The decisions are in.
Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich and his band of assistant coaches locked themselves away on Friday to make their depth chart selections for next weeks opening game versus Nicholls State, as well as those young players the Ducks will redshirt.
Among the most anticipated decisions were which players among the talented freshman class would utilize their redshirt, and which of those would indeed have the opportunity to play.
As expected, 5 star recruit ( RB ) Thomas Tyner will play, as will TE Johnny Mundt, LB Tyrell Robinson and LB Torrodney Prevot.
The freshman Helfrich plans to redshirt are; WR Darren Carrington, QB Damion Hobbs, QB Taylor Alie, OL Elijah George, OL Doug Brenner, DB Tyree Robinson, DB Chris Seisay and DB Juwaan Williams.
All difficult decisions considering the talent level of each of these young players.
At this point though, it’s a numbers game and the Ducks have too many numbers for a select few positions so the difficult decisions to redshirt these specific players will certainly benefit Helfrich and his team long term.
Other players on the redshirt ‘bubble’, – those players who could see action based on need or injury are WR Devon Allen, RB Kani Benoit, OL Cameron Hunt and OL Jake Pisarcik.
Helfrich explained these are the guys who had a great fall camp and could play if the Ducks sustained injuries, however he said he’d like them to redshirt to give them more time in the system.
While the difficult decisions are mostly complete, Helfrich now must see how his team responds moving forward.
“After a decision day … you want to see how guys respond and we had a great practice,” Helfrich told reporters on Saturday.
“You want to see those guys that either kind of ease up because they think they’ve made it in the world or those who go in the tank because they’re redshirting and there were no visible signs of that and that’s a good thing.”
At the linebacker position, it’s expected Tony Washington and Boseko Lokombo will start on the outside.
On the inside, Helfrich said those positions have been selected after an extremely competitive fall camp, but told reporters they won’t be named until Monday when the week No. 1 depth chart is released.
It’s expected several players will see considerable action at the linebacker position including junior college transfer Joe Walker, Jr. Rodney Hardrick, Jr. Derrick Malone, So. Rahim Cassell, So. Tyson Coleman and redshirt freshman Brett Bafaro.
Another change to look for is redshirt freshman Oshay Dunmore moving from defensive back to the outside linebacker position.
Dunmore’s size and speed as a pure athlete seems to fit better as an outside linebacker which allows Tyson Coleman to take more reps on the inside.
“We have a collection of really good players,’’ said Linebacker Coach Don Pellum last week.
“Now the question is how do they fit?’’
Pellum told reporters he expects to rotate 8 to 10 players at the linebacker positions when the season begins next Saturday with the Colonels of Nicholls State. ( Autzen Stadium – 1:00 pm )
As for the kicking game, it’s expected Alejandro Maldonado will be the starter as the Ducks punter after a competitive camp with junior college transfer Dylan Ausherman.
Maldonado is likely to be the starting placekicker with freshman Matt Wogan also likely to see action.
A complete depth chart will be released by Helfrich on Monday.