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Player Feature: Troy Dye

Call him Elmer cuz he’s the glue

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 31 Redbox Bowl - Michigan State v Oregon Photo by Daniel Gluskoter/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Feature Spotlight: Troy Dye


Player Bio

Pos: ILB H: 6’4” W: 226

Hometown: Norco, CA (Norco HS)

Class: Senior

Arguably the Oregon Ducks most important player on the defensive side of the ball. Troy Dye wasn’t always the tenacious inside linebacker that Oregon fans have come to know and love. Recruited as a safety out of Norco, California, the three-star led his team in tackles as a senior with 105, finishing as co-defensive player of the year in the Big VIII League.

Only weighing 210 pounds as a high school senior, Dye committed to Oregon, putting on an extra 15 pounds of muscle in the midst of a position change. As a freshman, Dye was one of three FBS players to lead their team in tackles. Playing in 11 games and starting in nine, the true freshman finished with 91 tackles, ranking second in the Pac-12 in tackles per game (8.27).

Dye showed no let-up through his sophomore and junior seasons, leading Oregon in tackles each year. His team leading 115 tackles in 2018 made Dye the second player in program history to lead the team in tackles three consecutive years. Looking to make it four-straight, the linebacker out of the Golden State is not only on-watch in the Pac-12, but nationally as well.

Along with the Butkus Award given to the nation’s top linebacker, Dye has been named to the Nagurski Trophy and Bednarik Award watch list.

Dye’s play on the field has been on notice for quite a while, but for the second year straight the former safety from SoCal is being recognized for his contributions off the field.

The Lott IMPACT Trophy is awarded to the defensive player of the year that best exemplifies integrity, maturity, performance, academics, community and tenacity. Traits of which Dye has in spades.

Headed into 2019 with the third most career tackles by an active FBS player, Dye is a leader on and off the field for the Ducks. Rated as the 85 best player in college football by Sports Illustrated. The senior is not only viewed as one of the best linebackers in the Pac-12, but the nation. Setting himself up for a monster senior season.


Career Stats

(2016) GP: 11 - SOLO: 57 - AST: 34 - TOT: 91 - TFL: 13 - SAC: 6.5 - INT: 1 - PD: 2 - FF: 0 - FR: 0

(2017) GP: 13 - SOLO: 62 - AST: 45 - TOT: 107 - TFL: 13.5 - SAC: 4.0 - INT: 1 - PD: 5 - FF: 1 - FR: 1

(2018) GP: 13 - SOLO: 66 - AST: 49 - TOT: 115 - TFL: 8 - SAC: 2.0 - INT: 1 - PD: 8 - FF: 0 - FR: 0

(Total) GP: 38 - SOLO: 185 - AST: 128 - TOT: 313 - TFL: 34.5 - SAC: 12.5 - INT: 3 - PD: 15 - FF: 1 - FR: 1



  • Coaches Pac-12 All-Conference second team
  • Phil Steele All-Pac second team
  • PFF Pac-12 Team (Week 5)


  • Coaches Pac-12 All-Conference second team
  • PFF All-Pac-12 First Team
  • Phil Steele All-Pac-12 Second Team
  • Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week (Week 12)
  • Four-time PFF Pac-12 Team (Week 1, 5, 6 and 12)


  • FWAA Freshman All-American
  • USA Today Sports Freshman All-American
  • ESPN True Freshman All-American
  • Coaches Pac-12 All-Conference honorable mention
  • Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week (Week 1)


NCAA FOOTBALL: OCT 21 Oregon at Cal Photo by Doug Stringer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Best Performance

(2018) Week 5: W 42-24

  • Named to Pro Football Focus’s Pac-12 Team of the Week, Dye made his presence felt all over the field week 5 against Cal. Totaling 11 tackles on the night, Oregon’s jack linebacker assisted on a season-high seven tackles. Dye continuously wreaked havoc, disrupting the Golden Bears offense all night. Eventually forcing Cal’s quarterback, Brandon McIlwain to fumble in the second quarter, while adding 1.5 TFL.



Players like Dye don’t come around every day. Plain and simple. Dye is one of the most valuable players in college football and it’s only in part because of his physical talents. Like starting quarterback Justin Herbert said, he doesn’t do anything wrong.

Dye is a model of consistency. One of the most sure tacklers in football, who also happens to have the athleticism of a member of the secondary. Converting from safety to linebacker, Dye’s foot speed and hands stayed with him as he got bigger and stronger at Oregon.

What separates Dye from the rest of the field is his motor. His relentless nature; the innate ability to push farther and harder than others can. You can’t teach relentless effort.