Fentress one on one with Torrodney Prevot
Predator from the 1987 hit movie of the same name.
EUGENE – Pass rushing is in Torrodney Prevot’s blood.
Oregon’s sophomore linebacker hunts quarterback sacks with the same ferocity as the fictional character Predator hunted skulls.
It’s fitting then that Prevot sports short dreadlocks that slightly dangle from beneath the back of his helmet, quite similar to the Predator's look.
Although Prevot says every down gets his juices flowing, third down is typically when it’s time for him to become a predator of quarterbacks.
“Third down, I call that the money down,” Prevot said with a big smile. “So, that’s when I go get my money.”
Prevot cashed in for 2 ½ quarterback sacks as a freshman last year in limited duty spread out over 12 games. Eight of his 12 tackles came on special teams. This season Prevot is locked into a battle with redshirt junior Tyson Colemen for the starting strong side linebacker job, vacated by Boseko Lokombo. Regardless of which man wins the job, both Prevot and Coleman are expected to be consistent contributors providing Prevot with plenty of opportunities to prey on quarterbacks.
Prevot came to Oregon last year as a four-star recruit out of Houston, Texas. At Alief Taylor High School, Prevot made life miserable for quarterbacks on a consistent basis. In one game Prevot had 10 tackles, four sacks, forced a fumble, and returned an interception and a fumble back for touchdowns.
It’s that type of potential that made Prevot's late decision to choose Oregon over a long list of other suitors, including LSU, Oklahoma, USC, Texas A&M, Texas and Notre Dame.
Prevot said he chose to leave the state in order to branch out while knowing that his large family back home would always support him.
“I just felt like it was time for something new, and that I had to get away just to be on my own to learn my place in this world,” he said.
His place with the Ducks is finding a way into the opposing team’s backfield.
Oregon coach Mark Helfrich said last spring that the 6-foot-3, 222-pound Prevot didn’t know how good he could become. So far during camp, it appears that Prevot is making inroads toward meeting his potential.
“He’s had a solid fall,” Helfrich said. “When he puts it all together, he’s really good.”
Sometimes piecing things together takes time. Take the 6-1 Colemen for example. Now up to 240 pounds, Coleman appears ready to fulfill his promise after spending the previous two seasons as a backup.
Consequently, Prevot might not move into a starter’s role this year. He said he’s okay with that. Prevot described the competition as a give and take with each learning from the other, creating what could become a dynamic duo at the outside linebacker position.
“Those are things that are really helping our team,” he said of the reciprocity between the two. “If he starts one game, I know that I’ll be all right with that. I know that I’ll get my playing time. I know that I can step up and be a big part of the team. And If I start one game, I feel like he will feel the same way.”
Every linebacker and defensive lineman wants to sack the quarterback. Not all have the talents to make it happen.
Helfrich said Prevot has those innate gifts.
“There’s a certain knack for a guy that can be in an awkwardly low skinny position while still attacking the passer,” Helfrich said.
Helfrich, who said Prevot has also improved in pass coverage and with his overall knowledge of the system, referenced former Oregon linebacker Dion Jordan (now with the Miami Dolphins) and former Arizona State defensive end Terrell Suggs (Baltimore) as great examples of elite pass rushers.
“They are hard to block,” said Helfrich, who coached quarterbacks at ASU while Suggs was there. “It’s hard for an offensive lineman to physically get down and still be powerful.”
Prevot is hardly one to rely solely on his physical gifts.
“I love the art of pass rushing,” Prevot said.
Prevot enjoys reading offensive linemen. Their hands, feet and eyes can expose weaknesses.
Prevot frequently tries out new pass rush moves at practice and seeks advice.
“He’s hungry,” Oregon inside linebacker Derrick Malone said. “He wants to get to that quarterback and he’s always thinking of different moves…I heard him the other day talking to offensive linemen and asking what moves works, etc.”
Always personable and rarely without a smile on his face, Prevot is considered to be one of the team’s prime jokesters.
“Torrodney always has me laughing,” Malone said. “He’s always making jokes.”
Pac-12 quarterbacks might not find him to be all that humorous in 2014.