Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Class Rewind: 2009 offense

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. Covering two parts last Friday and Monday, we most recently looked at the defensive side of the ball for the signing class of 2009. Today, we move back to the offensive side of the ball. The players signed to the offense in 2009 have been a mostly "miss" group. Only one player from this class has made significant contributions. There may be a change this season as two or three more players look poised to make a bigger impact in their junior season for the Ducks.
Name Position Stars Games Started
Karrington Armstrong

Impact: After a redshirt season, Armstrong appeared in just one game as a freshman for the 2010 Oregon football team. An off-season illness that caused Armstrong to lose a significant amount of weight almost derailed his attempt to see the field in 2011. Heading into fall camp, many though Armstrong had a decent chance to earn a starting slot at center. During camp, though, Armstrong was beat out by Hroniss Grasu for the starting spot. He did appear in 8 games as a sophomore and is expected to challenge for even more playing time heading into the 2012 football season.
OL 0/27
Everett Benyard

Impact: Everett Benyard also spent the 2009 season redshirting. Like Armstrong, Benyard made just one appearance during Oregon's run to the BCS National Championship Game. That appearance came in the opener against New Mexico. As a sophomore, though, Benyard was able to see action off the bench in all 14 games. Playing at right tackle, Benyard was on the field for 20 or more snaps on four different occasions in 2011. Everett is thought by some to be a challenger for a starting spot in 2012.
OL 0/27
Jamaal Burrell

Impact: Burrell arrived along with Armstrong and Benyard and also spent the 2009 season as a redshirt. After 3 appearances as a freshman in 2010, the promising lineman was forced to retire after the 2010 season due to injuries.
OL 0/13
Nick Cole

Impact: Considered a project when he signed, Nick Cole worked with the scout team in 2009. Cole saw action in three games for the Ducks during the 2010 season. As it appeared Cole would get little action in 2011 and beyond, he decided to transfer to Northern Arizona. In his first season with the Lumberjacks, Cole saw action in four games and registered 1 catch for 22 yards in 2011.
WR 0/13
Trevor Fox

Impact: Trevor Fox was the fourth offensive lineman taken in the 2009 class. At 6'4" and 293 pounds, Coach Greatwood saw significant potential in Fox. That potential has not yet been realized, though, as Fox has appeared in just 3 games in each of his first two seasons with the Ducks. He has been working hard in the gym and has the third best power clean amongst offensive lineman. With some of the additions after Fox, it appears he may not see much action in 2012 either.
OL 0/27
Daryle Hawkins

Impact: An unheralded prospect from Omaha, Hawkins has been Oregon's version of the "slash" player seeing time at running back, wide receiver, quarterback and playing special teams. As a freshman in 2010, Hawkins appeared in four games for the Ducks and scored a rushing and receiving touchdown. 2011 saw Hawkins mostly at the wide receiver position as he appeared in 12 games last season. He grabbed 5 receptions for 102 yards including a 51 yard catch against Nevada. Snagged a 25 yard scoring catch in the Pac-12 Championship game against UCLA. Hawkins looked good in the Spring Game this year and may challenge for a spot on the 2-deep.
WR 1/27
Diante Jackson

Impact: Jackson arrived with very high expectations. He encouraged those expectations with brash talk upon his arrival. Unfortunately, academics were a problem. After being declared ineligible for the 2010 season due to not meeting minimum NCAA standards, Jackson transferred to Diablo Valley College in California. He is currently listed as a student at Santa Barbara City College.
WR 0/0
Braxton Lane

Impact: None. Though many had hoped that Lane would choose football, as a 7th round draft pick of the Texas Rangers, Lane pursued professional baseball. After three season that saw him never make it above Single-A baseball, Lane recently signed with the University of Cincinnati.
WR 0/0
Lavasier Tuieni

Impact: Tuinei arrived at Oregon as a junior college transfer with three seasons of eligibility remaining. A strong blocker, Tuinei made a spot for himself early on in his career with the Ducks. He started 9 games in 2009. Tuinei became a better player each season with the Ducks culminating with his 48 receptions for 599 yards and 10 touchdowns as a senior in 2011. He was named the offensive MVP of the Rose Bowl after a performance that saw him snag career highs with 8 catches for 158 yards and 2 touchdowns in the win over the Badgers. Though he was not drafted, Tuinei did sign a free agent contract with the Seattle Seahawks following the 2012 NFL Draft
WR 33/39


Games Started: 34/173 Impact: Outside of Lavasier Tuinei, there is only one start in this entire group. There were misses at wide receiver with two of the signed players getting dismissed from the team due to academics and another transferring to a lower division to play football. A fourth receiver was a long-shot as most thought he would pursue professional baseball and he did. Of the four offensive linemen signed, three are still working for playing time with none having yet started a game for the Ducks while one had to retire from football due to injuries. At this point the class would have to be rated as having performed lower than expectations as a whole. To this point of their careers only one of the players has made a significant contribution with a few others being role players at this point. There will be a much clearer view of what some of those players will provide as the 2012 season progresses. Players like Everett Benyard and Karrington Armstrong could provide a surprise and earn a starting spot heading into 2012. If that happens, the class cane be re-evaluated for their contributions. The misses, though, in this class will always leave it looking as an underperforming class.

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