tackle with more passion, starting to look like he didn’t mind hurting a few people. With a year under his belt, his natural athleticism/size, and more confidence to mix it up. The sky is the limit.
4. Tyson Coleman
It was hard for me not to put Coleman higher up on my list. I personally believe that he is going to be the linebacker that steps up big with the absence of Michael Clay and Kiko Alonso. He finished last season with 34 total tackles, including 3.5 tackles for a loss, two pass deflections, and 1.5 sacks. At 6-foot-1 and 222 pounds, he is an athletic and very smart football player. I expect huge things out of Coleman this season, and I hope I am right.
3. Byron Marshall
While Marshall was No. 1 on my 2013 Ten Most Important Players, he’s number three on this list. Marshall shows all of the ability to become the next starter for Oregon at running back. He finished last season carrying the ball 87 times for 447 yards and four touchdowns. Also, what a great opportunity it was for Marshall to have a player like Kenjon Barner to watch and learn from. I expect Marshall to break the 1,000 yard barrier this season.
2. Colt Lyerla
Coming in next on my list is Bane … er, I mean Colt Lyerla. Anyone who has seen Lyerla’s size and how he can move knows what a beast this kid is. He put up 392 yards and six touchdowns on just 25 receptions. He also added 77 yards plus a touchdown on the ground and four tackles. Maybe I am just in lala land on this one because I have so much hope. I firmly believe that this is the year they unleash the beast and let Lyerla run rampant on opposing defensive players. At least I hope!
1. Bralon Addison
The player that I think will have the biggest breakout for the 2013 season is Addison. Last season as a freshman, he caught 22 passes for 243 yards and three touchdowns. He also added 64 return yards and 3 tackles. I know what he is capable of, but after watching the spring game, he looks like he might be Marcus Mariota’s new favorite target.
Granted it was a glorified scrimmage, but Addison still pulled down seven receptions for 117 yards and a touchdown. The way Oregon likes to use players in all aspects of the offense, coupled with the skills and now experience he has, I see Addison have biggest breakout of any Duck player for the 2013 season.
Josh Huff, Pharaoh Brown, Andre Yruretagoyena.
Now that my list is done, I would love to hear from the readers who they think I left off or who shouldn’t have been on this list. Who would your top five be?
Feature image courtesy of Kevin Cline Photography
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Sam was born and raised in Cottage Grove, Oregon and he has been a die hard Duck fan his entire life. Sam studied at the University of Oregon before moving to San Diego for 5 years. After moving back to Oregon, Sam decided to follow his passion for writing and started writing for various sports sites. To him, nothing is better than being in Autzen Stadium with 59,000 fans screaming their heads off!
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