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2019 Spring Practice Recap + Fall Preview: Defensive Backs

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What can the Ducks look forward to from a defensive backs group that was effective last year?

Oregon v Oregon State Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images

I 2019 Depth Chart (Spring)

Cornerback

1. Thomas Graham, Jr 5’11 191 Junior

2. Verone McKinley III 5’10 190 RS Freshman

3. Charles Sudduth 5’10 170 Senior

4. Damon Hickok 6’1 192 RS Freshman

5. Dexter Myers 6’0 190 Junior

Free Safety

1. Khalef Hailassie 6’2 200 Sophomore

2. Lucas Noland 5’11 192 RS Freshman

3. Billy Gibson 6’1 172 Junior

Strong Safety

1. Nick Pickett 6’1 200 Junior

2. Brady Breeze 6’0 195 Junior

3. Steve Stephens 6’0 192 RS Freshman

4. Sean Killpatrick 5’11 196 Senior

Cornerback

1. Deommodore Lenoir 5’11 196 Junior

2. Haki Woods 6’3 201 Senior

3. Mykael Wright 5’11 180 Freshman

4. Jordan Adeyemi-John 6’1 210 RS Freshman

5. Daewood Davis 6’2 180 Sophomore

What happened during spring practices?

  • Billy Gibson elected to transfer right before the spring game was scheduled to take place.
  • Daewood Davis made the decision to switch from receiver before the spring to cornerback for various reasons, including playing time at receiver.
  • Khalef Hailassie switched from corner to safety in order to add some depth to the position. I imagine he will be used in an utility type of role going forward.
  • Standout sophomore free safety Jevon Holland sat out the entire spring due to injury.
  • The starters at corner largely remained the same with Graham and Lenoir returning as battle tested juniors. While the lack of depth isn’t as dire as last season, it’s still somewhat of a question beyond those two.
  • Haki Woods was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA and immediately slots in as a nickel corner behind TG4 and Lenoir due to his experience.
  • True freshman early enrollee Mykael Wright had an impressive spring camp + game to cement himself in the cornerback rotation in the fall. He had a Odell Beckham like catch to finish off the spring game with an interception off of Tyler Shough.
  • Brady Breeze moved back to safety after spending the majority of the 2018 season backing up at the linebacker position. Reports indicate that he appeared to have never left safety.

Post Spring Depth Chart

Cornerback

1. Graham

2. VM3

3. Sudduth

4. D.J. James 6’0 178 Freshman (redshirt)

Free Safety

1. Jevon Holland 6’1 196 Sophomore

2. Hailassie

3. Noland

4. Trikweze Bridges 6’3 192 Freshman (redshirt)

Strong Safety

1. Pickett

2. Breeze

3. Stephens

4. Killpatrick

5. Jamal Hill 6’1 204 Freshman (redshirt)

Cornerback

1. Lenoir

2. Wright

3. Woods

4. JAJ

5. Davis

What could happen during fall camp and the 2019 season?

  • I expect the three freshmen (Hill, James, and Bridges) to redshirt due to the depth ahead of them at their respective positions. They will probably get some reps in live game action before getting the redshirt, however.
  • Wright will likely play a large role as the potential nickel corner and avoiding the redshirt as a result because of being an early enrollee and a strong spring.
  • The four starters are the same with strong safety being a year long battle between Breeze and Pickett. If opposing offensive coordinators are smart, they would attack this position relentlessly as it is the weakest in the Ducks secondary.
  • It’s largely an unknown after the top four cornerbacks. One of these guys has to step up and claim a job, right?
  • It remains to be seen if Davis makes an impact or if he’s “encouraged” to seek opportunities elsewhere outside of the program. Oregon is currently above the 85 scholarship limit.
  • Will one of Graham and Lenoir or both declare for the NFL draft if they have strong seasons? The cornerback class is relatively down for the 2020 cycle and they could capitalize on that fact.
  • Can Holland live up to the hype after a great freshman season and avoid the sophomore slump? Can he effectively replace Ugo Amadi?

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