Oregon’s BIGGEST Unknown Player for 2021?

Charles Fischer, Mr. FishDuck Editorials 31 Comments

The Spring Game was certainly a coming-out party for quite a number of freshmen, as we were all impressed with the new players in Robby Ashford, Ty Thompson, Dont’e Thornton and Troy Franklin. I also loved what I noted of the receiving and blocking of the new Tight Ends in Terrance Ferguson and Moliki Matavao, yet another player caught my eye and while he did not create the big plays, he may be a reason why explosion plays will occur at Autzen in near future.

Thus know that my definition of the “Biggest” unknown player will not be in terms of touchdowns, yards per carry or receiving, as the context in the case for “Biggest” is quite literal. Logan Sagapolu at 6’2″ and 345 pounds has an intriguing future in the interior of the offensive line. He was originally recruited to be a center at Oregon, and I can certainly picture him rooting out even the biggest of Nose Tackles facing him where smaller centers are often driven backward after the snap.

From Pac-12 Video

Logan Sagapolu has a wide base ideal at center or guard against big Nose Tackles.

Sagapolu appears to be thick and stout, thus between his size and growing strength, (thanks Coach Aaron Feld!) he could truly become an inside road-grader that Coach Mario Cristobal lusts for. Yet note he is not short at 6’2, but the size of those tree-trunk legs and a wide base at the hips seem perfect for the drive blocking he will engage in to create big holes for Oregon running backs. He originally went on a LDS mission after selecting Oregon over his in-state teams of BYU and Utah, and came to Eugene early due to COVID.

Chris Courtney of Whole Flock of Ducks gave us this recruiting analysis back in 2019 when Sagapolu’s verbal commitment to Oregon was announced.

Notable strengths:

  • Versatility: Though there are some legit knocks on Sagapolu’s athleticism, he is capable of filling in and playing virtually any position along the offensive line. An interior line position is where Sagapolu figures to excel, but he does have experience playing tackle as well.
  • Great initial punch: Strong as an ox, Sagapolu can be a dominant player at the point of attack. His ability to practically eliminate defenders from a play with a single blow is impressive, making him an even more imposing obstacle for those lined up across from him.
  • Plays with a mean streak: As if tremendous size and strength weren’t enough, Sagapolu is player who plays with a nasty streak. On film, he appears to be a player who takes great joy in burying his opponents when given the opportunity.

In the clip of one play above, Sagapolu is the right guard, first one to the right of the center, and second one down from the top of the six interior linemen/tight end and he is No. 61. His first objective after the snap is to help the center with a double-team on No. 73, the defensive lineman in green. Note how the two drive the defender back, but the power of Sagapolu moves his opponent further inside, thus creating a larger running lane for the running back.

The next part of the “combo-block” for Logan, is after making sure the center is in command of the Nose Tackle–he then leaves and moves to the second level, moving to block the linebacker as he does wonderfully. The timing of a combo block is tricky; if you leave too early before the center has full control of the defender, then the play gets blown up at the line of scrimmage. Move off the initial block too late and the running back is already past you and the linebacker nails him immediately. Sagapolu’s timing is perfect, and impressive for a freshman.

For an old offensive lineman … seeing that wonderfully executed combo blocking gives me a rush, as this young man is going to be good. I grant you this is not blocking a USC nose tackle or linebacker yet, but Logan has to show mastery at this level first. He has not been spoken of when the discussion is about the young-guns coming up in the offensive line, but he will ultimately become too successful to ignore, and that will bring a smile to the faces of running backs at Oregon.

“Oh, how we love to ponder about Our Beloved Ducks!”

Charles Fischer   (Mr. FishDuck)
Eugene, Oregon
Top Photo from Pac-12 Video

Phil Anderson, the FishDuck.com Volunteer editor for this article, is a trial lawyer in Bend Oregon.

 

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Excellent. But is the WR Room big enough?

Another one of the boxes I was waiting to check off for the Cristobal era, track speed is coming back!

Jon Sousa

A week or two ago he said that Hayward Field is the best track in the world. I thought, “How is he not coming to Eugene????”

UtahDuck

This was going to be about the whole team but It got to long when talking about Oline. so I pared it to just that.

At Center Forsyth I thought did a better job snapping the ball(could be the change to what I think is a dead snap) vs Hansen but outside of that he was often overpowered at the line and almost never got push…I can’t imagine their aren’t players that could easily take over for him and do a better job. I wish we could see arm length on these guys because I think that was a big issue for him.

Right Guard is Walk on gone scholarship Walk. This is the hometown kid who earned his stripes but truthfully doesn’t have the skill set to be a power5 starter. He was overpowered on almost every play and if it weren’t for his extreme effort on everyplay the oline would have collapsed.

It’s been a minute since I have watched 2020 but I think a perfect situation for Oline is that Forsyth gets replaced by a more capable Center, Malaesala moves to RG, Jones takes RT. Bass stays at LG, and LT is ran by an up and coming. This would space the issue of two players having limited playing time being next to each other. But it would also create the issue of a likely freshman covering the blindside. If that doesn’t work, Jones could take LT and Moore and a freshman could rotate at RT.

oregon111

From left to right:

Kingsly, Harper, Dennis, Laulu, Walden

I would like to see these kinds of O linemen get some playing time – and some better schemes on offense

Santa Rosa Duck

Hey Charles, great wake up article for this Sunday. I love the term “Road Grader”. Thanks for the reference to “Whole Flock of Ducks”. I always enjoyed his review of new recruits but there has not been an update since June 5. Do you know what happened to Chris Courtney?

Jon Joseph

Great info backed by great video. Thank you Charles.

Logan Sagapolu arrived in Eugene in 2020. With the COVID-added additional season of eligibility I believe, roster-wise, that he will be a ‘true frosh’ in 2021.

Am I correct in this assumption? If so, he could play through the 2024 season. When he’ll be how big?

Thank you Sir.

ImOldGreg89

I didn’t think we would ever see another starting line that could hold a candle to the line featuring Penei Sewell, Shane Lemieux, Jake Hanson, Dallas Warmack, Doc Throck/ Brady Aiello… Boy, did I ever underestimate M.C. and his baby Big Uglies. The potential of our current offensive line room is as good, if not better than, any other program in the nation. I was always pretty high on Sagapolu out of high school, his frame and style really reminded me of Dallas Warmack. Go Ducks!

oregon111

The 2012 group was better, in my opinion. Penei just made the rest of the 2019 group better – he was that good.

Offensive Lineman – 2012

  • 54 Hamani Stevens – Sophomore
  • 55 Hroniss Grasu – Sophomore
  • 57 Trevor Fox – Junior
  • 58 James Euscher – 
  • 60 Ryan Clanton – Senior
  • 61 Nick Cody – Senior
  • 62 Matt Pierson –  Freshman
  • 63 Mana Greig – Junior
  • 64 Tyler Johnstone –  Freshman
  • 68 Jamal Prater –  Freshman
  • 69 Brandon Thomas – Sophomore
  • 71 Everett Benyard – Junior
  • 72 Andre Yruretagoyena –  Freshman
  • 74 Kyle Long – Senior
  • 75 Jake Fisher – Sophomore
  • 77 Carson York – Senior
  • 78 Karrington Armstrong – Junior

The 2012 team also had DAT and Barner at Running Back and Mariota at QB.

The 2019 team had Verdell and Dye at RB and Herbert as a senior at QB.

The end results were as different as night and day. Similar talent, even though I think the 2012 offense was better. The biggest difference was that Chip Kelly was running the 2012 offense and Arroyo (and maybe Cristobal) was running the 2019 offense.

Haywarduck

Too funny, great title, the biggest unknown players are always the O-line.

The biggest unknown player last year was a walk-on with a stache. This year it will be a walk-on, who is moving up the depth chart, from Scappoose. Nobody knows who he is, but they will by the end of the season, much like Henry.

Jon Joseph

But if he moves up, he will no longer be the Caboose from Scappoose? [SORRY!]

Haywarduck

Just the kid from Scappose on the loose, running like a moose, going vamoose!

Jon Joseph

YES!

smith72

Good analysis Charles! That was an awesome punch on the linebacker! Nice to have more fresh legs to rotate on the line.

PittDuck

Too Good To Be Ignored! Something all young Ducks should strive for. I am so looking forward to watching Logan and the entire flock of Ducks show the nation that they are too good to be ignored.

I am looking forward to watching our O-line roadgraders and our D-line wrecking balls wreak havoc on their opponents! The upcoming season is high time to unleash the Ducks!

Just the thought of those ESPN / SEC wonks having to admit on air how good the Ducks are playing, brings a smile to my face!

Thanks Charles, for getting my morning off to a good start! I think I’ll take the grandkids to the beach and beat the heat.

Jon Joseph

ESPN – will possibly admit it if Oregon defeats Ohio State?

SEC fans won’t admit it unless Oregon defeats Georgia in 2022. And then the appreciation will come with some kind of excuse for UGA’s poor play.

oregon111

Nobody admitted the Ducks were good when the beat Oklahoma in 2006. They all just said that the Ducks cheated.

Which is why I loved that game so much.

Quackanadian

The Ducks finally have some Wisconsin level beef on the O-Line. Let’s just hope MC doesn’t keep wanting to run the Wisconsin power I offence! Hahahaha….

Good read Charles! Cheers!

Jon Joseph

Maybe, if Wisconsin-like RBs were on the roster this wouldn’t be a terrible idea?