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.
No. 17: Tyson Coleman and Torrodney Prevot.
Position: Outside linebacker.
Year: Coleman is a redshirt junior. Prevot is a sophomore.
Ht./Wt.: Coleman (6-1, 240). Prevot (6-3, 220).
Claim to fame: Coleman has 55 tackles in 24 career games. Prevot, in limited action last season, had 14 tackles, three sacks and two tackles for loss.
Why they are important: Boseko Lokombo had a highly-productive career over four seasons leaving a big hole at the strong side linebacker position.
But the Ducks have recruited this spot well, and thus shouldn't miss a beat with Coleman and Prevot.
Both are former four-star recruits, blessed with great athleticism. Coleman is the favorite to begin the season as the starter, but Prevot will be right on his heels all season. Expect both to see a ton of action regardless of who the starter is.
Coleman has needed time to fill out and adapt to the college game, but appears ready to make an impact in his fourth year. He is up to 240 pounds, much bigger than Lokombo's 229, but still possesses as much, if not more, pure speed.
Prevot might be a bit more fluid than Coleman but is not quite as built. Prevot demonstrated his elite athleticism last season by producing three sacks and two tackles for loss in very limited action.
As far as physical abilities go, these might be the best two outside linebackers the Ducks have had in some time. Now it's time to translate that talent into on-field production.
Projected linebacker depth chart:
ILB: Rodney Hardrick (RJr., 6-1, 243); Joe Walker (Jr., 6-2, 237).
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.