For an offensive lineman, going unnoticed typically means that you’re doing your job. I’m sure Oregon offensive tackle Calvin Throckmorton is perfectly content living in anonymity and keeping feisty defenders away from his star quarterback.
But Throckmorton deserves more than just a tap on the helmet from his running back after he opens up a gaping hole for him to run through. The senior tackle is one of the best linemen in the country, and yet, not many fans know much about him. It’s time to give some love to the best of the Ducks’ “Big Uglies” and provide some background for what has been an outstanding career for Throckmorton thus far.
Brains and Brawn
Perhaps the most admirable aspect of Throckmorton’s success is that his elite play on the gridiron has been matched by a similar commitment to his studies. The 6-foot-5 offensive lineman has proven his worth on the field throughout his first three years in Eugene, all the while studying for a degree in Human Physiology.
Athletically, his talents shined long before he played a down for the Ducks. In high school, he started all four years on the defensive line, where he went on to collect a remarkable stat line. In his senior year alone, Throckmorton recorded 61 tackles, 13 pancake blocks and nine tackles for loss. Following that season, he was rated a three-star recruit and a top-10 prospect in the state of Washington by ESPN, Rivals and 247Sports. Throckmorton went on to choose Oregon over offers from Michigan, California, Miami, Arkansas, Arizona, Arizona State, Boise State, Utah, Washington and Washington State.
The 2016 season was a breakout year for Throckmorton. After making a switch to the offensive side of the ball, everything seemed to come naturally for the lineman. He started at right tackle in all 12 of the Ducks’ contests, achieved an overall grade of 81.7 percent from Pro Football Focus and played in a team-high 91 percent of all offensive snaps. In addition to this unquestionable level of success on the field, he was able prove himself as a force in the classroom, earning Academic All-Pac-12 First Team distinction.
Following up on the fortune of his prior season, Throckmorton played at extremely high level during his sophomore year. He extended his starting streak to 25 games, playing at right tackle for the first 10 games and playing the remaining three at right guard. The Ducks’ rush offense had an extremely strong season, finishing the year ranked 12th nationally in rushing yards per game with 251. Throckmorton, to nobody’s surprise, had a lot to do with their level of success, and was ranked 12th among offensive linemen in the Pac-12 by Pro Football Focus. In addition, he was given an overall rating of 84.5.
As a true student athlete always does, Throckmorton once again kept his eyes on the prize in the classroom. He went on to receive Academic All-Pac-12 first team and CoSIDA Academic All-District 8 honors, as well as the Academic Excellence Award at the end of the 2017 season.
In his junior season with the Ducks, Throckmorton continued to thrive. He once again started in all of Oregon’s 13 contests. Due to injuries on the line, Throckmorton played not only right tackle, but also right guard and left tackle. His versatility was a great attribute for the Ducks’ 2018 offense, as not many players can play practically every position on the line at the same level of excellence. And this time, it wasn’t just the Pac-12 or Pro Football Focus that noticed how dominant Throckmorton was. The lineman received second-team All-American honors for his performance on the field.
But it wasn’t all sunshine and roses for the Ducks’ superstar tackle.
In the Redbox Bowl, where the Ducks beat Michigan State 7-6, the junior suffered a dislocated ankle, which essentially sidelined him for all of the spring. But Duck fans should fear not. In an interview with NBC Sports, Mario Cristobal explained that Throckmorton was “way ahead of schedule” and on the road to a full recovery.
Going into the 2019 season, Ducks fans can expect even more great things from Throckmorton. He’s one of three Ducks named to the Athlon Sports Preseason Top-50 Players List, placing 43rd overall. In his illustrious career, he has cemented himself not only as an extremely effective part of the Ducks offense, but also as a team leader. The Ducks will need his presence on the line to capitalize on their championship aspirations this season. Smart money says Throckmorton’s up to the task.
Top Photo by Kevin Cline
Andrew Mueller, the FishDuck.com Volunteer Editor for this article, works in digital marketing in Chicago, Illinois.
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