Friday, July 20, 2012

Class Rewind: 2009 defensive line

As fall camp approaches, Duck Sports Authority continues to look back to past recruiting classes looking at the individual players on each side of the ball. So far, we have worked our way from the 2005 class through the 2008 signing class. Along the way, we have seen some all time Duck greats like Jonathan Stewart, LaMichael James, Jeff Maehl, Casey Matthews just to name a few. As we move forward to the class of 2009, we begin to see even more players that are still a part of this seasons Duck roster. Through the series, we have looked at defense first, then offense as a group. However, the classes of 2009 and 2010 were fairly large so we are going to break these classes down even further. For the 2009 defense, we will look first at the defensive line. On Friday, we will then look at the linebackers and defensive backs. The defensive players signed in 2009 have provided some of the greatest highlights in Duck history. From Cliff Harris' punt return against California in 2010 to Michael Clay's fumble recovery in the Rose Bowl victory over Wisconsin, this group is another special group in Duck history. That isn't to say, though, that the class was a slam dunk home run class. There were also some misses in this class; players who never made it to Oregon and players that were subsequently dismissed for various reasons. With that being said, let us take a look today at the defensive linemen signed in the class of 2009.
Name Position Stars Games Started
Anthony Anderson

Impact: After earning the scout team defensive player of the year during his redshirt season for Oregon, Anderson appeared in 6 games for the Ducks in 2010. During his limited action he did manage one tackle against Portland State. After appearances in four consecutive conference games late in the 2010 season, Anderson did not play against Arizona, Oregon State or Auburn. Many considered him a contender for a spot on the two deep rotation. However, Anderson decided to leave the team to pursue "other interests" prior to the 2011 season.
DE 0/13
Keaton Arden

Impact: Listed on the Duck roster for the 2009 season, Arden never appeared in a game for the Ducks. After the 2009 season, Arden also left Oregon. He found himself a member of the 2011 Diablo Valley College football team. After a successful season there, he recently signed with Humboldt State as a mid year transfer and has two years of eligibility left.
DE 0/0
Justin Brown

Impact: Brown was a late casualty in the class of 2009. He did not receive clearance from the NCAA Clearinghouse to enter Oregon in 2009.
DT 0/0
Zac Clark

Impact: The junior college transfer from Butler County Community College in Kansas played in all 26 games of his Duck career. A backup in 2009, 2010 saw Clark start 12 games while being a co-recipient of the most improved player award for the Ducks. Clark was an honorable mention all conference defensive lineman as a senior for the Ducks after racking up 41 total tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss and 4 sacks. He did record a tackle for loss in the 2011 National Championship game against Auburn.
DE 12/26
Taylor Hart

Impact: After a redshirt season in 2009, Hart showed promise as a freshman in 2010 appearing in 12 games as a reserve and recording 18 total tackles. His sophomore season, saw Hart ascend to a 14 game starter for the Ducks and second team academic all-conference honors. He recorded 44 total tackles and 3 tackles for loss as a sophomore. With two more years of eligibility, this under rated defensive line prospect should have plenty of contributions left to the Oregon football team.
DE 14/27
Andrew Iupati

Impact: The Golden West Community College transfer spent the 2009 season redshirting for the Ducks. After Chip Kelly was promoted to head coach, Iupati decided to transfer to Division II Humboldt State. Iupati started 19 games for Humboldt State and recorded 9.5 tackles for loss as a senior in just 8 games. He recently tried out for the San Francisco 49ers and has high hopes of making an NFL roster.
DT 0/0
Wade Keliikipi

Impact:Arriving as one of the least heralded of the defensive tackles signed in 2009, Keliikipi proved valuable very early in his career. After a valuable redshirt season, Keliikipi appeared in all 13 games for the Ducks as a freshman in 2010 recording 18 total tackles including a solo stop against Auburn. As a sophomore, Keliikipi appeared in all 14 games for the Ducks and started the final 11 games. His 1.5 sacks against Washington prompted a surprise response by their head coach about just how good the defensive line was that night. Recorded a career high 5 total tackles against Wisconsin in Oregon's Rose Bowl victory. Another player with two more seasons of eligibility that should make this a very strong defensive class when all is said and done.
DT 11/27
Terrance Montgomery

Impact: After an inspiring story of transformation, Montgomery arrived in Oregon from Reedley College in California. The former Pittsburgh, PA area defensive tackle tipped the scales at 340 pounds as a freshman in high school. After graduating he joined the Army Reserves, married and had a child. Finally focused and having lost nearly 50 pounds, football was a possibility and he took advantage. He appeared in 7 games during his first season with the Ducks. Unfortunately, a late season domestic violence arrest (he was never charged) ended his brief tenure with the Ducks.
DT 0/13


Games Started: 37/106 Impact:This class might give a good indication as to why the Ducks hired Jerry Azzinarro. A true hit or miss class of defensive linemen, the Ducks signed 8 defensive line players in 2009. Of those eight players, five either never made it to Oregon or transferred before seeing the field. There were reaches in this class and one who never made it through the NCAA clearinghouse. There were some surprises, though, as two of the least regarded players of this class, Taylor Hart and Wade Keliikipi, combined for 25 starts as sophomores last season. With two more seasons left to make an impact, they should be able to raise the performance of the class as a whole. Zac Clark, a junior college transfer was the only other defensive lineman signed in 2009 to see the field for the Ducks. Clark also became a 12 game starter in his final season with the Ducks. Though there are still two seasons left for Hart and Keliikipi, it can be said that they have provided great value especially given their relatively low rankings coming into this class. Nonetheless, given the hit-to-miss ratio of this class, as a whole, the class must be ranked as below average.

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