Coming back for his sophomore season in a relative cultivated backfield, Thomas Tyner looks to make a statement as one of the nation's emerging running backs for the upcoming 2014 campaign. With Tyner's counterpart Byron Marshall gaining confidence in now his second year as a starter as a junior. Gives Thomas Tyner a great deal of leeway to work with. But also provides itself with a downside, three more freshman running backs are arriving on campus this fall. Royce Freeman, Tony James, and Taj Griffith will be all looking to plant their footprint on the Oregon depth chart. However many might not see the field at all times with limited action being brought.
Last season, Thomas Tyner was in someways in the same position as these freshman are now in before him. With the exception of widely spread depth. Tyner was used lightly in the precursor to last season, by only getting touches in blowout games in non conference and stretches in early October. When Marshall and De'Anthony Thomas were done pounding out runs against the teeth of defenses throughout the games. Tyner was left by himself measuring up against lesser skilled talent, yet built ever growing confide and exposure early. After all he was one of the main reasons why Oregon won the Civil War last year, by gashing the Beaver defense for nearly 140 yards. Having been recruited as a 5 star guy, most of the Oregon heads people knew Tyner's time will ever so surely grow in the ladder stages of his Oregon career. Just look at LaMichael James and a more better example Kenjon Barner, who Tyner replicates nicely.
Once the second half of the 2013 went underway, it wasn't just the final quarter you would see Tyner running. He knew his role and adapted on the fly as he then saw time carrying the same loads that Marshall did, at the start of games. This is what makes Tyner the more explosive players to look forward to in the upcoming months. He is a different type of runner than what Marshall brings to the table. More compacted, low center of gravity makes himself a much greater task to bring down not forgetting that he has blazing speed once he reaches the open field. 110 carries with 770 rushing yards added in with 9 running TD's was just the peak of Tyner's success in the backfield. These stats and playmaking abilities will undoubtedly grow without hesitation.
Other than Mariota, Oregon will be looking at highly dependable player to turn to. Thomas Tyner can be a special play maker to the national landscape. Someone who can help Mariota's stamina, and also can help Oregon RUN it's way to College Football's summit.