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A Look at the Oregon Football Depth Chart: Offensive Line

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The big guys should be opening up a lot of holes for Mr. Barner this season.
The big guys should be opening up a lot of holes for Mr. Barner this season.

Overview:

Oregon loses two starters from the offensive line in Mark Asper and Darrion Weems, but with as many players as they rotate, return a ton of experience. Sophomore Hronnis Grasu is excellent at center, while Nick Cody returns at right tackle. Guard Carson York also returns, and is projected to be fully recovered from his Rose Bowl injury by the home opener. Senior Ryan Clanton was the top reserve last season, and figures to slide into one of the vacant spots. Everett Benyard, Jake Fisher, Karrington Armstrong, and Hamani Stevens all saw significant playing time last season. Oregon will need to figure out their last starter, and also replace the depth that was lost with Asper and Weems graduating. Redshirt freshmen Tyler Johnstone, Andre Yruretagoyena, and Jamal Prater, incoming senior transfer Kyle Long, and veterans Trevor Fox and Mana Greig are all in the mix.

Questions:

Not many. This is the most solid group on the offensive side of the ball going into the season, which is very comforting. When the offensive line can protect and open holes, I feel very comfortable that Chip Kelly is going to put talent in positions where they can makes plays.

Clanton was solid last year at a number of positions, and the transition to him starting should be seamless. I think where he starts will depend on who wins the other starting job. Benyard and Fisher played mostly at tackle last season, while Stevens played mostly at guard. If Stevens wins a spot, look for Clanton to start at left tackle. If its Benyard or Fisher, Clanton could easily play at right guard. Also, don't sleep on Kyle Long, who wouldn't have been brought in with one year of eligibility if the coaches didn't think he could play.

The one thing that could be an issue would be if there were some sort of setback with York's injury recovery. However, the redshirt freshmen, especially Johnstone, are drawing raves at spring practice, and the Ducks could be left with the luxury of surplus depth.

Projection:

I expect this position to be a major strength of the offense. I don't see any glaring holes. I do look for Oregon to play more guys at OL this season, especially in blowout wins, to gain experienced depth as Clanton, Cody, York, and Long all graduate after the season.