Senior Tyrell Crosby will start at left tackle for Oregon football in 2017. Entering his final season in college, the Nevada native wants to exit Eugene on a winning note.
We are just 20 days away from Oregon’s first game against Southern Utah on Saturday, September 2 at Autzen Stadium.
If you missed any of my 11-part series projecting the defense, you can find it at ATQ. Now, it’s time for the offensive starter projections for Willie Taggart’s 2017-18 team.
WILLIE TAGGART’S 11
QUARTERBACK - Justin Herbert (Tuesday)
RUNNING BACK - Royce Freeman (Wednesday)
WIDE RECEIVER - Charles Nelson (Thursday)
WIDE RECEIVER - Dillon Mitchell (Friday)
TIGHT END - Jacob Breeland (Saturday)
STARTING LEFT TACKLE, TYRELL CROSBY
Unfortunately, Crosby appeared in just two of Oregon’s 12 games last season. Injuries kept the then junior from making a serious impact. However, he did help guide Oregon to their best rushing day of the season (336 yards) vs Nebraska in Lincoln.
Crosby started all 12 games his sophomore season (2014), including a 13-game starting streak that extended from the end of his freshman year.
The 6-foot-5 lineman has seen it all at Oregon. From a Marcus Mariota-led attack on college football that landed Crosby and his Ducks in the national title game. To a season to forget in 2016 under Mark Helfrich (4-8). The senior tackle will not accept another failure.
Head coach Willie Taggart believes competition brings out the best in players and his young offensive line is no different. O-line coach Mario Cristobal has done a phenomenal job with this group since the start of spring. In all seriousness, the coaches envision a lot of different guys finding opportunities on the line in 2017.
“There’s nothing like having competition,” said Taggart. “Coach Cristobal does a great job getting his guys ready for practice. We think running back is an extension of the o-line. The more they understand the ways the line is taught to do things, the better they can be as a running back setting blocks. Royce (Freeman) is in the offensive line meetings too, so he understands the calls and what Coach Cristobal is teaching those guys.”
THE FINAL VERDICT
Crosby will return to his sophomore form, starting every game for the Ducks this season, including a bowl victory. The left tackle will help lead Oregon to the Pac-12 rushing title with over 2,800 yards on the ground. In the disastrous campaign of 2016, the Ducks finished just 103 yards shy of tying the No. 1 rush attack (Arizona) in the Pac-12. With a healthy Crosby alongside a deep backfield which is accompanied by a coach that loves to run, everything should return to normal this season. The senior will earn himself 1st Team Pac-12 honors alongside elevating his NFL draft stock.
Part 7 of Willie Taggart’s Starting 11 series will continue on Monday.