Oregon sophomore Calvin Throckmorton will start at right tackle for the Ducks this season. The redshirt freshman started all 12 games at right tackle for the Ducks in 2016.
We are just 16 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)
LEFT TACKLE - Tyrell Crosby (Sunday)
LEFT GUARD - Shane Lemieux (Monday)
CENTER - Jake Hanson (Tuesday)
RIGHT GUARD - Jake Pisarcik (Wednesday)
STARTING RIGHT TACKLE, CALVIN THROCKMORTON
The third sophomore starter on the offensive line enters his second year after starting every game during his freshman campaign. Oregon saw their share of freshmen starting offensive linemen last year, which should pay huge dividends in 2017.
Last season, Throckmorton was awarded Pac-12 All-Conference Honorable Mention and Pac-12 All-Academic First Team. He wants to elevate his effort from 2016 this year.
Currently, no newcomers made the starting five on the line for my projections. However, o-line coach Mario Cristobal will use a rotation at times much like the defense does with defensive linemen. Therefore, the youngsters will find their opportunities.
“Nowadays in college football if you’re a freshman; if guys are capable physically, you can get them ready to play,” said Cristobal. “Our history as a coaching staff, my history as a coach, freshmen will play.”
If the Ducks offensive line stays healthy, then Oregon’s backfield will run wild. Alongside Royce Freeman, UO possesses elite depth with Tony Brooks-James, Kani Benoit, and Darrian Felix. If the holes are there, these guys will slide through them.
The 6-foot-5 tackle from Bellevue will provide major stability on the right side of the line if he stays upright. Nevertheless, protecting quarterback Justin Herbert is his No. 1 priority.
THE FINAL VERDICT
The sophomore will help Herbert excel, alongside watching Royce Freeman and company run for the Pac-12 rushing crown. Throckmorton will help lead the Ducks to the No. 1 rushing rank in the Pac-12 Conference. A season after finishing fifth overall in rushing yards, the Ducks will reclaim the rushing crown (3,122 yards) in 2017. He will also help lift Herbert to a brilliant 3,900-yard, 32-TD passing season. Throckmorton will start every game, earning some honors along the way. He will be named to the Pac-12 Conference Second Team, including once again being named a Pac-12 All-Academic First Teamer.
Part 11 of Willie Taggart’s Starting 11 will conclude our series on Friday.