Leading up to the start of Oregon’s fall camp on Monday, CSNNW.com will preview the Ducks by ranking the Top 25 (or so) most important players entering the season. Spoiler alert: Quarterback Marcus Mariota is not No. 1. Importance here is measured by a a subjective combination of past production, expected production and potential production weighted against replacement options, and how much of an impact a player’s success of failure could have on the overall success of the Ducks in 2014 as they continue to chase an elusive national title.
Position: Left tackle.
Year: Redshirt junior.
Ht/Wt: 6-6, 283.
Claim to fame: The three-year starter was named honorable mention All-Pac-12 last season.
Why he is important: The bigger, stronger, more experienced offensive line that's looking to regain its swag after a disappointing season would have trouble accomplishing that if Johnstone is not fully recovered from a serious knee injury that knocked him out of the Alamo Bowl.
Johnstone vowed during spring drills that he would be ready for the opening game, but the jury remains out, especially when one considers how troublesome it was for former UO guard Carson York to play the following season after injuring his knee in the 2012 Rose Bowl.
York's 2012 season was cut short. UO has to hope that johnstone experiences much better luck.
Johnstone to this point has mostly survived on savvy, skill and technique as an undersized left tackle. Now that he's added extra bulk, Johnstone said he is looking forward to seeing what he can do in situations where he's not merely fighting to survive against much bigger players.
Projected offensive line depth chart:
LG: Hamani Stevens (RSr., 6-3, 307); Jake Pisarcik (RFr., 6-2, 295).
RG: Cameron Hunt (So., 6-4, 285); Haniteli Lousi (transfer, Jr., 6-5, 295).
No. 16: DT Alex Balducci.
No. 18: K/P Matt Wogan.
No. 19: CB Dior Mathis.
No. 20: RT Jake Fisher.
No. 21: ILB Rodney Hardrick.
No. 22: DT Sam Kamp and company.
No. 24: OL Andre Yruretagoyena.
No. 25: DB Troy Hill.