March 24, 2012

Pre-spring analysis: DB

Pre-spring unit analysis: Defensive back

The Oregon defensive backfield entered the 2011 season in relatively good shape. Although they graduated senior CB Talmadge Jackson and Rovers Marvin Johnson, Chad Peppars and Brian Butterfield, they were returning enough young talent that few observers viewed John Neal's charges as a question mark.

2011 unit grade: 2.92 (0 to 4) Good grade for the group, particularly in light of the off-field antics of CB Cliff Harris, who many had penciled into possible superstardom based on his previous on-field performances. Even veteran leader Anthony Gildon went down with an injury during the season, further complicating matters for the group.

Luckily for the Ducks, Eddie Pleasant and John Boyett were solid throughout the year, and some youth stepped up into the cornerback role. Terrance Mitchell, Ifo Ekpre-Olomu and Troy Hill all contributed with starts, salvaging a potentially disastrous gap in the pass defense.

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