After the abrupt exit of Duck defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt, the fanbase is left with several questions regarding his replacement, former Boise State defensive coordinator Andy Avalos. What dimensions will Avalos add to the Oregon defense? How will he utilize the large surplus of defensive talent that makes up the 2019 recruiting class?
There is no doubt Avalos has quite an impressive resume, logging a seven-year career at Boise State (BSU), and helping the Broncos become not only a contender in the Mountain West Conference, but on a national level. In his years at BSU, three of which he served as defensive coordinator, he instilled a winning tradition on the defensive side of the ball.
The Bronco defense, despite being plagued by injuries in 2018, still had a remarkable season. They were ranked first nationally in fumbles recovered, sixth in defensive touchdowns and 10th in sacks per game. The Broncos ranked 22nd nationally in total defense in 2017, and 39th in 2018. Will Avalos help to mirror this same level of success upon his arrival in Eugene?
Boise State currently has nine defensive players in the NFL, compared to 11 from Oregon. Considering the ranking of many Boise State recruits, this demonstrates incredibly strong development from within the defensive coaching staff.
If Avalos could promote high-end player development in a program with considerably less recruiting ability, what kind of results will he yield with a nationally ranked recruiting class? With talent such as that of five-star defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux and four-star cornerback Mykael Wright at his finger tips, Duck fans must be excited asking themselves such questions.
Leavitt served the Oregon defense well, and he will certainly be missed among the Ducks fanbase, but the move to bring in Avalos just might be the right one.
So what do you think: was this the right hire? Can Avalos build upon the strengths of Leavitt and help take the Ducks to the promised land?
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Spencer Thomas, the FishDuck.com Volunteer Editor for this article, is an attorney for the Social Security Administration in Atlanta, Georgia, and coaches High School Football for Hillgrove HS in Powder Springs, GA.
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