For those of us that missed the Fiesta Bowl, it was a fitting ending to the Ducks season. Complete domination on offense, stifling defense with numerous takeaways. The majority of matchups all year ended similarly, and the worst part for Duck fans? That means the season’s over.
Spring ball is coming up quick for the Ducks as transfer portal mania and offseason workouts will soon be underway, and it’s time for several new faces to start getting worked into the rotation on offense, defense, and special teams. Quarterbacks, edges players all over the offensive line, there’s no shortage of “new” in our Ducks offseason, and it’s well worth keeping up with the storylines as we start evalauting our roster for next season.
Now, a few players might come to mind with Tez Johnson, Jeffrey Bassa, and other stars retunring for another season. However, one future star I expect to take a great leap by the time the Spring game comes around.
My Spring Ball Star Pick: Matayo Uiagalelei
For some, Uiagalelei is old news. He already has been on the team a season, only managed a couple of sacks in his limited action, and wasn’t much of a statistical factor otherwise as a freshman. Although, I don’t expect that to be a trend after his freshman campaign. While he did get some experience, his sophomore season should be a night-and-day difference in production and skill. I love the athletic tools he has, and there’s no reason he shouldn’t easily work into an every-down role this upcoming season. If Oregon’s going to go all the way, they’re going to need a new Brandon Dorlus, and while Uiagalelei might comp better with Kayvon Thibodeaux, his versatility along the defensive line and as a linebacker/tight end could be a huge x-factor next year.
But that’s just my pick, Oregon fans. Who do you expect to take a leap in 2024? Who’s going to be the next superstar defensive player? Join us at the FishDuck Forum with decorum to go through some of the new recruits that’ll be joining our roster, and get amped for the offseason. With Dan Lanning returning for his third season with the Ducks, there’s no reason this shouldn’t be his best year yet.
Los Angeles, California
Top Photo By: Tom Corno
Alex Heining is an Oregon alumni from the graduate class of 2021. After studying sports business and media studies, he has moved into the field of digital marketing as a copywriter and content manager in the Los Angeles area. Still, he loves his Ducks and goes to local high school games all over the Los Angeles and Orange County area to check out new recruits of the future (and a SoFi game or two with the pros). On any given Saturday, expect to find him doing martial arts, playing the guitar, or screaming at the tv over a missed holding penalty.
New 2024 FishDuck Publishing Schedule….
During the off-season the FishDuck.com publishing schedule will consist of articles on Mondays and Tuesdays. Do keep checking as new articles could be published during the week when a writer has something to say.
In mid-August of 2024, we will go back to the seven-days-a-week of articles during the football season as we did in the football season of 2023.
The Our Beloved Ducks Forum (OBD) is where we we discuss the article above and many more topics, as it is so much easier in a message board format over there. At the free OBD forum we will be posting Oregon Sports article links, the daily Press Releases from the Athletic Department and the news coming out every day.
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