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Preseason Camp Preview: OL

Oct 2, 2020


Who's back: Already, this was setting up as a transition year for Oregon on the offensive line, after the graduation of five seniors including four guys who started games each of the last four years — Shane Lemieux, Jake Hanson, Calvin Throckmorton and Brady Aiello. Add former graduate transfer Dallas Warmack to that, and the Ducks in 2020 were going to be replacing a ton of talent and experience. But … BUT … we could say for most of this offseason, at least returning Outland Trophy winner Penei Sewell — one of the most talented players ever to suit up at Oregon — was back at left tackle. Then, of course, Sewell declared for the NFL Draft, opting out of this year's abbreviated season. So the times truly are a-changin' for the Ducks up front.

The rebuild starts around Steven Jones, who was limited to four appearances last season in order to preserve a redshirt year. He'll be a third-year sophomore this fall, and he took a huge step forward this offseason in terms of re-shaping his body in order to be an impact starter. He figured to be the right tackle until Sewell's opt-out. Also back and looking to mature from backup to starter is Alex Forsyth, who like Throckmorton before him could handle just about any assignment across the entire offensive line. Two seniors, George Moore and Sam Poutasi, are looking to blossom into bigger roles this year as well. Dawson Jaramillo and Chris Randazzo came in with the Sewell/Jones recruiting class but haven't been on the same trajectory due to injuries. There's experience for the developmental squad in Ryan Walk, Devin Lewis and Cole Young, with Walk in particular a guy who could slide up and contend for a role on the two-deep as well.

Who's new: The coaching staff has been preparing for this turnover on the offensive line for the past couple of years in recruiting. Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu was signed out of junior college in 2019 and redshirted last year to develop, and another JC guard signed this year, T.J. Bass. Both guys got quite a bit of run with the first unit during the four practices of spring drills, and held their own. The Ducks also welcomed freshman Jonathan Denis in time for spring, and he really opened some eyes with his play at center. His recruiting classmates Jaylan Jeffers, Marcus Harper II, Logan Sagapolu and Faaope Laloulu are now on hand as well, and the heavy losses to graduation higher on the depth chart mean plenty of opportunity to contend for spots up and down the two-deep.


Projected depth chart
LT: Steven Jones, So.; Jonah Tauanu'u, RFr.; Jaylan Jeffers, Fr.
LG: T.J. Bass, Jr.; Sam Poutasi, Sr.; Marcus Harper II, Fr.
C: Alex Forsyth, Jr.; Jonathan Denis, Fr.; Logan Sagapolu, Fr.; Ryan Walk, Jr.
RG: Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu, Jr.; Faaope Laloulu, Fr.; Devin Lewis, So.
RT: George Moore, Sr.; Dawson Jaramillo, So.; Chris Randazzo, So.; Cole Young, RFr.

What to watch: There's obviously a lot to sort out in October, given the roster turnover and then the limited evaluation period in the spring. And your reporter's exposure to the program has been more limited than usual due to COVID-19 protocols. So take the projection above with several grains of salt, and we'll hit the reset button when practice begins next week.