Justin Hoffman isn't a name many outside of Eugene and the Oregon football program are aware of, but his impact has been felt by those in and around the Oregon program.
As a walk-on from Churchill High in Eugene, Hoffman worked his way into the fold at wide receiver and earned a scholarship while seeing an increase in playing time over the past two years. Hoffman earned the right to be named a starter in six games last fall for the Ducks before having to sit out the last six games because repeated concussions.
After working as an undergraduate assistant in the spring while contemplating the future of his career as a player, Hoffman was able to contribute to the program on the sidelines. Now Hoffman has decided to take on the role full time as he has made the call to step away from the game for good.
Hoffman finished his career with 13 catches for 148 yards but his contribution to the program can't be measured in stats. He was an outstanding blocker on the edge for the Ducks. His work ethic and leadership provided a source of motivation for his teammates.
With Hoffman on the sideline for good, the Ducks lose a valuable piece of their wide receiving corps. Hoffman was never going to be the go-to guy this fall, but every team needs a player like him to do whatever the team needs. There is plenty of talent among the receivers, but the void will be in leadership.
Josh Huff becomes the most experienced member of the receivers group. Huff might be the most talented of the bunch but he has never been looked to as a leader. His maturity and progression on and off the field become even more important with Hoffman's decision.
Hoffman isn't going far, as he'll on the sideline this fall, continuing his role as an undergraduate assistant. His connection to the wide receivers and his standing as a team leader will remain intact.
Oregon head coach Chip Kelly shared his thoughts when he spoke about Hoffman on Friday.
“Justin Hoffman epitomizes what a student-athlete should be,” Kelly said. “No individual has worked harder to make himself a good football player and his contributions have been immeasurable. I am anticipating the impact he makes on this team from a coaching standpoint to be just as great as it was on the field.”