When the Oregon Football team finally does play a game, they’ll do so without one of the best players in program history.
Penei Sewell, Oregon’s pivotal left tackle, has declared for the 2021 NFL Draft. The news surprised only a few die-hard fans that held on hope the talented lineman would pull a Justin Herbert and return for his senior season despite being projected as a high first-round pick, but on Monday the junior announced on twitter his intentions.
Though Sewell only played a total of 21 games as a Duck, his impact was immediately noticed by even casual fans who often overlook the contributions made by the o-line. His recruitment was a huge win for Mario Cristobal and the class of 2018 (ranked the No. 60 player in the country by Rivals.com and was a high four-star in the 247 composite) and as a freshmen he ushered in a new era for Oregon - an era built around the notion of superior line play.
He missed six games in the 2018 season after suffering an injury against washington, but came back to battle in the Redbox Bowl victory against Michigan State. He allowed just one sack during his two seasons as a starter, despite tallying 1,376 snaps. In 2019, he became the first sophomore offensive lineman to win the Outland Trophy and many analysts mention his name regularly when listing the best players currently playing college football.
“There are no words to adequately express how blessed I feel for having played football for the past two seasons at the best school in the country, the University of Oregon. The love and support I’ve received has been overwhelming and I could not be more grateful. But ever since I was little, I have dreamt of playing professional football. Accordingly, after long thought, prayer and many conversations with my family, I have decided to opt out of the 2020-21 college football season and prepare for the 2021 NFL draft.”
-Penei Sewell on twitter
The decision to postpone the 2020 season clearly impacted the young talent’s decision, and both the PAC-12 and Sewell made the right choice.
Let us unite as Duck fans and send a hearty “ooooooooooooo” to this Oregon great. We wish you well, Sewell, and, for Herbert’s sake, we wouldn’t mind seeing you in a Chargers’ uniform.
- Outland Trophy Winner
- Polynesian College Football Co-Player of the Year
- Morris Trophy Winner
- AP Pac-12 Co-Offensive Player of the Year
- PFF Pac-12 Player of the Year
- Unanimous first-team All-American
- AFCA All-America first team
- AP All-America first team
- FWAA All-America first team
- Sporting News All-America first team
- Walter Camp All-America first team
- Bleacher Report All-America first team
- CBS Sports All-America first team
- ESPN.com All-America first team
- PFF All-America first team
- Sports Illustrated All-America first team
- The Athletic All-America first team
- USA TODAY All-America first team
- AP Pac-12 All-Conference first team
- Coaches Pac-12 All-Conference first team
- Outland Trophy Offensive Player of the Month (September)
- Four-Time Pac-12 Offensive Lineman of the Week (Week 3, 4, 7 & 14)
- Six-time PFF National Team of the Week (Week 3, 4, 7, 8, 9 & 14)
- Nine-Time Pac-12 Team of the Week (Week 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 12, 13 & 14)
- USA TODAY Freshman All-America team
- 247Sports True Freshman All-America team
- Coaches Pac-12 All-Conference honorable mention
- PFF Pac-12 Team of the Week (Week 2)