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Jim Leavitt’s Starting 11: Arrion Springs, Cornerback

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The senior wants to lead his team to a bowl game

Oregon v Utah Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images

No player improved more in the spring than Oregon cornerback Arrion Springs. The senior defensive back highlighted the 2017 Spring Game with three tackles and an athletic interception. Defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt is excited about the leader of his secondary.

We are just 39 days away from Oregon’s first game against Southern Utah on Saturday, September 2 at Autzen Stadium.

Here are my projections for the defensive and offensive starters of Willie Taggart’s 2017-18 team. Let’s get caught up with what you missed:

JIM LEAVITT’S 11

SAFETY - Brenden Schooler

STARTING CORNERBACK, ARRION SPRINGS

Schooler was the first name listed on Monday. Today, we add Springs to the starting mix. The senior defensive back showcased brilliance during moments last season. Yet, there is still upside for growth with this spectacular athlete.

Oregon v Oregon State
Arrion Springs showcased gradual improvement over the last three years. However, after his most-recent spring, the senior is primed for a monster year. He will lead a youthful defense that is coached by new defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt.
Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images

There was no player that impressed more than Springs during the spring. (Arguably, teammate Thomas Graham was equally as impressive). For 15 days of practice, the senior cornerback led by example. Not only has his game improved, but his leadership skills are growing, as well. Overall, he is one of the best football players on the team.

“I like that coach lets us bring the energy and play free,” said Springs after the 2017 Spring Game. “He coaches us really, really hard. I feel like we’re getting better every day. He (Leavitt) can always find something to get on us about.”

In his final season of college, being consistent is a chief concern of the senior.

He appeared in all 12 Duck games last season, starting nine of them. Springs led the team in pass deflections (12). Additionally, he registered 39 tackles including 29 unassisted. He added 3.5 tackles for loss, including a forced fumble and fumble recovery for 34 yards at Nebraska.

Springs doesn’t boast the size of the Colorado secondary that Leavitt coached in 2016-17. At 5-foot-11, he makes up for a lack of height with athleticism and solid hands for a defensive back. The Texan has a nose for the football, often placing him in the right place at the right time.

NCAA Football: Oregon Spring Practice
The senior cornerback is a big fan of his new head coach Willie Taggart. Arrion Springs is excited to start the final chapter of his collegiate career. The San Antonio product will be an essential piece of the defensive puzzle this campaign.
Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

The senior of the secondary will lead by example this season. Springs will finish inside Oregon’s all-time Top 5 for pass deflections over his career.

THE FINAL VERDICT

He will register 50 tackles (100+ for career), 14 pass deflections, three interceptions, two touchdowns and a sack this season. Arrion Springs will conclude his college career with a bowl appearance.

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