During the next few weeks, we’re going to go through Oregon’s roster, position by position, examining what talent was lost to graduation or the NFL and what that leaves the Ducks with in 2014.
We’re well into the defense now, past the front seven and into the secondary. We’ll look at the cornerbacks today.
Who was lost after the 2013 season: Terrance Mitchell
Lost production: 59 tackles, 5 interceptions, 7 pass break-ups
Who returns in 2014: senior Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, redshirt senior Dior Mathis, redshirt senior Troy Hill, junior Dominique Harrison, redshirt freshman Chris Seisay, redshirt sophomore Stephen Amoako, redshirt sophomore Michael Manns, incoming freshman Arrion Springs, incoming freshman Glen Ihenacho
Statistics of returning players: 131 tackles, 7 TFL, 4 interceptions, 12 pass break-ups
Outlook: The fact that Ekpre-Olomu decided to return for his final year of eligibility was a huge, huge gift for the Ducks. He’ll anchor one corner spot, while Mathis and Hill will fight for the spot opposite him, though it seems Mathis had the better spring of the two.
The transfer of Harrison also helps the Ducks' secondary. Any time a junior-college player can come in, he has the opportunity to see some immediate playing time. Younger players such as Seisay looked solid in the spring game, and they’ll be right there pushing for reps in the two deep.
The cornerback play this season should be impressive. Like so many other positions, most of the players getting the quality reps will be guys in their final year of eligibility, so there will be a lot of experience at corner. It also means that the Ducks are going to go through a major rebuilding phase after this season, so pay close attention to the juniors or sophomores getting time behind Ekpre-Olomu, Mathis and Hill.