While the Ducks have lost two underclassmen to the NFL draft so far, they got some great news today: Junior DE Deforest Buckner will stay at Oregon for his senior year.
From the GoDucks.com release:
"I am close to finishing my degree and that is very important to me. That is the reason I came here in the first place.
"I love the University of Oregon and see big things for us next year. Plus I feel that another year of experience here and under Coach (Ron) Aiken can only help my development and better prepare me for the next level."
Bucker's return will be a big boost to the defense in the 2015 season. With Buckner (and it is assumed NT Alex Balducci) returning, the Ducks will return a strong core of this year's defensive line. Buckner had 81 tackles (13 for loss) and 4 sacks on the season, very good for a 3-4 DE in Oregon's system. Buckner also batted a ball which led to an interception in the Rose Bowl.
Oregon will lose a number of contributors on the defense this offseason (especially in the secondary), so Buckner's return will be especially important, as he will be expected to anchor the defense early while newer players grow into their positions.