Welcome to our newest series “10 for 10,” which will help us countdown to kick off. The Ducks are just nine days away from opening day vs Southern Utah at Autzen Stadium. For the next 10 days, we will be posting our projections for the upcoming season.
Let’s get started, here is the No. 9 projection of the 2017 season:
#9 - DEOMMODORE LENOIR’S HOUSE
Alongside head coach Willie Taggart and his staff, the current freshmen have brought a new mentality to the program. Just watch 20 minutes of fall training camp and you can easily see the energy they bring to the table.
A few of the freshmen are turning heads and have been since they arrived on campus in the spring. Unfortunately, true freshman Deommodore Lenoir did not have the luxury of being on campus at that time. He missed the Spring Game and is waiting patiently for his moment.
2017’s No. 1 ranked athlete in the nation is not going to wait long. In fact, the freshman cornerback is up to speed with the playbook and ready to welcome himself to college football. There is nobody I’m more excited about watching this season than Lenoir.
Entering college, Lenoir was the No. 1 athlete and No. 6 ranked high school cornerback in the country. He was recruited by everyone. Here is a list of the programs that offered him scholarships:
Alabama, Boise State, Boston College, BYU, California, Colorado, Florida, Fresno State, Illinois, Louisville, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Mississippi State, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon State, San Diego State, TCU, Tennessee, UCLA, USC, Utah, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, Washington and Washington State.
He was one of the most coveted players in America and most will see why very soon.
Following his commitment to Mark Helfrich and his staff last year, Lenoir backed off when Taggart signed on. He maturely wanted to meet the man, first.
It didn’t take the first year Duck head coach long to convince Lenoir that Oregon was indeed the right place. The elite prospect recommitted himself to do something in Eugene.
“Deommodore Lenoir has done a great job for us,” said Taggart. “I’m really excited to see those guys come and compete with the older guys. I think they’re ready and they are athletic enough to do it. I’m excited to watch them.”
Over the last 17 days of training camp, Lenoir and true freshman Thomas Graham Jr. have been setting themselves apart. Graham looks destined for a starting spot, while Lenoir is on the heels of everyone in the secondary.
Defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt has a propensity to play his best players. Last season with Colorado, Leavitt started three corners and one safety. I envision the same thing occurring in Oregon.
THE AARON JUDGE RULING
The impact Lenoir will make his freshman year will be substantial. Nevertheless, this is a future NFL draft pick we are talking about, he’s only going to get better in the years to come. In 2017, Lenoir will play a pivotal role in Oregon’s resurgence. Not only will he lead the team in interceptions (5), but he will do so without starting his first collegiate game until Week 6. That is when the takeover will begin. This is assuming Tyree Robinson will be playing safety and Leavitt sticks with his 3-4 defensive approach of one safety. Lenoir will record 32 tackles, 17 solos while deflecting 11 passes and he’ll house an interception in Pac-12 play. DL will make one of the biggest impacts in the conference while earning Freshmen All-American honors like Troy Dye in 2016.
Part 3 of 10 for 10 will be published on Friday, right here at ATQ!