When we look back on the seniors of 2009, I don't think they will be remembered in the same vein as some of the other Oregon greats. We'll remember 2001 for Joey Harrington. We'll remember 2007 for Dennis Dixon. We'll remember 2008 for the stellar offensive line and Jeremiah Johnson.
But 2009 is different. The face of the offense, LeGarrette Blount, was suspended for most of the season. The face of the defense, Walter Thurmond III, missed most of the season with a knee injury. And this year may end up being known as a year of transition, as successful as this team may end up being.
But this class is something special. They lived through 2006, when the team imploded down the stretch, and carried those lessons forward, helping to bridge the gap between 2007 and 2009, and providing leadership on a very young team.
Without the leadership and production of Walter Thurmond, Ed Dickson, Will Tukuafu, and T.J. Ward this team would not be where it is. On top of this, many other seniors who didn't see the field as much are just as important to the program. Andre Crenshaw, Rory Cavaille, Willie Glasper, Blake Ferras, Simi Toeaina Titus Jackson are vital and productive members of the team, and worked their butts off day in a day out. Their hard work helped pushed other players to that next level.Riley Showalter, Mike DiVincenzo, and Pono Kam earned their scholarships, and their play on special teams helped give Oregon one of the top special teams units in the conference.
Thanks for the memories guys. You will all be greatly missed. Enjoy your final game at Autzen.
After the jump, we have some videos, to remember the contributions of another special Oregon class.
In a long line of great Oregon tight ends, Dickson goes down as the most productive, with big plays over and over again during his career. His catch against Arizona was simply spectacular. Here are some of my favorite Ed Dickson moments:
He will be remembered as the enforcer of the Oregon defense, laying hits over and over again, and likely go down as the most YouTube'd Duck of all time (for exploits DURING the football game).
Walter Thurmond III
He had a knack for the big play. I feel cheated that we missed out on most of his senior year.
We'll ultimately remember Blount for his essentially lost senior year, which is too bad. He was utterly dominant as a change of pace his junior year. So let's remember him for that, and by one of my favorite runs of all time.
I'm sure I missed some big moments, so leave your favorite memories of our seniors in the comments. GO DUCKS!